2020 has been a whirlwind of a year, and at the forefront of it all is COVID-19.
This year has altered what our typical ideas of birthdays, family vacations, weddings, and even what a visit to grandparents should look like. Nevertheless, we have adapted and worked hard to make peace with the unknown.
The Holidays are quickly approaching, bringing their own collection of stressors- emotional, financial, social. Tack on a worldwide pandemic and we now are present in what is sure to be a tough couple of months for most of us.
Here are a few tips you can use to help you cope with stress and make the most out of this season.
Keep up the traditions!
Don’t skip out on settling down with Christmas pajamas and hot cocoa to watch your family’s favorite movie.
Give yourself space to acknowledge your feelings.
It is okay to be sad that things do not look the way you wanted them to. Struggling with emotions often leads to more sadness- allow yourself a little grace.
Let go of your idea of the perfect holiday and let this year continue to surprise you!
The expectation is the thief of joy- start new traditions and make new memories. It doesn’t have to be the same as years past to be enjoyable.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
During the holidays it is easy to get caught up in the season. Don’t forget to allow yourself to get plenty of sleep, drink water, avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, go for walks, and limit your time on draining social media.
We may not have all the people we love physically around us this holiday season, but you can make time to video chat, make a call to, or send a Christmas card to those you love.
Don’t forget to look out for each other, especially our youth. If you are concerned about youth or family who may be in crisis or extremely struggling, you can call Spectrum Health’s C.A.R.E.S. at any time- 716-882-4357.
This holiday season, I encourage you to change your mindset from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’ and make the best of the most wonderful time of year.
By Shannon Schwarberg, MS
Senior Program Manager of Special Project Development
Spectrum Health and Human Services