Surviving the Holidays (During a Pandemic)
For many, the holiday season can be difficult enough as is for many different reasons during a normal year, much less during a year with a worldwide pandemic, as we are experiencing this year. If this time of year is especially challenging for you currently, below are a few ideas of things you can try to help manage the next few weeks as we move through the holiday season.
Set Boundaries Setting boundaries around your time during the holiday season is hard enough to do in a normal year, bu this year, we have the added stress of a pandemic on top of that, as well as the concern about our own and others' health. While in any other year receiving invites to holiday get-togethers may not be anything to second-guess, this year, it is important to not feel pressure to participate in things that do not feel comfortable or safe to you regarding your health. You are allowed to say no and set boundaries around what is safe for you and your family without feeling any guilt for saying no.
Create New Rituals
Whether you are single and living alone, or you have a partner and/or family, creating rituals you do either individually or together each year at this time can be a fun and meaningful experience. Since this holiday season is going to look and feel different for many already, it can be a great opportunity to try out and start some new rituals. Whether it's virtual holiday get-togethers or watching holiday movies at home, trying a new activity can bring some excitement and connection to this uncertain time we are currently in.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
The holiday season can bring up a variety of emotions for many, from joy and excitement to grief and loneliness. Whether the emotions you are currently feeling are how you normally feel during this time, or a new experience this year due to the pandemic, it is important that you acknowledge these feelings and give yourself space to feel them. It is also important to know that it is normal if you are experiencing a mixture of emotions, such as happiness about the holidays but also sadness due to them looking different this year and not being able to spend time with family and friends as usual. This makes sense during this unprecedented time we are currently experiencing. Finally, just as you have compassion for others, it is just as important to show yourself some compassion regarding how you are currently feeling.
Engage in Self-Care
In addition to acknowledging your emotions, it is also important to allow yourself to engage in regular, healthy self-care. Even if only for 5 minutes here and there, find time throughout the week to do things that help you recharge. This year has been difficult for many of us, and it is important to take care of yourself if you are feeling the uncertainty and exhaustion of this year catching up with you.