A blue Christmas or the holiday blues?

 

We enter this holiday season with some angst. This certainly isn’t how any of us envisioned celebrating baby’s first Christmas or Chanukah! Most of us are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue. We really miss spending time with family and friends and some of us are very far from those we love in these unusual times. To top it all off the days are shorter, colder, darker and the number of coronavirus infections are rising.

It’s normal to feel a little glum at this time of the year and we are not exactly living in normal times! If you’re feeling down right now, please know you’re not alone. There are a number of support services to help you navigate the journey towards the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

Here are some free and confidential resources that can help:

Info-social 811: The telephone service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone who lives in Québec can call Info‑Social 811 for themselves or for a family member or friend. Info‑Social 811 service professionals give advice and can answer questions about psychosocial issues. If necessary, they can also refer you to an appropriate resource in the health and social services network or to a community resource.

LigneParents: 1-800-361-5085 At anytime, every parent, everywhere in Quebec, can contact the professional counsellors at the LigneParents’ by phone (24/24) and live chat (between 8am and 10:30pm). This service is free and confidential and service is offered in English. You ask any question or talk about any situation.

Priorité Parent (English):  If you’re an English-speaking parent in need of support  or you need some guidance in your search for a concrete solution you can send a quick email to this service and get a swift response.

Jeffery Hale Community Services psychosocial support: Clients who wish to see an English-speaking  social worker or psychologist in person must first make an appointment. Call 418-684-5333, ext. 1580, and you can confidentially leave your name and telephone number.  A staff person will call you back.

Parenthood is a huge responsibility. You have a lot on your shoulders right now. Be sure to look after yourself so you can be there for your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If this pandemic has shown us anything it’s that humankind is more resourceful and resilient than we ever would have imagined.

We’ve complained for years about the rush and madness of the holiday season. This year we have a chance to celebrate more simply. To spend more time being present in the moment. Slow down, relax, don’t fuss, breathe and observe the wonder of the holidays through your little one’s eyes. Take a walk to see the Christmas lights, bake some cookies together, attend a Zoom Christmastime sing along, enjoy a virtual visit from the North Pole. Take time to read the Christmas story and remember that the first Noel was a humble gathering of three with a few shepherds on the side.

Hug your little ones and take some photos so when they are older and this dark tunnel is behind us, you can all reminisce about this extraordinary pandemic holiday season.

Jan Anderson, Community Organizer

Peace & joy,

Jan

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