Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
Whilst the holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, family and gifts. It can also be triggering for many people and bring about bouts of anxiety, depression and feeling lonely. As someone who lost both her parents at an early age. I know too well how difficult this time of year can be.; especially as so many people post and share pictures of themselves with loved ones. Thankfully that pain that I felt for many years over the holiday season has been made better by having my own family.
This however does not mean that even as I look on at my daughter playing. Or get to spend the holiday season with my husband and his family. That I do not feel somewhat alone. This is why I like to apply some techniques I have learnt and used for many years to help me cope with this time of the year. And I hope that they help you too.
The first thing I like to do is spend some time honouring my parents. I like to do this by saying a little prayer, looking at pictures of them or even eating, drinking or watching things that they enjoyed. This helps to remind me of the good times we had together. And helps me feel like in some way they are with me.
The second thing I like to do is to talk to my sisters with whom I shared parents too. Knowing that she too may be feeling the same way I am, and also reminding myself that whilst I may have lost my parents, I do have my sisters. It is not a cure-all and not possible for everyone. But I find that the connection, laughs and memories help remind me that I am not alone.
Lastly, I like to up my self-care routine and take time for myself. Some of the many ways I like to practice self-care is watching movies, reading, going for walks and giving myself facials. I also ensure not to drink like a fish to deal with my emotions as I have in the past, as I have come to realize that whilst drinking may provide some temporary release and relief. It does little to deal with the actual problem.
What are some tools or techniques you like to use to deal with anxiety and loneliness during the holiday season?