Enjoying the Holidays in 2020
You have our permission to be happy!
Entering the holiday season this year feels funky. How are we supposed to feel blessed and grateful during such an awful year? The past year doesn’t make a person want to jump for joy at the idea of hanging up holiday lights. So, how do we get through this holiday season?
- Jump for joy at the idea of hanging up holiday lights. Get off the couch and head down to the basement, up to the attic, or out to the garage and pull out the holiday boxes. A recent survey released by the AARP Foundation and United Health Foundation show that 50% of people experiencing social isolation feel a lack of motivation. Once you start unpacking the lights, the ornaments your kid made out of macaroni noodles or the menorah from your favorite Bubbe, you just may be surprised at how quickly the holiday spirit hits you.
- Stop counting calories – for a few days anyway. We know we are supposed to get enough sleep (but not too much!), not overindulge in alcohol, and should make sure we take the 10,000 daily steps our pedometer wants to track (but can’t because the battery died). Proper sleep habits, a healthy diet, and exercise daily are all important, pandemic or no pandemic. However, if a few cookies and snacks land in your grocery cart, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then.
- Donate, give, care. If you can afford to, buy a few extra food items while you’re grocery shopping and donate to a local food pantry. Bring warm blankets to a shelter. Call an elderly family member, neighbor, or friend, as they may be feeling lonely. Care about people you don’t know. Not only will you help others, but giving brings you joy as well.
- It’s okay to be happy during trying times. In the holiday classic Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold fondly remembers the Christmases of his childhood as being absolutely perfect. As the movie progresses, the reality of the holidays set in. If you’re finding yourself relieved that you’re not spending time in a crowded airport, waiting for an overpriced flight or driving with crying kids and a drooling dog to see family a few states away, it’s okay! It’s okay to be happy about spending the holidays in a different way this year.
- Love yourself and know that you matter. Maybe you are one of the many who live alone and are wondering, “How am I going to make it through the holidays all by myself?” Remember, you may feel alone – but you’re not alone. Schedule virtual meals with family or call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. They may be alone this year and would look forward to catching up.
The holidays will come and go, just as they do every year. Before you know it, longer days and the sweet smells of spring will be here. Navigating the winter and holidays in 2020 may not be easy, but it just might be interesting enough to be one of the most memorable yet.