[Image description: Picture of Dr. Lindsay Henderson above copy that says "Hear from a therapist: How to enjoy the holidays while physically distancing".]
The holidays are a time to connect and reflect with those you love most. However, this year, COVID-19 may be preventing you from seeing your family members and friends. Even though this is not ideal, there are still ways to celebrate that are healthy and safe. As you consider the following tips, try to remain open to what this holiday season might bring. Who knows, you might even be pleasantly surprised and establish a new tradition for the years to come!
- Get back to the basics. Showing your love and appreciation for someone does not need to be complicated. What is it that makes you feel the most loved? Is it receiving a handwritten card in the mail, opening a thoughtful gift, or just spending time with those who are closest to you? Try giving in the same way you would appreciate receiving.
- Take advantage of technology. If COVID-19 is impacting certain in-person activities such as cooking with friends or sitting around a big dinner table with family, this may feel like a particularly difficult time. However, you can try to recreate those special moments using technology. Video chat with your friends and family while you cook, open gifts, and partake in other celebrations. Try to make an event out of it, decorate your home, and/or enjoy the same activities as you would in person.
- Stay up to date on the CDC guidelines. This is especially important if you decide to see family or friends in person. Because indoor, physically distant activities are considered safe if it is a small group and everyone wears masks, you might try that. Space out the seating, open the windows, always keep your masks on, and clean your home before and after the gathering.
- Communicate with your loved ones beforehand. If you do choose to see your friends and family members in person, make sure you are all on the same page in terms of your comfort levels and how you observe the COVID-19 restrictions. This can help prevent conflict and allow you to enjoy your time together.
- Find support online. If you’d like help brainstorming other ways to stay connected to loved ones this holiday season, you can speak with a therapist online. You can also discuss how to make this season as enjoyable as possible, even during these difficult times.
Above all else, try to adopt a creative mindset this year, and remember that future holidays won’t always look like these!