Updated: Dec 31, 2020
“The healing will no longer be theorised and wished upon
We will be walking manifest of healing”
~ Malebo Sephodi
Hey everybody, it’s been such a long time since my last entry! These past months have been super draining, stressful, and just busy! When I first started my blog, I never really thought about how I was going to be consistent with both blogging and school. And I will admit… school won. Between trying to finish my last year as an undergraduate and applying to graduate school at the same time, school completely kicked my ass. Despite my absence, I STILL genuinely value everyone that takes the time out to read my entries! Every reader is much appreciated!
As 2020 will be coming to a close and holidays are being celebrated, there is often an expectation of jolly and cheer. The homecooked meals giving you the itis while exchanging gifts, laughter, joy, and more with the very people that you love the most. Well, at least, that’s what I see other people do during the holiday season.
For me, my holiday season consists of me alone in my room, with no gifts or Christmas tree, without my family/friends, and writing this blog entry. Despite this, I am doing pretty okay. I bought some egg nog, got my space heater blasting, and currently binge-watching the show 9-1-1. Unfortunately, I could not say the same for our previous American and sugarcoated holiday, Thanksgiving.
As I’ve gotten older, holidays have increasingly gotten worse year by year. And this last Thanksgiving was probably the hardest of all. Honestly, I just remember crying the entire day. I wanted to be with my mom. I wanted to wake up to the smell of greens, turkey necks, sweet potato pie, and other meals slowly cooking in the kitchen. I wanted the opportunity to hang out with my friends back home while eating the leftovers. Just simply enjoy the holiday.
Though the holiday season is typically filled with light and enjoyment, these Holiday Blues are a real thing! Especially with the kind of year 2020 was, I am sure we can all say we did not expect the holiday season to be the way it is! Holiday Blues are defined as temporary feelings of loneliness, sadness, stress, anxiety, etc during the holiday season. Symptoms can include concentration issues, feeling tense,changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, and mood. (Not to be confused with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression. More information within the links below!). According to nami.org, within their survey of 300 individuals, “66% have experienced have loneliness, 63% too much pressure and 57% unrealistic expectations. 55% found themselves remembering happier times in the past contrasting with the present, while 50% were unable to be with loved ones.” These experiences and feelings are very real during the holidays, especially during this year. With the pandemic, holidays may not have included homecooked meals, family and friends around, or positive energy. Hell, even without the pandemic, holidays may be tough for people.
For those who may not have the holiday of their dream currently, you are not alone. It’s okay to not feel the best when “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Holidays often require a lot of energy, emotion, and time depending on the person. Therefore, mental hygiene is A MUST! Please, as we will be going into a new year very shortly, take time to take care. This was a wild year! Holidays and transitions can always throw curve balls, and mental hygiene can aid in the process! Also, please check in with your people! I can say from my own experience, holidays can really suck. Whether it is a “how are you doing?” text, a phone/facetime call, or even sending a bird (😏 see what I did there lol), just talk to your loved ones. It could easily make the biggest difference in their day, just simply to know that they are being thought of and appreciated.
I have linked a few resources I highly recommend to either spread awareness, expand knowledge, or initiate conversations. I hope you all enjoy and share them!
Please, enjoy the rest of your 2020!
5 strategies to beat the holiday blues. The Black Doctor. https://blackdoctor.org/5-strategies-to-beat-the-holiday-blues/2/
Bradford, J. (2020, Nov. 25). Seasonal depression during the pandemic. Blacks Girls Therapy. https://open.spotify.com/episode/5DCzFaiTwgMwq7cD5pIMSR?si=okJeIVfPRe6k_CjoQ30NMA
Cherry, K. (2020, Dec 23) What are the holiday blues?. Verywellmind. https://www.verywellmind.com/holiday-blues-4771716
(2014, Nov 19) Mental health and the holiday blues. Nami. https://www.nami.org/Press-Media/Press-Releases/2014/Mental-health-and-the-holiday-blues
(2017, Oct 25). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651