Here we are: another year, another holiday season riddled with uncertainty. As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals are still trying to make sense of the whole situation, while also processing past and present losses and traumas. Add on top of this the typical stressors of the holiday season, and this time of year will see many of us continuing to carry additional stress and anxiety around how to properly cope with our circumstances.
While it remains a challenge for many to be present with everything going on in our world, prioritizing mindfulness and awareness allows each of us to have more fulfilling interactions this season, regardless of whether we’re traveling, spending time with family and friends, or simply staying home and enjoying solitude. Here are three simple ways to cope with another round of COVID holidays.
1) Prioritize A Compassionate Attitude.
The holidays tend to be stressful for everyone, regardless of circumstances. Considering the added weight of a global pandemic, things are that much more difficult to process. This year, remember that each individual, yourself included, is dealing with their circumstances in their own unique way. The art of compassion comes through being open-minded, harnessing a sympathetic vantage point by trying to see things from another perspective, and helps cultivate a greater sense of understanding for what others are going through. When we take on a compassionate attitude, it presents opportunities to have more meaningful communication with those around us, as well as ourselves, which can lead to a deeper understanding of how to best address what others are experiencing. This understanding is what ultimately allows us to build meaningful connections with others, resulting in a more positive outlook and a greater sense of community with those that matter to us.
2) Communicate Your Comfort In Connecting With Others.
Possibly the most timely and necessary of suggestions during a COVID holiday, opening the lines for honest communication about your comfort in being around others is vital. While it might seem a touch awkward or uncomfortable to address these things in a proactive manner, doing so will allow you the space to communicate more clearly, align with those around you in a more defined manner, and will go a long way to prevent any potential unintended reactive and negative consequences down the line. Remember: being open and honest is the best way to ensure that you’re actively caring for yourself and your community during the holiday season.
3) Don’t Be Shy In Asking For Help.
Having difficult conversations is never easy. Whether it be in regards to your own personal mental health and well-being, or about how to handle the stress of another COVID holiday season, remember that bouncing ideas around or getting some advice is invaluable. Whatever it is you are experiencing, you are definitely not alone in feeling how you feel. Reach out to a family member, friend, coworker, someone in your community, or someone you trust to help work through what you’re experiencing and to collaborate on a best path forward. Not only will this help you cope with your own internal stress and anxiety, it will likely help someone else with theirs.
As we begin another holiday season full of unique dynamics, it is essential to remember that we are all in this together. Each of us is necessary and vital to the success of our communities, and each of us has a part to play in harnessing that communal growth mindset. This year, may we all prioritize well-being and open communication. May we contribute to building cohesive communities, and, most importantly, may we all have a happy, healthy holiday season.