Holidays in times of Pandemic
This year Holiday season feels different. Many of us cannot celebrate Holidays with close family members as we are separated by the distance, circumstances, or personal choices. Many of us suffer, feel lonely, discouraged, and even upset. For many of us, Holiday season means closeness, togetherness, connections with others. It means festive get togethers, elaborate meals, and loud happy people around.
Physical isolation is not social isolation:
We already know that social isolation has a negative impact on our functioning. It increases chances of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, social anxiety, troubles with sleeping, and overall negative mood. This Holiday season we don’t have to physically isolate ourselves from our loved one. Thanks to the modern technology we can connect with people even from other parts of the World. They are not that far: only one button away. Let’s use our smartphones, tablets, computers and connect with those who would normally sit with us around the table. Let’s prepare the empty plate for them and put the phone next to it. Let’s use our imagination to visualize that their face on the screen is not that far away, that they are here with us, sitting hand in had and enjoying the warm cup of tea – right here, in our living room. Maybe the magic of Holidays will help us to bring a little bit of normalcy into our home.
Mindfulness is our ability to be present, to live “here and now”, and to experience and accept true feelings and emotions. Thanks to mindfulness we are able to face our painful emotions rather than to avoid them to cope. Even though it seems like a paradox (since no-one likes to feel sad), mindfulness not only helps us to face our fears, sadness, and worries but also helps us to accept what is going on and increases our motivation to find solutions. This Holiday season mindfulness may help us to accept that we cannot change things that are out of our control, such as pandemic and we need to focus on finding solutions: Holiday video chatting, sending gifts, watching movies via online TV streaming or simply: sharing a virtual meal.
Positivity is our most power tool. It gives us a chance to focus on what’s ahead of us. It helps us to find solutions, plan for the better, or simply bring hope to a draining and prolonged pandemic time. Even though this Holiday season is not going to be the same, it may still be happy and positive. Let’s not forget that no matter what, the Christmas tree will stand tall and proud, baby Jesus is going to be born, and Santa will find his way to a chimney.
Have a happy, peaceful, mindful, and quiet Holidays!