This time of year is typically filled with holiday cheer, good wishes, and opportunities to gather with friends, family, and loved ones in celebration. This year, however, it will look very different. BC’s social gathering restrictions are in place through the new year limiting our in-person get togethers to the other end of the phone, or via Facetime or Zoom, for those outside of our immediate household.
In any given year, the holidays can be challenging for a number of reasons: the season can trigger comparisons to others, feelings of inadequacy, or even bring up difficult memories from holidays past. But add in a pandemic with its restrictions on social gatherings and you have a perfect storm.
Here are a few suggestions to help keep your mood elevated during this extraordinary time:
- Don’t struggle to make this holiday the same as in all previous years – it’s not. It’s okay to celebrate this holiday differently than in the past.
- Make special memories this year: drive through neighbourhoods at night looking at the beautiful lights and decorations; create a once in a lifetime Zoom or Facetime holiday event for gift openings, holiday dinners, playing games, even to sing carols.
- Slow down, less will be required of us, so let’s savour that.
- Be nice to yourself: get outside and into nature, walk, or cycle; stay indoors and read or listen to your favourite music; indulge in a small purchase or treat for yourself.
- This is typically the time of year when we do something nice for others – not only does it make us feel good, it can also help add a little perspective. So, shovel the sidewalk of your elderly neighbour, drop off holiday goodies on your friends’ and families’ doorstep, donate to worthy charitable causes, and spread holiday cheer to people you pass on the street, in your hallway, or at the grocery checkout.
- If you know someone who is on their own or is having a troubling time, reach out to say hi – sometimes a simple phone call out of the blue can brighten someone’s darkest days.
- And If you feel you need help, reach out to a friend or family member, or to your family doctor. They will all want to help.
As we head into this unusual holiday season, remember we’re not in this alone. People across BC – across the world – are dealing with the pandemic and the hardships that come with it. The sacrifices we make today will protect our loved ones and countless others, and help ensure next year our tables will be crowded once again.
Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays!