It’s a Christmas like no other at the end of a year like no other. Most of us have had to deal with at best festive disappointments and many have had worse than that. Some people have had a truly torrid year while others are merely exhausted by all the uncertainty and worry. Although we are “all in this together”, we are also all in it differently.
But here are some things I wish for all of you, things which will help everyone, wherever your year was on the scale of weird to truly shocking. And if you keep your eyes open you’ll spot a giveaway!
Find time to curl up in bed or in a chair by a fire or on the sofa, alone or with others, and read whatever book you want to read. Read for pure pleasure and relaxation: readaxation, in fact. It will help your mind and body in ways you will notice and in ways you won’t. But it will help.
This quiet Christmas is the perfect opportunity to have some extra sleep. The best way is to have an earlier bedtime rather than get up very late. It’s fine to have a bit of a lie-in but the healthiest sleep patterns have the same bedtime and getting up time each day, if possible.
Sleep helps heal and restore every part of your body, including that most important part: your brain. It boosts cell repair, immune response, focus, mood and mental health, memory and learning.
The Awesome Power of Sleep is published on Jan 7th and I have THREE COPIES TO GIVE AWAY. Just say something nice in the comments below and ask for one! Deadline 5pm GMT Jan 7th. I’ll pick three using a random number generator. I will also have postcards and posters for schools: the FIRST five schools to ask for those will get them.
AND THE THREE WINNERS ARE:
Congratulations to you all and bad luck to the others – your time will surely come!
Winners, contact me with the best address to send to and who you’d like your book signed to. Hooray!
And I’ll be sending out lots of posters and cards, as promised, as soon as I have them.
I think you know how important I believe this is. But it’s also difficult, particularly if you’re like me. But it should be top of the priority list this holiday. It will help you sleep, too! But choose the right soert of relaxation for the type of need you have. See here for
Giving is important at any time of year. Giving anything, whether a physical gift or your time or a compliment or anything. Two people benefit with one gift: the giver and the recipient. You don’t need to spend money. A few kind words or half an hour of your time make a valuable gift. but if you do have money, giving a book is a great idea, of course: to help them read, sleep and relax!
And, in that spirit, my gift to you is the chance of a free signed copy of The Awesome Power of Sleep.
That’s hard at the moment, especially if you’ve been knocked down this year, but it’s your challenge. If you’re a parent or carer it’s also your responsibility to those you care for, who look to you for hope. And hope is something you can give to yourself, too: it can be grown and developed, just like resilience. The more you practise the better you’ll get at it. There’s always hope: you just have to shine your torch on it. And if your torch is too weak, join with someone else who finds hope a bit easier and share their torchlight! In other words, talk to someone, keep connected.
I think if we can work on the first four – read, sleep, relax, give – the final one will grow by itself. Hope is diminished when life overwhelms us and those things help life not overwhelm us. They are worth attention.
Better days will come but meanwhile, read, sleep, relax, give and hope. Happy Christmas!
Don’t forget to comment nicely if you’d like the chance to win The Awesome Power of Sleep – three lucky random winners. And if you’re a school, ask me for posters – first five requests get them!
Excuse typos – no time to proofread as an emergency weather situation is underway! Because 2020 decided it hadn’t caused enough trouble…