This article was published on December 10th, 2020
The holidays are upon us, and while they can be filled with weeks of joy and reconnecting with friends and family, for others it can be a time marked by anxiety and depression. The current COVID-19 situation has made 2020 especially daunting for everyone that is struggling to cope with a global pandemic as well as other heightened feelings. For the millions of people that will be unable to visit loved ones during this holiday season, HomoCulture offers some guidelines and tips to cope with the additional challenges.
Recognizing Unique Stressors
There are many people grappling with whether or not it is worth the risk to visit loved ones or is it safer to remain at home. What causes one person minor distress can be substantial for another, and the simple answer is there is no right or wrong way to feel about such situations. The most effective component is recognizing your feelings and then taking the necessary steps to feel better. The better we are able to pinpoint the dilemma, the quicker it can be ameliorated.
Turning to Technology
Let’s face it. We would all prefer to be huddled around our friends and family members during the holidays, but the great thing about living in an advanced world is that there are more ways to stay in touch than ever before. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Facetime and more, it is simple to call up someone or even schedule times to catch up with one another. This year, set a place and time for all family members to call in and share what they are thankful for.
There are some things that you will not have to give up for the holidays that you can share with the people in your COVID bubble. They include visiting pumpkin patches or tree nurseries in your city, hanging up decorative lights, sledding in the park, or cocktail tasting. Focus on the things that you can do directly and make them truly stand out in a festive way.
Enacting New Traditions
There is no reason why you cannot initiate new traditions to your typical standard fare. Now would be the perfect time to make an intricate family photo album or put the finishing touches on that card game your family has been playing for years. You never know where creativity may lead you and may be pleasantly surprised.
The stress of the season means that you should also remind yourself to be good to yourself, especially as feelings of anxiety and depression arise. Take time out for yourself in the morning and in the evening and bear in mind that we are all dealing with higher rates of isolation than ever before. This holiday season, it is critical that everyone understand how the elements can cause serious damage to our overall mental health.
Distance learning doesn’t just mean higher education – providing and sharing support to people you care about can be a very helpful process during stressful events. There is a wealth of information available online that directly addresses issues within the LGBTQ+ community and other effective self-care strategies.
Beat the Blues
Don’t succumb to holiday depression. Armed with these tips, you can effectively beat the blues and enjoy the season.