Cheerio Christmas Day 23: Festivities Are More Than Parties
What do festive seasons mean to you?
Ask anyone what a festive season is all about and the first things that comes to mind are usually confetti, gatherings with loved ones, laughter and lots of gifts.
On the flip side, festive seasons, may mean stress and anxiety to some. With all the fancy social media posts plastered all over our feed, some people may feel the pressure to look back and review their past year, which leads to a spiral down the endless route of comparison. We look back on our checklist and dread sets in, we think we have not fared well compared to what others have accomplished.
It is too easy to fall into a vicious loop of accumulating our downfalls and being hard on ourselves. With picture perfect Instagram posts, we become obsessed with the idea of being perfect, and forget that we’re only human. Our minds may be inclined to go down the route of ‘clockwork negativity’. No doubt we should be thankful and celebrate our wins during the year end festivities, but let’s also give ourselves credit for emerging stronger despite our shortcomings!
How can we tweak our mindset to be kinder to ourselves? What if we start counting our blessings instead of harping on our shortcomings?
Take a Break
For some of you social butterflies out there, festive seasons are obligations to go to every single party and social event. Take some time to breathe and don’t blame yourself if you really need a break mentally or physically.
We can be afraid to say no or feel the need to catch up with everyone during this time. No one’s stopping you from spending just a few hours before heading home to rest, although we understand the peer pressure could be daunting too.
Think of it as an overseas trip: you load each day with a full itinerary and you end up exhausted at the end instead of having taken a break. Have some time to yourself to prevent burnout or heal your soul with some well-deserved "me" time - after all, you’ve worked hard for the entire year so you definitely deserve a break!
Starting a Gratitude Journal
We’re all wired to be hard on ourselves and nitpick at our decisions, especially our flaws. If you find yourself scrutinizing your every action, you’re definitely not alone! The simple practice of starting a gratitude journal and jotting down 3 things you’re grateful for each day helps you to acknowledge your blessings. You could even include wrap up reviews at the end of the month or the year! This active act of positivity will bring you new perspectives and you’ll learn to wake up with a grateful heart.
Be Part Of A Community
Some of us may want to go beyond celebrations, thinking of ways to give back to the community and help others in need during the festivities. It’s a good way to wrap up the end of the year as well, by being a blessing to those in need. It could be a simple act of organising a Christmas celebration for them but often, we’re unsure of how to get started with our volunteering journey in Singapore.
Pick an interest that you resonate, or activities that you can start off with ease. Volunteer sign-up forms usually come with a range of questions that asks about your area of expertise, and specific roles for the type of volunteer roles available.
A good platform to start your volunteering journey this festive season is: https://www.giving.sg/. This platform by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre shows you an extensive list of volunteering opportunities in Singapore. It has filters from categories and causes, to skills and suitability for a first timer to group volunteering. Pretty cool, we think!
Always remember, festive seasons are a great opportunity for us to catch up with our loved ones but don't forget to care for yourself at the same time. Looking back at our report card for 2019, let’s start by being mindful and kind to ourselves and others.
Written in collaboration with Debra.