With the holiday season approaching, the Covid-19 pandemic has again forced us to revise our traditional holiday plans.
Here are some tips on how to manage this holiday season:
- Focus on what really matters to you. Although it is important to recognize that we are all sad about the changes we have had to make this holiday season, it helps to take the time to reflect on what you value about the holidays.
- Live those values. Once you have identified your holiday values, make sure that you share them with your family. Cherish any time you spend with loved ones, even if it’s virtual and not exactly how you pictured it.
- Be creative and open: Changing long-held traditions can be frustrating but try and make a conscious effort to be open to new ways of celebrating in a meaningful way.
- Mentally prepare some coping strategies. This year has been overwhelming and stressful for all of us, to say the least, and the holidays can exacerbate those feelings. Prepare yourself with a couple of calming-down strategies that you can use if triggered. These can be as simple as taking a walk, or listening to a calming playlist of music.
- Make time for yourself. The winter can intensify feelings of loneliness. Set aside time for activities that can help you connect with yourself and others. And make sure to rest.
- Be mentally open to experience all ranges of emotions: While to most people the holiday season is perceived as a happy time, for some of us and especially this year, it can trigger feelings of sadness, loss and grief. Allow yourself to feel those emotions as well as happiness, joy and gratitude.
Reem Shaheen is a licensed, US-trained counseling psychologist with 12 years of experience working across three countries. Reem views herself as an eclectic psychotherapist, drawing heavily on psychodynamic theories combined with existential and humanistic approaches. She empowers individuals to rewrite their story and overcome their past struggles essential to reach higher levels of inner peace and emotional growth.