Tis the season to be jolly don’t you know

Time flies when you’re having fun. Actually, time flies when you’re not having fun too and, for many UK business owners, given the uncertainties and tensions surrounding Brexit, ‘fun’ may not feel like the most appropriate description as we come to the end of 2018. But Tis the season to be jolly don’t you know, and here are some amazing events that should make us all feel happier about the past 12 months, and give us all a few pointers to personal and professional fulfilment:

1. Gareth Southgate
The England team’s success (ok, we didn’t win, it just felt like it), was fuelled by empathy and empowerment. By building positive and open relationships, Southgate showed the world a perfect example of true teamwork at play; a lesson to all those who still believe you get the best out of people by ‘treating ‘em mean’.

2. Anything’s possible
As documentary maker Stacey Dooley demonstrated when she, with partner Kevin Clifton, were crowned winners of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday. What she lacked in dance experience, she made up with dedication to learning, the stamina to stick to a gruelling training schedule, a great sense of rhythm and a strong focus on her goal.

3. Yes you can
Carrying on the theme of ‘anything’s possible’, when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married, they showed us all that you can effect change, even in a staunchly traditional event like a royal wedding. Who can forget the entertaining address delivered by Bishop Michael Curry or the spectacular rendition of ‘Stand by me’ sung by the Kingdom Choir?

4. Long hot summer
This summer will be remembered for a six-week spell from the end of June to the second week of August when daytime temperatures consistently topped 30C (86F). And we all enjoyed it, and we couldn’t help ourselves as exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin, a hormone associated with boosting your mood and making you feel happy.

5. Services sector working gets a boost
Sunshine, happiness and the World Cup had a direct effect on sales. With the UK services sector – everything from restaurants to banking – which makes up about 80% of the economy, benefitting. Construction also picked up, after work slowed or was postponed due to adverse weather conditions earlier in the year.

6. The remarkable strength of employment
The labour market has strengthened significantly since the EU referendum, with most of the growth in full time jobs, reducing concerns that people were setting up in business because they could not find any other work.