As we head into the holidays and COVID-19 continues, we may need to change or cancel favorite traditions with family and friends. However, we can still create meaningful moments that lift our spirits and keep us safe while building a sense of connection, community, and cheer.
Creative ways to connect
Staying in touch with loved ones can help boost your mood. Try these ideas for reimagining how you celebrate the season with others:
- Gather virtually. Take seasonal events such as gift exchanges online by dropping off or sending gifts to friends and family and then opening them together virtually. It can be a safe way to stay connected and have fun.
- Volunteer safely. Look into virtual volunteer opportunities or volunteer in-person while following recommended safety precautions. You could also help a neighbor by raking, shoveling, or picking up groceries for them.
- Stay active. Being outdoors, moving your body, and connecting with loved ones can be wonderful ways to care for yourself. If weather allows, invite friends and family to join you for a physically-distanced hike or walk at a local park.
- Create new traditions. Establish a holiday movie night with the people in your own home, complete with seasonal snacks. Or organize a virtual gathering with friends and family you may not normally see during the holidays.
Mental health care tips
While staying connected can help you care for your mental health, there's more you can do if you're feeling stressed or anxious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Eating healthy, well-balanced meals
- Exercising regularly
- Taking a break from screens and technology
As we all have to think more creatively about how we approach the upcoming holiday season, remember, it's okay to ask for help when you need it. Watch this video to see the support available for the unique challenges we're facing this year.