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5 Ways to Put Yourself First and Have a Safe Holiday Season

To have a more safe holiday, improve your self-care game, and stay connected with others - consider the following five things. 

Amber Stephens

November 20, 2020

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For some, the holidays are a chaotic time filled with exams, deadlines (oh no, the gifts!), financial or family stress, and so on. This year, there’s extra grief and isolation, and many feel anxious about scheduling covid holiday plans.


To have a more safe holiday, improve your self-care game, and stay connected with others - consider the following five things. 


1. Realize Acceptance Feels Way Better Than Anxiety


We typically see the holidays as an exciting time of year, filled with warmth and joy. This year, the pandemic has made it hard to get in the holiday spirit by making it difficult to see loved ones, attend events, eat way too many meals, and so forth.


But my friends, it is what it is.

This year, it’s extra important to stay safe, take care of ourselves, and still connect with others. Always acknowledge your feelings first - don’t disregard them! But for those negative ones - those are the ones we are going to tackle head-on with acceptance.


Don’t let yourself get caught up in the anxiety of uncertainty. Instead of worrying about what the future might bring, try focusing on what you’d like it to bring. 


You’ve likely dealt with change in your life before, and this is just one of them! You can adjust, but you have to want to.


Trust me - your body would really like a break from all that extra worrying. Anxiety can have physical consequences (and wouldn’t it be nice to feel less anxious?). You’re extra vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed and anxious this year. Yet, the happier your mind is, the happier you and your body will be!


2. Think of What You Can Do


Remember, I mentioned focusing on what you want from the future rather than worrying about its possibilities? Well, the same concept applies here!


Instead of feeling upset about what we can’t do, get creative, and make an appreciation-themed guide to a covid safe holiday season.


Get-togethers with friends and family this year might need to be skipped. But, connecting virtually with loved ones is the safest way to show you care about their health and safety. There are tons of ways you can squeeze in those laughs and shared moments, but here are 22 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas to get you inspired.


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Plus, odds are nobody’s going to notice that you’re wearing sweatpants under the webcam. Or, if it’s a phone call, you can go full pajama! Yay!


If you’re going to have a get together regardless, plan as far ahead as you can. Have an open discussion with everybody involved in the gathering, and address any concerns beforehand! Maintaining social distancing is incredibly important. Be informed of the restrictions in your area.


Please take it as a chance to up your self-care game. Try to sneak in *one* thing every day ENTIRELY for you. It could be picking up a new book, trying new recipes or hobbies, cranking up your favorite music, and having a two-minute dance-off, your choice! Another great thing to do for yourself is to get some exercise or at least some fresh air.


3. Stick to Your Routine, or Create a New One!


Although it might be different for everyone, you likely had a holiday routine when it comes to the gatherings you attend, the traditions you have, the people you see, and so on. If you feel like COVID-19 put a fork in your plans, well, it probably did. Remind yourself your routine will get disrupted, and try not to be overcome by the uncertainty.


Feeling out of sync and still trying to find the best way to schedule Covid holiday plans makes it easy to slip out of our personal routine and into one that helps us cope with the anxious tendencies we are feeling. The added stress can have a big impact on what (and how much) we eat, drink, and so forth- and it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself.


 


It happens!

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If you already have your own routine – sticking to it and keeping yourself accountable will make you feel more productive and grounded throughout your day. But, it’s not a bad idea to overlook your routine and make sure it caters to your wellbeing.


See if there are any parts you can swap for something that might make you happier or healthier. Take a look at these 9 bedtime rituals to maximize your sleep benefits, and try incorporating something new into yours!


4. Make Homemade Gifts This Year


With many stores closing and the inability to see certain loved ones, it’s a chance to sit down and make something from the heart.


You’ll feel better, even just from letting yourself feel the emotions you put into it, and the receiver will likely appreciate the effort you’ve given.


Personally addressed handwritten cards or letters, or even DIY projects, are an excellent idea for friends and family you won’t be able to connect with in-person this year. Plus, it saves you from all the stress related to buying gifts—total relief.


5. Have a Safe Holiday According to Your Boundaries


Already be aware of things such as:

What events or activities you’re comfortable attending, the potential risks you’re willing to take (but you thought them through- right?), and be confident to stand your ground about simply wanting to have a safe holiday.


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Holiday stress is a common thing. Yet, this year provides a new opportunity to break traditions and create new or healthier ones! The easiest way to have a safe holiday is to engage more emotionally than we’re used to.


One thing you can do to make this holiday season a little less stressful is to lock down a holiday mantra. 


What are you going to do to increase your happiness?

(If it’s bake cookies- I’ll send you my address)


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