Finding the Holiday Spirit in a COVID-19 World
This time of year typically means the holiday spirit abounds, and people are happily prepping for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, and other annual year-end festivities. COVID-19 has changed so much in 2020, and the holidays are no exception. Difficulty traveling, concerns about health risks, and disagreements among loved ones about how much social distancing is necessary are possible complications. No one is exactly sure what these holidays will look like this year. The good news is we do have some control over how we experience these celebratory occasions, using both our common sense and our creativity.
Make Safety a Priority
Rules about social distancing and which businesses are open vary from city to city and state to state. If you doubt which pandemic policies are in place in your area or the area to which you may travel, make sure to look for updated data, so you have the information you need. If you usually attend a holiday or a meal at someone else’s home, find out if it is still being held this year. Ask about the household’s social distancing habits and determine if they match up with yours.
If Christmas morning or New Years’s evening is typically a bash held in your home, strongly consider whether skipping this year is in everyone’s best interest. You may experience pressure from friends to keep the tradition going, but you are well within your rights to cancel the event. Do not feel guilty for informing everyone you cannot comfortably entertain this year. Everyone has had to make some sacrifices this year for their safety and the safety of their loved ones, co-workers, and society in general. As tempting as it may be to put that aside for the sake of spending Hannukah with grandparents or ringing in the new year with close friends, everyone’s health has to be the top priority.
Alternatives to the Usual Holiday Activities
While many people are experiencing Zoom Fatigue from all the work meetings or school classes they have attended this year, such apps provide excellent holiday alternatives. A family separated by a few miles or several states can plan to meet at a specific time and interact together electronically. If eating an entire meal together isn’t possible, set up a Dessert Party. Everyone can sit down and enjoy their favorite pie or other holiday desserts together. If opening presents is part of your family’s tradition, do it on camera. This way, everyone can enjoy the reactions as each gift is opened and shown off to others.
If your family cannot all meet at midnight on New Year’s Eve due to being in different time zones or some members not being night owls, pick a time earlier in the evening to gather. It can be a valuable touchstone for loved ones to take time to acknowledge any good things that happened this year and express what they hope for in the new year. Everyone can toast with their drink of choice, including non-alcoholic beverages, and even dress up for the occasion if they are so moved.
Lifting Our Own Holiday Spirit
Remember that even if society isn’t experiencing the holiday season the way we usually do, it doesn’t have to mean giving up hope and giving into depressive feelings. Dig for creative ways to celebrate. Encourage your family and friends to participate in rituals that may seem odd now but will be looked back on fondly in later years as fun ways everyone compensated for a holiday season like none they had experienced before.
The year of COVID-19 may primarily be defined by isolation and loneliness. Still, that’s all the more reason to make an effort to appreciate the good things that happened, too. Look for blessings to count, such as the good health of loved ones and the ability to share the holiday season with those we love. Take stock of the blessings, even if some of it has to happen in altered ways we could not have seen coming last year. Hope for the future, coupled with concrete plans to achieve the best we can under challenging circumstances, is key to making the most of things.
Now more than ever is the time to seize the day and plan to make as many great memories as possible. We all have a reserve of strength we can tap into and some creativity we can bring into play to enjoy a meaningful holiday season.
This time of year finds many people busy planning trips home for the holidays or prepping their homes to welcome visitors. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into enjoying the typical holiday spirit, but it doesn’t mean people are doomed to an unhappy holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve may not look like they typically do, but everyone can still invest time in creative ways to make the most of it. If you are trying to juggle mental health issues that affect your moods, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, Silver Lining can treat and manage your mood disorders and any addiction issues. We offer individualized programs designed to help you in our facility and after you leave. We understand how the holidays can be difficult this year and we know what to do. Our location in California on the water provides a perfect backdrop to change your life. Call us today to find out how! (866) 448-4563