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Happy Festive Season Happy New Year

Wed, December 20, 2023 2:56 PM | OSRP (Administrator)

The month of December is filled with various festivals, religious events, national days and a multitude of celebrations that bring people together for food, fun, and frolicking. This may include Festivus, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Independence Days for Kenya, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Mongolia, Finland, Tanzania, Portugal, and many more.

Though these are just a few significant dates people may celebrate or take time off to take care of themselves, friends or family, there are many different traditions associated with each holiday or significant day. Learning about the significance, stories and histories of various holidays can help broaden our perspective beyond the holidays we celebrate year after year.

As active, retired and student psychotherapists, we know that there are many for whom this time of year is uncomfortable, lonely, isolating or riddled with thoughts of traumatic experiences, grief and loss. We are aware of the tumultuous emotional rollercoaster of this season for many. As we continue through this month of December, we may wish to use inclusive language in how we greet each other and not make assumptions about how people are getting through this time. In addition, we might consider providing our clients and loved ones with a crisis line number/website and other culturally responsive community resources to help get through this time safely.

We might practise asking open-ended questions of each other first, so we are not making assumptions. For example, “What are you doing over these next few weeks?” This question does not assume someone will be on holidays because they may choose to or must work; it doesn’t assume they will be with family members; and it doesn’t assume they celebrate a specific holiday.

Another open-ended question might be, “How do you spend your time in these winter months?” This example invites discussion without imposing a specific belief, expectation, mood, or pattern of behaviour. Once we’ve learned more about the person we’re talking to, we can then decide how to wish them well.

May all OSRP Members find showers of positivity, pockets of joy and prosperity in HEALTH, WEALTH, and WISDOM in 2024!!!

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