9 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays During the Pandemic

Grandma talks to her grandchild on the computer for Christmas.

We look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays – unfortunately, with COVID-19 cases increasing across the country, many of us are thinking about how things will be different this year.

Keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe is crucial, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your holiday season. Mary Duffy, a registered nurse at Renown Health, shares her tips for enjoying the holidays during the pandemic.

1. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.

We’ve heard the term “social distancing” a lot since the beginning of the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean you have to be alone. If you aren’t able to be with your family or friends in person, set up a time to video call or talk on the phone. You can even schedule a virtual ugly holiday sweater party and make it fun!

2. Reach out to others who may need help.

Due to the pandemic, some of us may not spend time with family or friends this holiday season. Reach out to neighbors, friends, or coworkers to see if they need support. Your community can benefit as well, and donating your time or resources can be incredibly impactful – a win-win for you and the recipient!

3. Keep a gratitude list.

The holidays can often remind us of the things we wish we had. Start a gratitude list where you can write down everything you’re grateful for. You might think about your health, loved ones, or pets, which can serve as a gentle reminder when you start to think about what you’re missing this holiday season.

4. Exercise when possible.

Exercise can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Try some at-home exercises or take a walk to keep you moving and in good spirits.

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5. Make healthier food choices.

It’s no secret eating healthy during the holidays can be challenging! But when we eat well, we feel healthy and less sluggish. Try making better decisions during the holidays, like grabbing an extra serving of vegetables or not going for seconds with dessert. When you feel nourished, you are less likely to give in to the temptations of unhealthy foods.

6. Drink alcohol in moderation.

During the holidays, we tend to start drinking earlier in the day. Try limiting the amount of alcohol you drink and only consume it with dinner. Also, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

7. Get enough sleep.

Proper rest is vital for our overall health and well-being. Set a schedule for yourself, creating a regular bedtime, and wake up time – even on the weekends.

8. Take time for yourself.

The holidays can be stressful on top of everything else going on. Remember to take time for yourself and do something you enjoy to help you decompress, like taking a walk, listening to music or reading. Prioritizing self-care is a great way to help handle stress!

RELATED: 10 Things to Do While Self-Quarantining

9. Seek professional help if you need it.

If you are struggling through the holiday season and feel you need professional help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Renown has mental health professionals available to help you.

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Staying healthy and safe means taking care of yourself. We encourage you to keep your health on track by not delaying preventive or urgent healthcare needs. Talk with your primary care doctor about seeking mental health services.

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