We are facing an unprecedented holiday season. Parties, big family gatherings, and holiday shopping are no longer part of “normal”. Covid has changed the way that we work, go to school, and it’s bound to change the way we celebrate the holidays. Holiday stress us running more rampant than usual.
Looking at this holiday stress bingo sheet – if you get a bingo, it’s time to get serious about your self-care. There are so many things to stress about, the holidays should be a warm, soothing, balm to those things, not something that makes the stress worse.
While we might have to adjust our holiday plans, it doesn’t mean we have to cancel them.
And if you *do* feel like effectively canceling the holidays – as long as you’re replacing it with something good for your mental health, I approve.
Here are some ways to cope with holiday stress during covid.
Honor Your Feelings
If things suck, then they suck, and sometimes no amount of well-meaning advice is going to get them not to suck. Having a positive attitude or getting creative doesn’t put money in the bank or food on the table or bring back someone that you’ve lost.
It’s important to acknowledge that. If things are hard for you, that’s valid. Take care of yourself the best the can and reach out to your support system as much as possible.
Get Flexible With Your Traditions
This is the year of innovation. We’ve found ways to do so many things that we never thought we could do. Your traditions this year might look a little different and that’s okay.
Make a list of the traditions that are the most important to you and then brainstorm how you can modify them. Cookie decorating through Zoom? Holiday baking challenges? Get creative with it.
Start New Traditions
Drive-by Christmas singing? Filling your backyard with Christmas lights? Hot Cocoa Charcuterie Boards? Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit can now be played online for a virtual game night! Movie nights where you let other people pick the movie for you? Have an ugly sweater competition, post photos on social media, and let your friends and family vote. Check out creative advent calendar ideas.
There are so many fun things you can add to your traditions.
Set Boundaries Around Your Time and Energy
You are allowed to say no. You’re allowed to disappoint people. You can’t make everyone happy so focus on what will make you feel happy and safe.
Your boundaries are always important and it can be harder to enforce them during the holidays. Do it anyway.
Understand How Stress Manifests For You
Do you know what should be a huge part of your holiday plans? Rest. Relaxation. Enjoyment. Know what your stress signs are, Do you get cranky? Do you get sensory overload? Knowing what those first indicators are is so important in your stress management.
Check out the Holiday Self-Care Worksheets!