Looking at Holiday Self-isolation in a Positive Light

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by Leah Leilani |

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The holidays are notorious for being one of the most hectic times of the year. People jump at the opportunity to score the best deals, and they sprint to grab the last toy on the shelf.

Each year, as my mom decorates the Christmas tree while simultaneously running a load of laundry, I remind her that life doesn’t pause for the holidays. But this holiday season will be different as the long list of social events canceled because of the pandemic continues to grow. 

Bacterial and viral infections typically thrive during the winter months. Because of this, I’m not surprised to hear that states across the U.S. are preparing for another lockdown. The omnipresent health concern for those with chronic medical conditions deepens as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase exponentially.

Families with people who live with muscular dystrophy are hunkering down in their homes for the winter with the expectation of a quiet holiday season. I am well aware that this might be a misfortune for some, but I invite you to view this as an opportunity to have a more mellow December.

In my family, my mom always hosted the gatherings and cooked the feasts. With little help from my relatives, this time of year was always taxing for her. She was overwhelmed with holiday tasks to complete while also caring for a disabled child.

I’m sure some of you out there can relate. As my mom’s symptoms of mitochondrial myopathy progressed, she was no longer able to be the holiday host. Since then, my parents and I have spent Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. I imagine if she were still hosting, she’d be happy to be forced into a self-isolated holiday season.

It is common to experience heightened emotions of depression and anxiety as the year comes to a close, and possibly even more so this year thanks to the numerous chaotic events of 2020. Without extended family to cook for and clean up after, time can be put into prioritizing the most important things and people.

This holiday season, I encourage you to use your extra available time to focus on taking the holidays slowly and to care for your mental health.

I’m the type of person who prefers to look at situations from a “glass half-full” perspective. I can’t help it, it’s just my nature. Although this year seems glum in retrospect, there are still things to be grateful for. Let’s all be thankful for our friends and family who are COVID-19-free, and let us not forget those who have lost their lives.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2020 holiday, and send hope for a better year to come.


Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.


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