With family events, work celebrations, traveling, and all sorts of commotion, our social calendars can fill up quickly during the holidays. But unfortunately, the 2020 holiday season may look very different than holidays in the past. COVID-19 has put a barrier between us and our loved ones. There most likely won’t be large holiday gatherings, long-distance travel, or work celebrations.
We are all getting through this pandemic day by day, and the holiday season is yet another formidal hurdle to cross. Because many events that we usually look forward to have been canceled, our emotional and mental health may suffer. But there are still ways to connect with each other this season, and make the most of the circumstances we’ve been given. Below are some ways to celebrate safely this holiday season.
Seven Ways to Celebrate Joyfully This Holiday Season
Deliver homemade treats to your friends and family. Leave holiday cookies, treats, or meals on your loved ones’ front door steps. Your goodies will not only be a sweet surprise, but a great way for everyone to stay safe!
Write with gratitude. Sit down, reflect, and write down what you are grateful for. Gratitude journaling is a great exercise to connect with yourself.
Host a small socially distanced get together outside. Guests can gather in your backyard or a park. Everyone can pack a picnic and enjoy each other’s company from a safe distance.
Plan an ugly holiday sweater Zoom party. Attendees can wear their ugliest festive sweaters and perform a catwalk via Zoom.
Have a no contact secret Santa gift exchange. Instead of meeting in person, leave secret Santa gifts on doorsteps. This will add a little extra mystery!
If you can, give a little extra this season. Giving takes us out of our struggles and allows us to turn our focus on doing good for others. If you’re saving money on traveling, hosting holiday parties, or ski trips this year, maybe you’re able to splurge a little extra on your loved ones. Or, you might even consider making a charitable donation to those suffering from the economic stress of the pandemic.
Cut down a Christmas tree. Instead of going to a busy Christmans tree lot, head to the wide open space and fresh air of the forest. Search for the perfect Christmas tree with your family or your quarantine pod. Just remember to get a permit before your outing!
With all the added stress of the pandemic, it’s understandable if you’re not feeling like your most festive self this holiday season. The dramatic change to the holiday season can increase feelings of fear, anxiety, stress, isolation and depression. In order to cope with your stress in a healthy way, check-in with yourself. How are you feeling emotionally? What is on your mind? How are your emotions affecting you? Acknowledge your feelings and talk about them with someone you trust. Talking about your emotions can be awkward and uncomfortable, but bottling them up is extremely unhealthy. As you process your emotional state, you will notice that your mood improves.
’Tis the Season for Healing!
The holiday season is a happy, but stressful time. If your mental-emotional state is disrupting your life, it’s okay to lean on others for support and seek professional help. Therapy can help you process your emotions and find joy. Thrive’s team of therapists treats anxiety, depression, life-changes, grief, and more. We are passionate about helping others be their best selves in the world.