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Deck the halls, celebrate and pay it forward

The last two weeks of each year are busy. Whether you seek out religious occasions, family and friends or time out of your normal day to day. The streets are busier. The shop queues are longer. The “to-do” lists are packed with gifts to buy, dates to arrange and deadline to close off before you sign off.

So you might be wondering why I’m asking you to celebrate and pay it forward. Haven’t you enough on the go?

Well, yes you have. That I’m sure. But hang in here for a minute.

One of our basic human needs, in order to be happy, is to belong, to give serve and to be valued for our interactions with us. Yes, even the Grinch and the bah humbugs amongst us. If you’ve done any kind of training on motivation, you’ve probably come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – and right there in it’s middle is belonging. Health research has shown building and nurturing relationship can even protect us from illness, such as late onset diabetes, age-related cancers and more. From a brain perspective, our slow thinking logical brains get a hit of the good stuff (oxytocin) as a reward for bonding with others.

I’d love you to find a bit of extra happiness this festive season and close 2015 in style. Stuck for ideas? Try these:

  1. Grab some friends and carol sing at a home for the elderly – you’ll raise no end of smiles
  2. Make a food parcel for your local food bank
  3. Offer your time at a shelter, animal home or another charity
  4. Invite someone over who’d otherwise spend their days alone
  5. Arrange a video chat with a long-distance friend, family member or colleague instead of a paper card
  6. Take some bright pens, cut up some triangles and join the nearest kids to design Christmas bunting
  7. Give your mates a night off and babysit so they can drink mulled wine at the pub
  8. Donate your finished recent magazines and books to your nearest hospital or doctors waiting room
  9. Smile at a passersby and wish them a “Merry Christmas”
  10. Cheer someone up with a corny joke**
  11. Buy someone flowers for no reason, than just because.
  12. Compliment someone and watch them glow

Whatever, you’re doing to see out 2015 I’d love to know how you’ll be connecting with others and here’s sending you the happiest of festive wishes, fueled by laughter, mulled wine and sprouts….ok you can skip them if you really must 🙂 xx

** Here’s a couple of crackers – don’t judge me 🙂
Why does Santa have 3 gardens? So he can “ho ho ho”.
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinselitis.
Why did no one bid for Rudolph or Blitzen on eBay? They were two deer.

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