Day 7 – Do something pleasurable

day 7

Christmas is supposed to be fun, isn’t it? Yet all too often exhaustion, stress and different forms of unhappiness dominate our lives. It's almost as if the subconscious reacts against enforced merriment. You might even start to experience anhedonia – where pleasure in life is deadened, blanketed in a thick fog that makes what you are doing feel completely unrewarding.

If that describes how you are feeling, start to counteract it with baby steps towards things you used to like doing. Perhaps you have forgotten about some of these, so we’ve some suggestions – but if you know your own routes to simple pleasure, follow your instinct.

Be kind to your body: Have a hot bath, a short nap, a snack of your favourite food or a soothing hot drink. Don’t feel guilty – this is all about learning how to experience pleasure again.

Do something you enjoy, but that doesn’t stretch you too far. Visit or phone a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while. Get out your paints, knitting needles or mouth organ – whatever it takes to pick up an old hobby again. Or take some exercise, bake a cake, pick an easy read – not a serious book. Any of these activities could reawaken the sense of simple, mild pleasure and allow you to turn back towards a positive frame of mind.