The holidays this year are going to look a lot different than they have before. In Thunder Bay, we are currently in our second wave. This has a lot of people worried and wondering what Christmas is going to look like.
Will I be able to spend it with my family? What Christmas traditions can we do or not do? While the holidays may look different, you will still be able to connect with those you love, just in a different way.
Whether you are somebody who is worried about COVID or not, it is important to respect people’s boundaries during this time. Many people may be more hesitant to have the family together this year, and that’s okay. It’s more important that everybody stays healthy and feels comfortable. It is also important that people respect these decisions, and don’t criticize or penalize people for making them. Know that these decisions are not made lightly. They often come with feelings of guilt for not being with those you love, but knowing it may be what is best for your health.
A NEW WAY TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS
It is important to try to find ways to still enjoy the holidays. Even if you cannot physically get together with family, you may be able to have a virtual holiday. This way you can still share their company, but feel safe doing so. You can have their gifts shipped to them directly, or drop them off in their mailbox. Through virtual platforms, you can still see each other open up gifts, and share in that joy.
There are many festive activities you can still participate in. You can watch holiday movies, make a snowman or just play outside, drive around and look at Christmas lights, cook or bake that special dish, or read holiday stories.
For some people, this year can be a chance to have a relaxing Christmas. You won’t have to cook a big dinner or be forced to mingle with people whom you find draining or upsetting. Instead, you can spend it with those you truly enjoy and do something low-key that causes less stress.
DEALING WITH LONELINESS
For others, having a COVID holiday may bring up more feelings of loneliness or grief. Often this is a time of connection, which not everyone has. Especially at a time when we are encouraged not to socialize, it is important to check-in on those people that may be struggling. Try to connect with them through phone or video. Go out of your way to make sure that they feel connected and included.
This holiday season will have ups and downs for many people. Some may greet a more relaxed holiday season, with fewer responsibilities and expectations. For others, this will highlight feelings of loneliness and bring about more feelings of depression. It is important that during the holidays we remember to take care of ourselves and those we love. While things may look different, it does not mean it has to stop. We may have to get more creative in how we connect, but it important especially during a time of crisis that we do. Keep in mind that as all things, this too is temporary and will pass. Consider the opportunities to be creative, to get more relaxation, and to have a whole new holiday experience that you can look back on fondly.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, lifestyle, and pandemic support. Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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