Homesick for the Holidays

By Sofie Jacobs

It’s that time of year again. Brilliant decorations everywhere, festive spirits abound, carols fill the air. We’ve all heard them, I’ll be home for Christmas….There’s no place like home for the holidays…I’ll have a blue Christmas without you…

But what if you are one of those who can’t make the journey home for the holidays?

Whether you’ve just had a new baby, are too far along in your pregnancy or suffering from complications, not being with loved ones at this special time can be especially depressing.

But don’t fret.

Put on that Rudolf nose, ugly Christmas sweater or silly Santa hat and take a new approach to staying festive over the holiday season. Here are a few great ways to beat the holiday blues.

If it’s family time you are missing, take advantage of technology. Through the wonders of technologies like Skype, Facetime etc we can all enjoy our loved ones at a moments notice.  It may seem strange at first trying to partake in the festivities through a screen, but in no time you’ll feel right at home. Seeing and hearing your loved ones, and the opportunity for them to see you and your bump or even their brand new relative will bring unbelievable amounts of joy. It’s cheap, easy and it’s right at your fingertips. So there’s no reason to miss out just because you can’t be there.

Enjoy your “extended” urban family. Say “yes” to the neighbour’s invite to Christmas brunch. Join your BFF and hers for the day. Go to a party and get right into the spirit by dressing up in your best outfit or even better a funny festive outfit. Nothing beats the blues like a silly costume; and if you don’t want to try to squeeze into any kind of outfit right now, don a blinking Rudolf nose or reindeer antlers, they’re sure to have you seriously cracking up. Even just head out to your favourite restaurant. A friendly face, good conversation and a great meal will have you feeling in a festive mood in no time.

If you don’t know anyone in your community, consider volunteering. Lend a helping hand at a local shelter; hand out presents to needy children; attend a Christmas benefit. It’s amazing how good giving instead of receiving can actually make you feel. It’s a great eye opener and seeing the joy on the faces of those you help will make you realise how truly blessed you are.

Even if it’s just you and your new little family celebrating this year, realise this is the time for you to start making new traditions as well. Perhaps it’s not the massive gathering you would normally attend, but it’s the beginning of many new experiences that are to come, so embrace it and enjoy the love you have around you.

Plus chances are your hormones may be a bit overzealous at this time. Postpartum or “baby blues” are a natural phenomena that usually kick in around the time your milk comes in. They generally last 24-72 hours. So remember it’s normal to feel a bit blue, but don’t let yourself wallow in it.  However, if your blues last longer, are persistent and sometimes debilitating see your doctor or midwife right away to discuss it. Postpartum blues are temporary but postpartum depression is very real and you must seek help.  With the proper care, you can, and will get through them.

So even if you can’t hop on that plane and be with loved ones this season, you can still enjoy the holidays. Keep an open mind, open heart and open home. You never know what kind of Christmas magic can happen if you embrace the holidays with a new approach. And remember…. you better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry – well maybe a little cry!

Happy Holidays.

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