It’s no surprise that the holidays are going to be remarkably different this year. But there are many ways to still celebrate safely. While it’s so easy to focus on all of the things we can’t do, many festive activities of the season can still happen with a bit of creativity. If you’re feeling in the holiday spirit, make your season even more special with these eight tips:
Make the Most of Traditions
- There are many holiday traditions that you can safely do at home, from a distance, or even over video chat. If you and your loved ones are comfortable sharing a holiday meal outside, then continue with that tradition in a new way. Consider decorating your outdoor space . Hang up holiday lights, bring out wool blankets or add other cozy touches to make it feel just as festive.
- If your family is far away or if you’re more comfortable with celebrating virtually this year, do the Zoom thing! It’s becoming increasingly normal to gather virtually with far-away family and friends. This holiday season, safely celebrate by video conferencing to gather with loved ones. Put up Christmas trees, decorate cookies or even singing Christmas carols virtually. Stay positive by getting excited about all of the things you can do and put your energy into them.
Volunteer in New Ways
- The holidays are a great time to serve others. This year, there are plenty of ways to connect with your community in meaningful and safe ways. While many organizations have limited capacities, dress codes and testing requirements, you can still volunteer at your local food bank, deliver groceries to the elderly and sponsor a child or family’s wish list. This year, you could also consider performing an act of service for first-responders or essential workers, like assembling small care packages or sending cards. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new way of volunteering that will become a family tradition post-virus.
Share those Not-So-Secret Recipes
- For many of us, making and eating our favorite holiday foods is key to celebrating the season. If you can’t imagine the holidays without your mom’s brownies or your uncle’s famous cornbread, then consider asking for those recipes this year. Exchanging recipes over email or even setting up a Zoom session to cook together, is a wonderful way to make this season special. You could even start a group recipe exchange to involve all of your friends and family.
Try Secret Santa via Snail Mail
- If your family usually celebrates the season with a large in-person gift exchange, consider setting up a postal secret Santa this year instead. In lieu of sending many smaller gifts to each of your family members, focus on giving an extra special gift to just one person. And, if you and your loved ones live far apart, secret Santa gifting cuts down on shipping costs!
Mail a Handwritten Card
- Another way to safely celebrate is to mail out Christmas cards. Even if you’ve never been much of a Christmas card person, 2020 could be the year to start. There’s something undeniably special about receiving cards in the mail during the holidays. Make a list of your closest friends, loved ones and even a few old acquaintances with whom you’d like to touch base, and send a festive card or letter. You could even send out little sweet treats in the mail to accompany your cards.
Comfort Those Who Are Grieving
- The holiday season can be especially difficult for those who have lost a loved one. If you can’t be with friends and family members to comfort them this year, be sure to reach out to check in and share warm memories about the person they lost. Whether they choose to celebrate in the same way they’ve always done, or they’re taking time for themselves, be supportive of their holiday choices. Grief doesn’t only impact the first holiday season and grieving loved ones may find themselves struggling even more this year due to prolonged separation from friends and family. Keep this in mind, and offer the same kindness, support and consideration that you did in the first year after their loss.
Take Some Time For Yourself
- Time during the holidays can sometimes feel like a never-ending list of things to do for others. During this busy season, don’t forget to set some time aside for yourself and recharge. Try going for a long walk, meditating, or watching your favorite holiday movie. Not to mention, practicing these and other self-care strategies boosts mood.
Don’t Forget to Seek Help
- The holidays can be a difficult time. If you or someone you know needs additional mental health support, reach out to your support system, mental health professional or contact our expert clinical team today.