Savoir-faire: Week 10.

A happy, family-oriented Christmas period can be a hard time for anyone who is not in a warm home with their family, or is stuck in an unhappy or unfulfilling relationship (which can actually be lonelier than being on your own).

Christmas makes us emotional. It’s easy to see other couples and families as very happy – and, indeed, some are – but there are also many people struggling for all sorts of different reasons. Everyone has good and bad times in their life; what makes the difference is how you react to them.

The festive period is a bit like someone telling you to ‘cheer up’: it can be annoying if you are not in the mood. But remember, your mood is up to you. This year is different; Christmas is restricted and tentative. Covid-19 has brought a lot of fear to people, and for many living on their own it has highlighted their fears of something happening to them without support.

It’s natural to feel this way: recognise your fears and try to remember what you do have, rather than what might happen. Live in the moment you are in, and slow down enough to relish the detail of life. When other people aren’t about, enjoy the peace and quiet; it’s rare these days to experience silence, or relax to the music of your choice.

This is a time to learn about yourself, to really get to know who you are, what you want and what you need. You are your own person and can do what you like! With a positive attitude, plan ahead and give yourself some proper treats for Christmas.

People are much more open to talking to strangers and meeting new people at this time, especially with lockdown. Make the most of it and smile and talk to strangers. Remember every person could become a good friend, or even more, and everyone comes with their own network of friends. Go for it!