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This year has brought on extreme unprecedented challenges for so many individuals both physically and mentally. In a time where the support, safety, and security of family is most needed, the restrictions for COVID have left people feeling stressed, disconnected, and isolated. Coping with stress during the holiday season is normal, though living through a pandemic makes this increasingly challenging. Although Christmas may look different this year, making the most of it is a necessary plan of action! There are a few ways that we can make this process a bit easier on ourselves, while still making it just as special. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays. 

Accepting change as a good thing

Typical prep of the holiday season may involve last-minute online shopping, preparing large meals, extensive gift-wrapping, and packing under stress for that long-awaited staycation. Though these tasks come with excitement, they also impose a large amount of stress on ourselves. It is important for us to recognize that our typical holiday plans might be romanticized. A Christmas without the added stress of preparation might be something that we all need this year. We should use this time to acknowledge the silver-lining in this unconventional Christmas, and consider it a chance to wind-down in ways we aren’t used to. 

You don’t have to give up every tradition

We’ve all had to sacrifice something during the months of quarantine. Now that Christmas is around the corner, you might feel discouraged about even trying to maintain a special holiday as it “just won’t be the same”. It’s normal for us to feel hopeless in a time of so much uncertainty, but it’s important for us to remember that despite the circumstances, we don’t have to give up traditions that mean the most to us. You can still prioritize your favourite festive activities! Whether it’s decorating your home from top to bottom while listening to your favourite Christmas album on repeat, baking 12 batches of your favourite Christmas treats, or doing your annual Secret Santa gift exchange, keeping yourself in the spirit by maintaining the routines you love is key during these times.

It’s okay to be realistic with your kids…and give them a chance to contribute!

If you’re a parent, explaining to your kids how to handle this change may be something you dread. We assume that our kids will have a tough time handling the holiday disappointment. It’s crucial that we don’t assume the way our kids will react to upsetting news. In fact, some kids might find joy in establishing some new traditions within their immediate families. It’s most important to not let your own disappointment create disappointment in your kids. Be realistic with kids, but let them know that this Christmas also brings a lot of opportunity. Whether it’s making DIY Christmas cards for the family, crafting together a Christmas-themed mask, or decorating new ornaments for the tree, this can be a time for your kids to show off some real creativity! And this holiday could be a special one they remember for years to come!

Become a virtual host!

Becoming a host this season has never been easier! Hosting a virtual Christmas party online could be a great opportunity to connect with extended family or loved ones that you are unable to connect with in person. Hosting some holiday trivia, bingo, or a group movie night over zoom is an easy way to bring people together without the exhaustion of entertaining. 

If you are feeling particularly down and disappointed this Christmas, you are not alone. Reach out for help. Take the first step and speak to someone. Book a free consultation with a professional here.