Disruptive Holidays? How to Navigate Changes with Ease?
Are you feeling conflicted about the holidays? Well, you are not alone! From politics to social distaining during the COVID pandemic, it’s not easy to make a decision if should you have a big family gathering or not? Especially, if there is pressure from other family members.
Usually, holidays are a time of joy but tension as well (even without a pandemic). Even if you never had issues with anxieties you might feel overwhelmed because of all the life changes you had to make during the pandemic. Those who have mental health issues are discovering many different stressors, especially during holidays and the pandemic. The group that might be hit hardest are those who live alone due to health issues, relationship status, or strict distancing preferences.
Holidays symbolize continuity and safety. When everything else seems challenging and stressful, a holiday is there to provide us with joy. Seeing family members and enjoying holidays’ traditions can fulfill us with love, a sense of belonging, connection and give us the strength that we need especially during these challenging times. Now, we have concerns from traveling to social distancing, and the holidays are getting disruptive for everyone.
What Should You Do for the Holidays?
Don’t Expect Perfection
You will probably not have a perfect holiday this year. Even without a pandemic, we all had holidays that were a far cry from perfect. Be flexible on timing and dates. Remember, it’s about enjoying people no matter the date when you gather around.
Connect with Those Who Have the Same Approach to COVID as You Do
Some don’t want to leave home; others want to leave home but with safe distance, and some don’t care about social distancing. Try to avoid judging others and connect with those who are aligned with your views of the pandemic. Needless to say, don’t waste your energy on those who are judging you for your approach towards the COVID pandemic.
Don’t Compare This Holiday Season with Previous Ones
Don’t compare this year’s celebration with the ones in the past. Also, don’t compare what you plan to do with what others are planning. Give yourself a break from social media and turn your energy towards all the blessings you have in life.
Express Your Needs in Advance
It’s important for you and others to know your needs when it comes to social distancing. Feel free to express this information openly before you attend any family events. Respect others and their social distancing preferences and expect the same in return. If there are events where you might feel unsafe, step back, and decline the invitation. It’s important to don’t expect social distancing where it’s not possible due to a large number of people attending the event. If you are not comfortable with these events, don’t attend.
If you don’t feel comfortable with an event or invitation don’t be scared to say no. You don’t need to explain yourself if you are rejecting someone’s invitation especially if the other side doesn’t share your views on the pandemic.
How about Remote Celebrations?
It’s not the same as in-person but remote celebrations can be fun. Stay connected and enjoy your family time via Zoom or having holiday dinners via a video call. You can connect with others through online group activities such as playing games together or watching a movie. Get creative and stay connected.
As for any other holiday with or without corona, try to stay away from conversations such as politics which can often be triggers for heated arguments. Be mindful of your triggers and take steps to reduce the occurrence of difficult conversations and stressful situations. You don’t want to get into a disagreement or ignore certain people because you know the conversation with them can trigger some topics you don’t want to talk about. Keep difficult individuals at a safe distance by acknowledging their presence and refusing to engage in any negative way.
As 2020 comes to a close, be mindful and take a moment to appreciate what you have. These are difficult times, but chances are that there are many things you can be grateful for. It’s been a challenging year for all and we have learned many things about the world in the past 12 months. Be appreciative of your family, friends, health, and everything that you have.