Barbara Fish Counselling Services ... helping your life work

'Tis the Season

Helping Your Life Work

Volume 7, Issue 12

December, 2012

Dear Reader,

Last year at this time, I made a decision to free up some mental space to work on a book that I had been thinking of writing (more about that in a future column). At that time, I let you know that I would be recycling some newsletters from the past for the upcoming year. Well, we have arrived at the end of the year and the following is the last of the recycled newsletters. It dates back to the first year that I began writing this column, December 2005 and its message is as true now as it was then.

All the best of the holiday season.

For many, December can be 'the most beautiful time of the year.' For others, it may feel like the most stressful. For those who overextend their commitments and budgets, this time of year can evoke feelings of regret, worry and exhaustion. For those who have lost loved ones, or who are far from their families, there may be feelings of sadness and loneliness. And for those who don't celebrate their traditions in December, there may be feelings of 'not fitting in.' When everyone else seems to be having so much fun, one's negative emotions may feel all the more profound.

If you are feeling more dread than elation at this time of year, know that you are not alone. A 2001 British survey found that 45% of respondents felt depressed around the holidays.

If you are starting to feel that way, then fight the urge to isolate and find someone to talk to about your feelings. Give yourself permission to say 'no' if you are feeling overwhelmed with commitments. Try to spend what you have, not what you don't have. Consider the AA tradition that urges you to HALT before you begin to feel too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, leaving you vulnerable to negative feelings or overindulgence. Perhaps, create your own tradition for this time of year.


As the year comes to a close, I would like to thank clients for sharing your stories and unique selves. It has been my good fortune to accompany you on this part of your journey. I would like to thank my colleagues for the ongoing support, referrals and knowledge you have shared. Thanks to my family and friends for your love and care.

As we look back over the last year and plan for the next, let's remember all the goals we have reached, insights we have gained, laughter we have shared and the happiness we have brought others and let's hope for more of the same next year.

Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”

book an appointment

For more information, or to book an appointment at her Toronto office,
please contact Barbara by telephone at 416-498-1352 or by email at