The upcoming holidays are going to be very different for many people throughout the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic, plans have changed almost daily for friends and family members who had expected to be able to celebrate together this year. Preparing for the holidays during a pandemic will take some flexibility and understanding of precautions that need to be taken to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Mental and Physical Health
After over six months of isolation and stressful economic changes, most people were looking forward to celebrating the holidays. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually worsened in the past month, so health experts are recommending that everyone reconsider their holiday plans. All of this stress can certainly take its toll on your mental as well as your physical health. It is critical that you take steps to not only keep yourself safe but to also maintain your mental health throughout the upcoming holiday season.
Consider how you can change your plans so you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, keeping your family, friends, and community safe. The CDC emphasizes during this time that small household gatherings that may seem harmless are actually an important contributor to the increase in COVID-19 cases in this country.
Take the Necessary Precautions
The CDC also suggests that you consider adjusting your plans for traditional holiday gatherings. If you typically travel during the holidays, especially, you may need to stay home as a way to protect yourself and others. Travel increases the chances of getting and spreading the coronavirus. However, if you do decide to celebrate with friends or family members, the CDC offers some helpful suggestions for preparing for the holidays during a pandemic.
Consider hosting your gathering outdoors if possible. Arrange the tables and chairs so that there are appropriate distances between people who do not live in the same home. Plan some outdoor activities that allow for space, such as frisbee or sidewalk art. When greeting friends and family members, wave and greet each other with kind words instead of shaking hands or hugging. Place hand sanitizer in strategic areas of the gathering and offer masks to those guests who don’t have them.
Consider Alternative Celebrations
Instead of gathering in person this year, it will be safer for everyone to avoid travel and large groups of friends and family members. You can plan alternative methods of continuing your traditional celebrations when preparing for the holidays during a pandemic.
For example, you could organize a family recipe swap so each family can prepare some of their favorite foods. Take photos of the meals you are sharing with people in your own quarantine bubble and share them with other groups doing the same. Reach out to elderly family members by safely dropping off food for them to enjoy during the day as well. You can also take advantage of the video chat technology that has kept so many people connected during COVID-19 and have dinner “together” virtually and safely.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
This year has been stressful and will continue to be so as we move closer to the holidays. Mental Health America (MHA) recommends that you take the time now to figure out your emotions about the upcoming holidays so it will all feel a little less overwhelming. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new experience, and it can be challenging for your brain to process and understand its meaning and the consequences.
You probably feel a bit more emotional right now and that’s okay. You should take the time to sort through your emotions in a way that is productive for you. You might start a journal, have a talk with a close friend (over the phone or via video chat), or spend some quiet time by yourself working through your emotions. Once you understand more about the feelings you’re experiencing, you can make better plans for coping with them and for preparing for the holidays during a pandemic.
BRC RECOVERY IS HERE TO HELP DURING COVID-19
When life becomes overwhelming or when you just don’t know where to turn for help, you can contact the professionals at BRC Recovery. We bring you real change for your life, with proven treatment options that will empower you to recreate and reclaim your life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.