“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)
So much has happened this year to change how we celebrate birthdays, weddings, holidays, and other important life events. We must face the fact that decades of traditions have been and will be broken in 2020. We will remember this holiday season just as we remember other significant holidays from past years. As COVID-19 positive cases continue to surge throughout the U.S. and across the world, this holiday season will call on us to rethink and possibly redo how and where we celebrate.
We are all being asked to “avoid travel” – “stay home” – “wear a mask” – “avoid close contact with others” and the list goes on.
It can be easy to focus on what we can’t do or what we are asked not to do. Let’s talk about what we can do.
Be thankful. Purposefully think about and consider making a daily list of several things of which you are truly thankful. Focus on things that have been positive for you in 2020. Being thankful has shown to improve our physical and emotional health and improve our self-esteem.
Give to someone in need. Giving can lift the mood of the receiver, and as the giver, can boost your mood as well.
Share the holiday with family or friends via a web platform (e.g., Google Meet or Zoom). Agree to eat part of your meal or dessert together.
Watch a fun movie or one of your favorite movies. Consider inviting a friend to share the movie “virtually”.
Make brief “hello” calls to as many family members and friends as possible. Challenge someone else to do the same. At the end of the day, review the number of calls made and reflect on how meaningful the calls were to you and the ones that you called.
Get in some physical activity – whether indoors or outdoors.
These simple, yet profound activities can help you throughout this holiday season. You could possibly choose one activity each week. Although you may spend part or all of the holiday alone, it does not have to mean that you are lonely.
If you do find that you are overwhelmed with loneliness, anxiety, or depression – call someone that you trust or the crisis line for help. Don’t hide or run from negative emotions, give them space while building space for ways to move forward in a healthy manner.
Wishing you a safe and fun 2020 Holiday Season!
If you have any questions about dealing with the holidays, please log into your account and send
us your question. We are here to help.
Dr. Joe Banken PhD