Quarantine Holiday Blues: A Personal Reflection

Written by Madalyn Brown, Contributing Writer

1/6/2021

My Story

Many people, myself included, are finding themselves stuck in quarantine right now due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.  While quarantine is lonely enough as it is, it is especially hard during the holidays. While people still are not supposed to gather in large groups to celebrate, they can still gather with immediate family or a few friends; however, testing positive for COVID-19 right now means no holidays, no family or friends, and not having the ability to bring joy to the important people in your life with presents you have made or bought them. Personally, Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I love this time of year, so it felt extremely lonely and depressing to have to stay by myself every day due to testing positive. I also felt guilty because it was not just my holiday that seemed ruined. I felt like I ruined the family gathering because they felt too bad to have it without me.

My Encouragement

If you are like me, spending your sick days alone during what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” try to stay calm and not put too much thought into it. I know it is easier said than done, but you should never be made to feel guilty due to health issues or anything else you cannot control. Although it is not ideal to be holed up by yourself, watching other people gather either on social media or by watching movies, catching up on your sleep/rest is one of the fastest ways to heal and pass the time.

We are usually so hard on ourselves, or we keep ourselves busy because we feel the need to be productive.  However, I have learned from being sick that your body is telling you to slow down.  When it sends this message, even before it sends this message, take inventory of how your body is feeling, and allow yourself to rest, to heal, and to catch up.

Whenever I am sick, I always want to be around my mom, so it is hard when you are sick with something that makes it impossible to be around others. Remind yourself that it is hard for them as well. For example, even though I could not be around my mom to keep fewer people sick, I know she felt hopeless too and wanted to be around me. And yes, while it is unfortunate that it happened around Christmas, that just means Christmas will come in the new year, so technically I get more than one Christmas in 2021.

Quarantine during the holiday season is a bummer because it is not what I imagined.  Maybe you are feeling this way if you had to do the same.  Some bright points that I have considered are: you don’t have to worry about schoolwork in addition to being sick, or even going to work because you can’t. Other than sleeping, you can get creative in the hobbies you have access to, if you have the energy to do so. For example, you can spend endless time in quarantine reading all the books you have been stacking up, collecting dust, and meaning to read for years when you finally find the time.

Quarantine is also the perfect time to rock your favorite jammies and binge-watch any series on Netflix. If anything, you could even pretend that Christmas hasn’t even passed yet.  Feel free to continue to watch holiday movies, drink peppermint coffee, and listen to Christmas carols while you watch the snow fall between naps. My bottom line: quarantine sucks, and no one enjoys being sick, but remind yourself that you are not alone, and you will be better eventually.

 

Published by Counseling With Leslie

Leslie Stevens, M.Ed., LCMHC is a North Carolina and Virginia board-certified licensed professional counselor. She co-owns a successful practice in Carrboro, North Carolina. Leslie specializes in helping adults navigate stress, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. Additionally, she is a life strategist, spiritual coach, and writer.

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