Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Make Your Happiness this Season

Published:Sunday | December 6, 2015 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

It is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But for some, Christmas is the most depressing- due to loss, loneliness, and lack of finances.

 

Loneliness

People feel compelled to share Christmas with the family. It is that time of the year when everyone put away their petty squabbles to enjoy the festive season. But there are some persons who do not have any immediate family to share it with. This could be due to migration, death, or tumultuous conflicts. There is no rule book that says family has to be blood, so it is OK to grab your fellow single friends and spend the season together. This is the advice shared by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr E Anthony Allen.

"Be proactive before Christmas. Plan a potluck dinner with them, or if you can afford it, then you all can go out for dinner together," Dr Allen noted that single persons might feel especially lonely during the holidays.

 

Grieving

For individuals who are widowed, he appeals to the extended family to look out for them. While he believes that they might need time to reflect, having them spend the Christmas alone when they are used to having their partner, will be difficult and they will need the added support.

For those who are grieving, he advises that they not be afraid to speak about what they are feeling with a close friend or family member. Letting it out verbally helps.

 

Family

When it comes to conflict within a family, one has to decide whether they want to spend the day uncomfortable in grief or happy. Dr Allen notes that if you are the victim of abuse and the family member has no remorse, while you should forgive and forget, the environment might make you uncomfortable. "You should not ignore your feelings, you can chose to be happy and celebrate elsewhere."

 

Financial

There is also the issue of the holiday being very commercialised. Many individuals feel compelled to spend, and for those in a financial bind, it is just a reminder of their situation and they feel this restricts them from enjoying the season. But according to Dr Allen, it's the thought that counts. You can even make a card, the individuals will know of the thought that went into it and that it is from the heart and not just a commercialised token.