The holidays are usually filled with joy, excitement, and a flurry of activity, but celebrating the holiday season during a pandemic can bring feelings of stress, isolation, and worry. By using these tips, you can minimize the stress and even create new traditions.
The holidays this year may bring sadness or grief if you’re feeling isolated, stressed, or have changed or canceled plans. Additionally, the holidays may bring feelings of sadness if you have lost a family member(s). It’s okay to be sad, cry or express your feelings. If those feelings continue or if they become unbearable, talk to your health care provider or a mental health professional.
If your plans have been canceled or adjusted due to COVID or you are feeling isolated during the holidays, reach out to friends, family or community members that can offer companionship and someone to talk to during the holidays. Technology has made things a little easier with different apps, video chat and social media. Phone calls, texts and emails also are great ways to reconnect with loved ones.
This holiday season will be likely different than other years. Be open to change and new traditions that may come about as plans are adjusted or parties are cancelled. If finances are a concern, be conscientious of what you can provide and give with the time and money at hand.
Large gatherings should be strongly thought about with the pandemic and nature of the virus. Safe party-planning may include shortening the list of guests, encouraging masks and physical distancing where possible. Consider doing a new tradition to keep you and your family safe.
The holidays may cause overindulgences that will only add to your stress, worry, and guilt, or may be getting out of your sleep and exercise routine. Plan to take the time daily for your own wellness which includes healthy meal/snack prep, exercise and getting enough sleep.
All of the stressors of 2020 can and likely have taken a toll on you. Remember to take time away for just you to catch your breath and to reduce your stress. Some ideas for this include reading a book, taking a walk, listening to music, or just going outside and taking a few deep breathes.