If you’re feeling grinchy this holiday season, nobody could blame you. Let’s look at some ways to help keep the cheer in the holidays, even during COVID-19.
Have your holiday plans been canceled because of a last-minute quarantine? Karestan Koenen, a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, suggests hosting a virtual get-together instead of an in-person gathering. Share a menu, create a program and mail out your gifts with enough time to reach your loved ones by Christmas.
Give of your time
Reach out to an elderly relative, neighbor or friend who may be stuck inside, and share some holiday cheer. Giving to others will make your own holiday a little bit brighter.
Dr. Andrea K. Tesher PsyD, of Ridgewood, N.J., says to keep an open mind when it comes to holiday plans this year. It’s best to expect the unexpected, she says, and to go with the flow. Being mentally prepared for changes will make them easier to handle.
Keeping a positive outlook goes a long way toward making the holidays easier to handle, Koenen says. Remember that we know a lot more about the virus now than we did in spring and that a vaccine may soon be a reality.
Koenen suggests squeezing in a few minutes for self-care each day during the busy holiday season. Take a quick walk around the block, indulge in a hot bath or schedule in a timeout from your phone each evening. These slices of alone time can be crucial to your mental health.
2020 was the year we all learned to reframe our realities. We discovered that we could get by without our weekly manicures, survive months without the gym and attend all kinds of social events while wearing fuzzy socks and sweatpants.
As we bid farewell to 2020, let’s carry our new minimalist attitude toward all things material. We can stand to trim our gift lists, forego the annual gathering with extended family and to dine in throughout the holiday.
Happy holidays from Marine Federal!