Updated: Jan 27, 2022
The holidays are here! Though many see the holiday season as the most wonderful time of the year, it can also lead to an increase in stress.
Between end-of-the-year work, the added financial strain of holiday spending, canceled traditions, travel restrictions, quarantines, nasal swabs, wearing masks, and worst of all, not being able to spend the holidays with those our loved ones this holiday is going to be unlike any we have experienced before, and it is more than likely making an impact on our mental health.
But instead of focusing on all the bad this year has brought with it, we encourage you to find small, creative ways to feel joy and comfort. Start with the positives and celebrate in ways that work for you.
Here are some of our best tips to get you to change your perspective this 2020 holiday season, how to continue or reimagine the family traditions you grew up with or start some new ones and make memories.
*Yes, this may not be the year you get to have your nana’s cooking, but it’s a great one to start crafting your own unique recipes. Next year, when you’re all together again, you can show off your new cooking skills.
*Take advantage of technology and keep in touch with your loved ones! Walk your family through how use Facetime, Zoom, or Skype and get the family together virtually.
*Send personalized holiday cards! Let everyone you love know that they are not alone. Try to think about your recipients and tailor your notes to be humorous, sweet, heartfelt, sassy, etc., to fit them best.
*Gain some perspective and see how you or your family could help someone in need. For example, 'adopt' a child or family for the holidays and collect canned foods or toys to donate to them.
*Start a family game night (board games, video games, a scavenger hunt around the house, etc.) Also, virtual family/friend game nights too! Don't think that just because you are at home, you can't have some fun. Instead pick a night, cook up some grub and, get the family together for some fun.
*Make it more about the experience and less about gifts. Go for a drive around town to see people's Christmas lights, many towns will still be doing light shows as well or take the family sledding at the nearest neighborhood hill. Regardless of what activity you pick for the day, it's about crafting new memories this holiday season.
*Our last recommendation is journaling! Experts recommend it as a way to help reduce anxiety and improve your mood by helping you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health through the holidays and beyond.
Though this year may have had more hurdles than most, we know that anxiety and stress strike when you withdraw and fixate on everything that’s going wrong or not as “planned”. Whatever you do, stay in touch, and stay engaged. There are still so many reasons and ways to enjoy the season.
So, remember you are not alone this 2020; we are all going through this together, and we will come out stronger.