With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is time to start thinking about creating holiday plans that are good for both your mental and physical health. Because of Covid-19, this holiday season will be unique and potentially challenging. Unfortunately, cases of coronavirus are increasing daily, so our usual plans with family and friends may not be in the best interest of all involved. But, just because this holiday season will be different, doesn’t mean that it can’t be great and memorable.
Consider limiting the number of people at your holiday celebrations to just your immediate family. Doing so will limit the spread of the virus and also limit traveling for the holidays. If you can, avoid traveling to and from states where infections rates are high and where proper safety measures (e.g., wearing masks, social distancing) are not enforced. If you can Zoom with extended family that you would usually be with during the holidays, then that is a safe alternative. In fact, having a virtual party will allow you to see people who may not usually be able to come to holiday dinners.
Keeping Up With Traditions
Think about the traditions that mean the most to you– is it the meal? Watching a specific show or movie? Spending time with family and friends? If you can pinpoint which part of the holidays are the most important, you can work to keep up those traditions and try to replicate them. If you love a big festive meal, you can still cook it for whoever you spend the holidays with. If spending time with family and friends is the most meaningful, set up a virtual call with them. And if keeping up with a long-held tradition is too painful, skip it for this year.
Keep Our Spirits Up
Winter can be depressing enough without a pandemic, so it is important to do things that are good for our mental health. Keep up with the obvious things like exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and not overdoing it with alcohol consumption. In addition, try some new ways to stay in good spirits such as a gratitude journal, monitoring your thoughts for negative cognitive distortions, and mindfulness exercises. Socially distanced visits with friends and family are also important for your well-being, and if you can’t see them in person, give them a phone call.
We have gotten through other holidays during the pandemic, so we can get through some more. Hopefully next year we will be able to enjoy the company of others safely and freely, but this year requires a few more sacrifices. If you are struggling with coping, check out TLC-VR’s resources for more tips and ideas on how to get through these challenging times.