As the weather gets cooler, another season is rolling in and we are still struggling with the effects of COVID. Many of us are running out of energy to even think about the upcoming holidays. What will they look like for us? Some of us are in quarantine as we were in March and others are out (hopefully) safely taking advantage of things that are open. Many of us are cautiously doing a little of both. So how do we decide what to do with the holidays? Let’s not get overwhelmed yet. Here are some things to think about now, so that you can plan for later.
Above all, I hope you are staying safe and that your loved ones are doing the same.
Practice Update: I have opened my office for in-person counseling, but only for one day a week at this time. That may change at any time, depending on CDC guidelines and best practices for the Mental Health Field.
Define what is most important about each holiday and decide how to make that piece happen. If the people are what are important, then we need to plan how to safely get together with the ones we love. Discuss it now so that no one gets surprised by other’s responses once the holiday is upon us. If a certain tradition is most important, then we need to brainstorm how to still practice that tradition, but maybe in a modified way.
Are there certain obligations that we normally have during each upcoming holiday? Will we still have those obligations this year? Will that give us more time for each holiday or less? Do we have to change our contribution to those obligations due to our current COVID situation? Plan for that now so that when the holiday comes, the new plan is in place. You may put undue stress on yourself thinking you have certain obligations, when you may not have them this year.
What fears do we have about the holidays? There are currently different views of this pandemic and what is appropriate to do and what is not appropriate to do. It is important to reflect on your current view and that of your immediate family when thinking about fears, especially if that fear will be disappointing to someone we love. If Aunt Cecelia always expects us to join in with 15 of our relatives for Thanksgiving and we are not comfortable with that, how do we handle it? Talking about it now can set the stage for everyone being able to enjoy the holiday.
When the holiday is over, what do you hope your family remembers about it? Think about the memory and how you can best create it. Prioritize the most important memory. You may be able to put less effort into other parts of the holiday that could add unnecessary stress.
Most important to keep in mind as you think about the next few months, try not to stress. I have to remind myself of this too. I can get very stressed out because I want everything to be perfect. I want the perfect memories to be made and the meal to be perfect and all the decorations to be perfect, etc. I have to tell myself constantly that the holiday will not be ruined if all my pumpkins are not in the exact “perfect” place. The holiday will still be amazing, even if I forgot to make a certain vegetable for Thanksgiving dinner. You get the idea.
I wish you all a very relaxed, healthy and joyful set of holidays. One day at a time….
Remember to look at life
From The Positive Perspective.....