JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The holiday season is unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, the fun and celebrations have turned into holiday sadness, loneliness, and depression.
Local therapists discuss coping with holiday stress and depression.
“We put a lot of emphasis, a lot of time, a lot of effort into the holidays because for a lot of us it’s the only time we truly have to pause our lives and focus on family and friends. Now with COVID-19 in place it has been snatched away from us,” said Therapist Shamekia Davis.
Anthony Davis and his wife Shamekia own Therapeutic Services in Flowood.
With the holidays quickly approaching, they are seeing a record number of people who are experiencing mixed emotions about the holidays, especially in a pandemic.
“Depression, anxiety, grief are the major things hitting people,” said therapist Anthony Davis.
They say the holidays may also trigger these feelings due to money problems, loss of family, and loneliness. The Davis’ say it’s okay not to be okay during this time.
“Those emotions are real. Those emotions are part of your experience of who you are and what you’re going through but understand that you can’t stay stuck in these emotions and you have to do something to get you through them,” said Shamekia Davis.
Some of ways to cope include taking time to reflect.
“You have to take sometimes to do some self-reflection and come into self-awareness and what will bring you joy and make you happy.”
Embrace change and establish new traditions.
“Things are not going to always go the way we want them to go. COVID is one of those things we have no control over, so we have to learn how to make the best out of a bad situation.
So, try new and different things, new hobbies, new recipes, call somebody you haven’t spoken to in a long time,” said Anthony Davis.
“Also, go back to your childhood memories and pick up those hobbies you left years ago, something to rekindle that joy you felt as a child would be great,” said Shamekia Davis
They say using technology to have virtual holiday celebrations is also a way to connect with loved ones.
“Zoom and these other kind of internet sources that we actually have now is a very good source of communication. Think of different things you can do to alter the negativity we have going right now,” said Anthony Davis.
They also recommend you talk to a family member or friend if you feel holiday sadness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help during this tough time.