Singaporeans may seem to be coping better with the pandemic, but deep down inside, we’re not as happy as we hoped to be.

This year, I observed many Singaporeans feeling dissatisfied over their jobs, having no luck at finding love, and families breaking down more often than usual. The uptick of new cancer patients coming to see me for spiritual healing has also been a worrying trend among the young.

When the pandemic landed in Singapore and blanketed our lives with unprecedented movement restrictions, many of us became anxious about the world and worried that we might lose our jobs or could no longer afford to support our loved ones. The ever-changing safety measures also placed couples under immense pressure to comply with a strictly socially-distanced wedding.

This year, however, while trying to keep it together during the coronavirus crisis, some of us grew depressed over our jobs and gave up. As personal frustrations intensified, family bonds also collapsed due to poor communication. Meanwhile, living in isolation has drowned singles in unbearable loneliness as they struggled to find love.

When I had to move my healing sessions online last year, those who I spoke to over Zoom were mostly lamenting about their poor mental health, emotional stresses, and financial anxieties. Relationship troubles were few and far between.

Only three people I spoke to last year were suffering from cancer and in need of the spiritual strength to pull through their treatments. Unfortunately, the number of cancer patients I met this year has more than doubled, perhaps as more people go for regular health screenings. Those patients were mostly between their late 20s and early 40s, much younger than what I was used to seeing.

When it came to career problems, a majority of those who opened up to me said that they were simply not happy with their jobs. On relationships, roughly nine out of 10 said that they could not find a partner due to the lack of social activities, while families struggled with communication as behaviors change during the pandemic, like children performing below expectations in school.

These were just some of the more common troubles I observed among Singaporeans this year. Many of them take too long to seek professional help, causing their emotions to affect them physically and disrupt their overall well-being.

We might not know what’s coming for us next year, but as long as we have the strength to go through it, we should be fine.

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