Tips for Holidays Apart
Like grocery shopping and hand washing, this holiday season is also in the process of reinvention. Given that the pandemic has drastically changed how we interact with others, socializing is a hot-button topic. With the intention of staying healthy and protecting those we love, many of us will be spending the holidays apart. While wise, that doesn't mean it's easy. Foregoing holiday traditions, such as yearly gatherings might generate feelings of vulnerability and cause you to feel more sensitive. So if you aren't physically spending time with others, here are some tips to sprinkle a little joy into your days.
Embrace Virtual Connections
The downside of seeing someone virtually is you can't give a squishy hug and linger in your friend’s vanilla perfume. However, the upside is you get to avoid flying and driving long distances (goodbye holiday traffic). Whether your loved ones are a few miles away or across the Atlantic, location is irrelevant. You don't even have to get out of bed and change out of your pajamas to mingle. All these pluses mean you can do it a lot more often than you would in person. So why not take advantage of these beautiful fringe benefits? If being alone on the holidays is challenging for you, become a virtual-social-butterfly. Schedule soirees with new and old friends. Reconnect with people you've lost touch with. Conversations you would normally have with family, switch to video chats. Take initiative. Plan themed meetings regularly, whether it's over tea, coffee, singalongs, so you are assured daily interactions.
Step Up Self-Care Rituals
It's natural to feel emotional during the holidays. So make an effort to be kind to yourself. Exercise regularly to release endorphins. Allow time for nature walks, and quiet reflection. Seek out natural oils to nurture your skin. Take relaxing aromatic herbal baths. Most of all, enjoy the pleasure of your own company. And set time aside for self-massage. Your own touch can go a long way to self-soothe. For specific acupressure points, and additional tips, read Access Your Own Power of Healing Touch.
Bring kindness to those struggling this year. A simple email, or call to check in and say, “how are you?” can make an enormous difference. Not everybody has friends and a support circle, and those who do are lucky. Truly listening is a rare gift. If possible, lend an ear, reach out and give of yourself, especially to those at high risk, such as the elderly; and you are able to remotely assist, pick up groceries, or offer general advice, extend a hand and be a positive force of love and compassion.
Empower Your Energy
Your thoughts fuel your actions in both subliminal and obvious ways. What you read, watch, hear, all filters through your brain and affects your perspective. Transform your energy by consciously choosing reading material, films and shows, that are uplifting and comedic. Avoid excessive violence, and depressing themes. A heart-warming book or film can draw you in, make you feel, and offer hope and inspiration. Start a virtual book and discussion club or Facebook group. If you’d rather see a movie, invite friends to watch films with you every Saturday night. Not sure which films to choose? Check out Rotten Tomatoes Holiday Movie Guide and the Top Christmas Films Directed by Women. After watching, discuss the film over eggnog or spiced cider.
Mailing holiday cards has gone out of style. And it's a shame. Not only is it rewarding to explore your thoughts on paper, but after you release the letter, and send it into the universe to do its thing, it has renewed life for the person receiving it. This year, do a deep dive into your creative side and make collage greeting cards. Start with colored paper, markers, glue, and (optional) glitter and watercolor paints. Go through old magazines and cut out images that make you smile. Or print them off the Internet. Without knowing what you'll do with them, keep them in a safe place. And when it comes time to craft, explore with curiosity. Daydream and create... Then cut out plain white squares of paper to go inside. And before gluing them into your card, reflect on the person you are sending the card to, and tell them how they have positively impacted your life. Since in-person contact is limited this year, getting a creation in the mail that can be touched, and lingered over, is more meaningful than ever.