Staying Well During the Holidays

December 24, 2020

2020 has been an unusual year to say the least. We cheered to the New Year with hopes of accomplishing our 2020 goals and resolutions, and instead we learned to appreciate what we already had. We were left with no choice but to shift our typical lifestyles to stay safe and healthy, but this was not met without feelings of disappointment and failure. These emotions are felt extra heavy this time of year.

The holidays have always been a special time of year for many of us, surrounded by friends and family, spent partaking in festive activities. Now, reflecting on how different this time last year was, I can’t help but feel saddened. Many have lost their job and are experiencing unbearable financial burden, unable to afford the expenses that come with the holidays. Families are separated, businesses have closed, and it simply does not feel like “the most wonderful time of the year”. Given all of this, it’s so important now more than ever to take care of our mental health. We wanted to share some tips:

Manage Expectations

The holidays are going to be different this year, unfortunately there’s no getting around that. It can be difficult to find the balance between staying positive and having things to look forward to, while also being realistic and avoiding disappointment. That’s why it’s important to manage your expectations right now, especially with children who are hoping for a typical Christmas. Try to instead focus on the things that you can control – for example, you may not be able to spend dinner with your entire family, but you can still enjoy the holiday foods that bring you nostalgia. It’s okay to be upset, just remind yourself this is only temporary.

Reach Out

Sadly, many people right now are unable to spend this time of year with others. Feelings of isolation and loss of belonging have increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, and for individuals who live alone or are unable to spend it with friends and family due to Covid, this holiday season will feel extra lonely. We know it may be hard, but it’s important to reach out to others if you’re feeling alone right now. Something as simple as sending a quick message or organizing a FaceTime/Zoom call can be so helpful in reminding us we’re still connected – even if it’s from a distance.

Do More of What Makes You Happy

Many of the simple pleasures around the holidays are still totally doable! Watching Christmas movies, burning Christmas candles, baking cookies, and going for drives to look at the lights are all easy (and Covid-friendly) activities! Whatever it is that brings you joy right now, do more of it. Have that hot chocolate or Christmas cookie, you deserve it.

On behalf of all of us at the Paul Hansell Foundation, we wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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