Look, I totally get it. Since January, we've seen the demise of many incredible legends. David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Andrew Sachs, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman - the list goes on. Many of us have lost our loved ones this year which brings pain closer to heart. The outcome of the EU Referendum in Britain, the political sentiment in France, Germany and Italy have polarised our societies. The outcome of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President is still hard to digest for many of us, and its political and social implications in the US and beyond will have consequences for years to come. Yes, I do understand that many millions of people have voted for Trump and that they are triumphant, but one cannot ignore that the great nation that is the USA feels torn and confused. The neverending war in Syria - so complicated that I can never keep track of who is fighting with whom - has produced the largest global displacement crisis since the Second World War. It's hard to argue that 2016 has not been exactly the model of peace and humanity.
Still, I absolutely refuse to go down this pessimistic inertia. My 2016 hasn't been plain sailing but I am determined to seek out the good stuff. I've finished writing my memoir, which is a colossal achievement, even though I'm yet to find a publisher. My articles have appeared in The Spectator and The New Statesman. I've travelled to some amazing places and took my goddaughter skating to the Somerset House ice rink. It's easy to see the good news if only you put on the right spectacles. My friend Irina gave birth to a daughter. James finally bought his own place in London. Sarah and Reuben got engaged. Tony quit his job and is treating himself to a well-deserved break. Just check your social media feed and if you want, you'll notice proud parents, happy honeymooners and brave entrepreneurs. (Yes, I know, if you are wearing wrong lenses, all you'll see is smugness.)
Just think: this year new books have been published, films and albums have been released after months if not years of hard work and sheer determination. Scientists and artists have won awards and one day the work of Yoshinori Ohsumi, who has been awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, may help science find a cure for cancer and the Alzeimer's Disease. In Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos has finally sat down to negotiate with the guerillas after 50 years of the civil war.
It is true that we are biologically programmed to tune to the negative news. Our lizard brains are there to warn us against danger and to fret night and day. It must be awfully exhasting. I say, let's give our lizards a rest and seek out some good stuff. In a book Beating Chronic Fatigue by Dr Kristina Downing-Orr
the author recommends the following exercise: if your life has been changed by an illness or by losing a loved one, take a piece of paper and try to write down a couple of positive changes brought by the devastating experience. It sounds like an impossible task, but this simple exercise does magic to help build up some optimism, just when we need it so badly.
Otherwise, I suggest you tackle an ice rink. SKATE by Somerset House does the trick. Festive music, the smell of mulled wine and not a single sour face - magic. Ability to skate is not a requirement to experience unadulterated joy, as my goddaughter and I can testify. If you are more of a couch potato, why not watch The Big Life Fix on BBC2 where British inventors help people in need by coming up with awe-inspiring life fixes.
My favourite end-of-year blues remedy is to sign a box of Christmas cards before escaping London for some winter sun. I wish you a jolly festive season and an acceptable 2017. Cheerio!