5 Wellness Tips for Making the Most of the Holidays During COVID-19
By: Charisma “Charisma Ci’er” Thomas, Staff, Office of Alumni and Constituent Engagement, and Founder of Sustainable Love
When the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first spread, I thought it would be a thing to come and go. Little did I know that one COVID-19 case would evolve into a worldwide outbreak. I was surprised at how quickly the world shut down and how family and friend gatherings became a thing of the past. To add to the social distancing mandate, people experienced job loss, issues with mental health, uncertainty about the future, and more.
Now that the holiday season is here and COVID-19 is still very much a threat, holiday traditions are looking a little different. Many people won’t gather with their loved ones and some can’t afford to buy presents for Christmas. Although celebrating the holidays under these circumstances isn’t ideal, reducing stress is critical to making it through this time. Below are five wellness tips to help you make the most of the holiday season.
Acknowledge How You Feel
2020 has brought about many changes, causing people to feel overwhelmed. If you’ve experienced some unpleasant or unforeseen circumstances, take the time to acknowledge how this makes you feel. Whether you are undergoing sadness, disappointment, anxiety, or even anger, it’s important to acknowledge these emotions, so you can identify your needs, wants, and ways to resolve any issues.
Prioritize your Well-being
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” In other words, if you don’t prioritize your mental and physical health, you shouldn’t expect to perform well at work, in school, or any other demanding area of your life. If you’re struggling in this area, try adding any of the following habits to your daily routine.
- Learn how to say, “no”
- Get enough sleep
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Take time to relax
- Limit exposure to negative media
- Set priorities
- Focus on your spiritual life for support
- Spend time in nature
People have experienced grief and loss in a variety of ways during the coronavirus pandemic. It has looked like the loss of a job, a loved one, necessities, the sense of community, and more. Although it may be difficult, try to express gratitude for the things you have. For example, if you’ve been considering buying the new iPhone 12, remind yourself of the perfectly good phone you currently have. Taking a moment to think about what you are grateful for, can help you avoid ruminating about what is lacking in your life.
Tip: Before starting your day, think of three to five things to be thankful for.
Whether you plan to spend time with family and friends virtually or from a distance, set aside time to stay connected during the holiday season. Due to the decrease in social gatherings, many people have reported a loss of community. You can virtually rebuild or strengthen your community by routinely speaking with loved ones, friends, co-workers, and networking on social media platforms. If you are interested in meeting in-person, read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guide for engaging in personal and social activities.
Sometimes we think we have everything under control, but we don’t. I’ve learned how important it is to reach out for help during times of mental or emotional distress. If you are experiencing stress, talk to a member of your community, or get advice from a mental health professional or your doctor. You can also learn more about sustainable living and wellbeing initiatives by checking out Emory Sustainability’s Wellbeing page.
As the holiday season continues, remember to make the most of it by acknowledging how you feel, prioritizing your well-being, practicing gratitude, staying connected with friends and family, and seeking help during difficult times.