How to Navigate Mental Health and the Holidays

Most families would say that the holiday season normally brings both elements of joy and difficulty. But this year, some of our joyful experiences are more challenging or may not happen at all due to COVID-19. See how to handle the holidays with less stress, start conversations and start new traditions with the help of On Our Sleeves’ resources.

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COVID-19 and Holiday Stress

Most families would say that the holiday season normally brings both elements of joy and difficulty. But this year, some of our joyful experiences are more challenging or may not happen at all due to COVID-19.



It's fair to say, it's a less than normal holiday season. COVID-19 has significantly impacted our lives this year, and the holidays will be no different. Many of us will be adjusting, or possibly cancelling our typical traditions. While this can be really disappointing for families, there are ways we can make the holidays special. Here are a few tips:

  1. Talk with your family. Be transparent about how things will be different this holiday season, and explain that it’s only to keep everyone safe. Remind your family that traditions are only placed on pause, they don’t have to stop completely just because of the current situation we are facing this year.
  2. Brainstorm creative ideas on how you can carry out your family’s celebrations on a smaller scale. If there are certain foods everyone loves, cook them together for the immediate family. If there are certain services you typically attend, see if there are virtual offerings. Maybe even come up with some fun games to play or a list of movies to watch. Who knows, you may even create some new traditions in the process.
  3. Use our new, virtual world to your advantage. Have a virtual celebration with extended family members so everyone has the opportunity to connect. You could even include them in some of the family games.
  4. Practice gratitude. We know that gratitude absolutely helps us cope through challenging moments. While we want to validate the negative feelings we may have during these tough times, we also want to remember those things we still have. Make it a fun and positive family activity, and list all of those things you are grateful for.
  5. Take time to give back. Helping those in need helps to spread gratitude to others and fosters a sense of connection. Find a family to sponsor, or even donate clothes and household items to families in need. We promise, this will have just as much of a positive impact on your family as it does for those who receive it.

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