• Cecilia Yee, Counsellor

Festive Season Sadness - Survival Guide


The holiday season is upon us once again! It is amazing how the year has just flown by - so many things must have happened over the past 12 months. As we grow older and have more things going on in our lives, festive seasons, even though it should be a time for loads of joy, love, and laughter (well, actually mainly for kids), it can be rather stressful too.


We hope this piece can help reduce some of these stress as you navigate the season:


GIFT-GIVING: this is one of the most dreaded (oops, sorry, just being honest here!) parts of Christmas. Who to buy for, what to buy, how much to spend, making time to buy them (even if it is done online)... Here are some suggestions: start shopping early; perhaps take advantage of the Great Singapore Sale, Single's Day Sale, Black Friday cum Cyber Monday Sales? Amongst circles of family and friends, agree with each other whether it is a family gift (one gift per family versus one gift for each member), gifts for kids only, agree on a budget for each gift, how about suggesting a charity all can contribute towards instead? Only you would know your financial situation best and work out a budget that you can stick to and still feel good about. Remember that holiday seasons are more than just buying gifts. You're probably not the only one who doesn't care about how many presents to get, so remember that your friends and family probably care more about your company than your gifts.


GET-TOGETHERS: Whether you are hosting or visiting, each has its own set of stress. Do you visit my in-laws or your folks first? This itself can bring on a quarrel, right? Since there are 12 days of Christmas, you don't have to fit all the visits or get-togethers in one day. Space them out and pace yourself. This way, you can enjoy each gathering without having to rush to another and remain sane. What and how many dishes should you prepare? When do you start buying the ingredients (oh no! There isn't enough space in the fridge!) Don't feel bad about asking your guests to bring a dish each. They will surely understand and, this way, everyone can enjoy the gathering!


LONELINESS & GRIEF: Holidays are also the time some of us feel weepy; we may feel the huge gap left behind by our family members or friends who have passed. It is ok to feel this way, after all, we had good times with them and because we love them, it is natural to miss them. Take your time to acknowledge this and remember the good times you had together during these seasons. Know that there will be others who will be missing the same persons too so why not reach out and talk to them too; reminisce the good moments. This way, you are celebrating the lives of those who have departed as well as savouring and building new memories with those who are in your lives now.


It is perfectly no to feel down but if you feel blue despite trying out these tips, why not speak to our Counsellor? Contact us at 62588816, email contact@alife.org.sg or book an appointment online at https://www.alife.org.sg/book-online/counseling-service


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