Happy New Year or was it!

Happy New Year

It’s that time of the year where everyone (including me) starts off a conversation or an email with “Happy New Year, I hope you had a great Christmas and are relaxed and ready to launch into 2017!” Or some version of that greeting.

The short period of two weeks over the Christmas break always intrigues me! For some reason we think we are going to relax like we have never done before, brush off the year, have a miraculous energy boost and be ready to launch into 2017 with renewed vigor and a new sense of purpose!

Did that happen to you, because I am fairly certain it didn’t happen to me? I don’t think it happened to anyone at my work either. Most people are still walking around looking exhausted and wondering how they are going to get through another year. Others are already counting down the days to their next lot of annual leave.

Why do we place so much importance on the Christmas break?

The fact is that this two-week period is no different to any other two-week period. Take away the dates and it’s just another two weeks in the journey of life. It’s amazing though, how a date and a time of year can make this two weeks seem so different and significant in so many ways.

There is some sort of unrealistic expectation we place on this time over Christmas. It’s as though we have to close off a calendar year, force ourselves to relax and mentally prepare ourselves to welcome in a Happy New Year. Our human brains want to compartmentalize time, put labels on things and file away the challenging experiences, hoping a new year will bring better luck.

Unhappiness over the Christmas break

Personally I struggled with the break over Christmas. I had some wonderful happy moments interspersed with some unhappy and stressful moments. I spent a lot of time being introspective, reflecting on life and where I was heading. I felt restless, trapped and unsure of myself. I placated myself with food and alcohol, determined I was going to enjoy my Christmas break. I put lots of deposits into my happiness account but I also made quite a few withdrawals. Thank goodness I had topped up my account during the year!

I am now back at work and slowly getting into the swing of things. In fact the routine of work seems to settle me. I am respecting my body once again and eating healthy. I have ramped up my exercise and I feel so much happier having done this. I have a renewed sense of hope that things will be ok even though my external environment has not changed.

What depleted my happiness?

I am not sure what unhinged my normal positive mood. I can’t put my finger on one particular thing. I just have to accept that life is sometimes challenging and being human lends itself to a whole raft of complications. Each one of us will approach the Christmas period in a different way with our own set of circumstances based on past experience, values, thinking preferences, culture and current mood.

What I am thankful for though is my ability to be self aware, knowing this time would pass and my positivity would return. Thank goodness I also have a wonderful supportive husband and a strong foundation of happiness.

How to create a Happy New Year

If you started off 2017 with a bit of a wobbly boot like me can I encourage you to go back to the basics of happiness and do the following:

  • Focus on the little things already good in your life (there will always be something to draw on)
  • Surround yourself with supportive people; people who love you and who you love in return
  • Make deposits into you bank account everyday no matter how small they are (the LAUGHTER ACTION PLAN will help you with this); and lastly
  • Know deep down in your heart that the clouds will pass and the sun will shine again.

2017 WILL be wonderful, as long as you put the time and effort into creating it.

Be happy, colour the world


PS This is a video I have posted before, it’s one of my all time favourites. If you have a few minutes (well seven to be exact) it is well worth the watch. It shows how you can still find happiness in the normal hum drum of life.



  1. Nikki Smith says

    Thanks so much CB for a wonderful first blog for the year. I couldn’t agree with you more. For some reason I have always put a lot of pressure on the month of January. Starting with a clean slate. Another shiny new year fresh and ready to go. Unfortunately, January as proven to be a terrible month personally over and over again. Only 17 days in and I have received 2 lots of horrible news. I am taking your advice and putting as many deposits as I can into my happiness account and I am always so grateful to read your blogs and realise the way I am feeling is ok and I am not alone. Thank you for your honesty and positivity. XX

    • So sorry to hear your 2017 hasn’t got off to a great start Nik. The clouds can roll in at any time and January is no exception. The universe doesn’t recognise human time limits and so we have to expect anything on any given day. It could be awesome or it could be terrible and the way we deal with it is totally up to us. It’s important to be kind to yourself and allow the feelings to sit with you without wanting to push them immediately away. I am so glad you are taking my advice and still putting deposits into your happiness account. Only good can come out of that and you will need these little rays of sunshine to keep your head above water whilst tackling the hard stuff.

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