Professional Development

Overcoming Holiday Blues in 2020

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By: Mariah Rogers
Nov 21, 2020 • 6 min read

Overcoming Holiday Blues in 2020

The holidays are finally here! This time of year can spark various emotions, especially if your traditions will look different this season. We are reaching the end of 2020 in a position that no one thought we would be in. The virus is still very much present, and social distancing rules continue to be heavily enforced. Plus, the winter months bring concerns for other illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. As a result, traveling far distances and gathering with extended family must be reconsidered. If you are feeling disappointed about changing your holiday season’s norms, here are a few ways you can continue to be positive and overcome the holiday blues.

road covered by snow near vehicle traveling at daytime

Don’t Stop Traditions

If you are celebrating with immediate family, friends, or even roommates this season, don’t stop your annual traditions! No matter what you celebrate, filling this time with extra joy is especially important. If you always make a traditional meal, continue to shop for all fixings and make it that day. Keep up with your decorating, too. Dust off the boxes of lights and ornaments in your basement, crank up the festive tunes, and try to get creative. Make it a point to keep up with your yearly festivities, whatever they may be. Not only will this help you feel some sense of normalcy, but it will encourage others around you to get in the holiday spirit, too.

Utilize Technolgy To Your Full Advantage

Love it or hate it, this pandemic would be wildly different without the advanced technology we have today. If you are not super comfortable using video conferencing and other communication software, now is the time to brush up on your skills! This is a great way to keep in touch during the holidays, and while it is not a replacement for the real thing by any means, you can still host virtual dinners, tree decorating, present unwrapping, or menorah lighting. Just seeing loved one’s faces and hearing their voices can bring comfort during this time of isolation. This is a great way to combat holiday blues.

gift boxes with red baubles on top

Make New Traditions 

Take this opportunity to utilize the unforeseen circumstances to get creative and cultivate new traditions for you and your family. This can include a secret present swap, a special theme for your celebration, a new group activity, or anything else that you’d like to try!

Here are just a few activities you can try, no matter what you celebrate:

  • Secret gift-giving
  • Virtual cooking contest with a new recipe
  • Virtual cookie decorating contest
  • Family trivia with facts about your relatives
  • Home movie watching, remotely
  • Book reading aloud, storytelling
  • Holiday hangman
  • Open gifts over video chat

Commit To Random Acts of Kindness 

Giving yourself an activity to focus on that will brighten someone else’s day is always a good idea. This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone. It is important to show a little extra appreciation! Bake goodies or put together treat bags for your local heroes, elderly in your area, or close friends you love. A simple act of kindness can be as small yet meaningful as shoveling your neighbor’s front steps or clearing their car from snow. Or even paying for coffee for the customer behind you in the drive-through.

Try giving a little extra thanks to:

  • Local healthcare workers
  • Food shelters near you
  • Townhall employees/teachers
  • Grocery store employees
  • Post office workers and mail truck drivers
  • Fire/police departments
  • Small business owners
  • Nursing homes/local elderly neighbors
  • Pharmacy staff
  • Close friends who live nearby

When dropping off baked treats or goodies, be sure to practice social distancing and leave the gifts on doorsteps or mailboxes. The element of surprise will only add to your kind gesture!

brass-colored candle holder on brown table

Do Good. Volunteer When You Can!

If you are healthy and able, volunteers are always in high demand during the holiday season. This can be a great opportunity to show your appreciation for your community and give back. Plus, this activity is sure to distract you from longing for your typical holiday traditions. Many locations that require volunteers have implemented specific systems to keep workers and those in need safe and distanced. Some even offer volunteer opportunities virtually! This can be a great way to stay home and safe with family, and all participate in giving back together.

Here are a few volunteer ideas you can explore: 

  • Shop, wrap, collect gifts for Toys for Tots or other local gift drives.
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
  • Donate extra clothes, linens, and more to those in need.
  • Volunteer at your local food shelter / serve meals at a soup kitchen.
  • Make holiday cards for nursing homes.
  • & so much more!

Make a Plan 

Holiday blues are more likely to strike if you do not pre-plan and get excited about festive activities. If you simply wait until the special day comes and wonder how to spend it, this can leave you feeling disappointed and unfulfilled. So, make sure to plan ahead with family and friends to make the day special.

Planning doesn’t need to be stressful. Keep it simple and focus on:

  • Create grocery lists to cook your favorite meals.
  • Decorate your yard/house with festive decor and lights.
  • Make a beautiful table setting to enjoy the meal.
  • Spend extra time thinking about what to gift close friends and make the wrapping extra special.
  • Plan a family walk or hike for the special day.
  • Make a list of everyone to call on the holiday.

However you’re spending the holidays this year, be sure to stay safe and healthy!

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