Thursday, February 26, 2015

CNY stress: When you have lost that festive feeling

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By Joyce Teo, on Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015, Mind Your Body, The Straits Times

Even if you make the
PHOTO: Even if you make the "wrong" decision, your brain has a way of "synthesising happiness", says Lifehacker.
Posted by The Straits Times on Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015


You can get the blues if you have recently broken up with your partner, are socially isolated, have strained relationships or suffer from a mental condition, such as depression and psychosis.

The festive season is often a time for reflection, so those who are depressed may feel a sense of hopelessness about the future, said Dr Tan Hwee Sim, a specialist in psychiatry at Raffles Counselling Centre.

"The heightened feeling of loneliness, if combined with the disinhibiting effect of alcohol, may result in self-harm behaviour."

Dr Tan offers some tips on how to manage the festive season blues:

1. Adjust your expectations. Instead of thinking "this should be the most wonderful time of the year", view it as just a regular day and treat it like any other. Take a break if you can.

2. Avoid being alone. Surround yourself with people who can offer you support or understanding. For example, if you are away from home, find people in a similar situation to celebrate with you or take part in activities.

3. Do not bottle up your emotions. Talk to people about your thoughts and feelings. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do not shy away from seeking professional help.

4. Be active. Do things that give you pleasure or enjoyment.

5. Be thankful. Focus on what you have, rather than what you do not. If you find yourself missing someone, try to think of the good times you shared with this person.

By Joyce Teo, on Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015, Mind Your Body, The Straits Times
This article is part on an article first published on Feb 19, 2015.