A few weeks ago I found out I tested positive for Covid-19. This was a big surprise to me since throughout the pandemic I have been taking all of the precautions necessary to follow safety measures. I thought to myself, “how can this happen to me?”. I was lucky enough to not have many physical effects during my illness, however I experienced numerous mental health effects.
For me, this time of year brings excitement. Between Diwali, Thanksgiving, and Christmas I find myself looking forward to spending quality time with my family and friends. Being diagnosed with Covid-19 this close to the holidays, means that I would not be able to see my loved ones. I made this decision, wanting to keep my family safe and healthy. I find myself feeling angry, sad, and anxious about spending the holiday season not seeing my parents and brother. In a sense, I find myself grieving.
Despite these difficult and isolating times, I want to make this holiday season special. I am choosing to focus on what will make these holidays meaningful and special. I’m using this time to merge new traditions with old traditions. My boyfriend and I decorated our home with lots of lights and candles for Diwali and will be cooking the same dishes that I would have eaten with my family. For Thanksgiving, we will be making dishes that have a special significant meaning to us. As for Christmas, our tree and decorations are already up since there’s no limit to holiday cheer!
I also find myself turning to self-care during this time of uncertainty. With all of these difficult and intense emotions, it’s important I treat myself with kindness and compassion. I started a gratitude list on my phone, in which I list the things that I am grateful for despite the chaos that this year has brought. Health, friends, family, and my adorable kitten are some of the things that bring me peace, happiness, and joy. Making time to virtually connect with my loved ones has been key, since healing from Covid-19 has been such an isolating experience.
I am realizing that although I am not able to spend the holidays with my friends and family, I am still surrounded by so much love. Although I may not be celebrating the way I am used to, I am recognizing that I can miss my “normal” traditions and create new, meaningful ones. This is a chance to heal.
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About The Author
Esha Chabra, LPC is a therapist at Olive Branch Therapy Group and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Esha offers In-person individual and family therapy as well as online video counseling for residents of New Jersey. If you are interested in working with Esha, contact us via email, phone or chat on our website.