Maintaining Your Mental Health During A Pandemic Holiday

This holiday season just isn’t like the other ones.

It’s anything but normal.

I’ll admit, I’ve been struggling with this since Thanksgiving. It may very well have been the reason that I look most of November off from social media (unplanned).

We planned to try and drive to Pittsburgh to see our family (that we haven’t seen in over a year now), but that bit the dust when another COVID surge hit right before Thanksgiving. We opted to stay home instead.

It sucked to realize that I wasn’t going to be seeing my family. It sucked to speak to them only virtually, and not in person. I sucked to see everyone not taking COVID seriously and “screwing the rest of us over” by continuing to hold gatherings despite restrictions. Yep, that it how I see it – get over it. I felt like I was the “only one” making any sort of “sacrifice” and choosing not to be with their family this season while everyone else galavanted as though nothing was wrong.

It sucked to notice that I just wasn’t in the mood to give any gifts at all. I just wasn’t “into” the season. I’m still not. I really don’t have much motivation to celebrate.

You’re probably feeling the same way.

Since you might be struggling too, I thought I’d make this post about conquering this BS – and by “this BS,” I mean how hard all of this is on our mental health. We have got to be more careful about how we take care of ourselves now more than ever. Here’s a list of some things that are helping me get through this season.

  1. Give yourself grace: Understand and tell yourself that it is OKAY to not be as cheery and bright as we’re “told to be” this season. You have a right to be upset about this. It’s okay to be angry that you’re not with your family. It’s okay to recognize that this year just is not normal and we ultimately have no control over its outcome.
  2. Make more use of your phone: I don’t believe that virtual connection will ever replace a physical one, but it is a good thing to stay as connected as possible in the middle of this mess. I felt immediately better just after a FaceTime or two with my own family members. Use your phone to stay connected!
  3. Treat yourself: If you can, shop small. It’s okay to treat yourself with some gifts this season to bring in a bit of happiness – even if it’s only temporary. It did make me feel better to buy some nice haircare products, shoes, and clothes, because I felt like I was taking care of me – which kept me motivated to get through another day.
  4. Be as active as possible: Get that heart rate going! Workouts usually clear my mind. A walk does the trick too. Try it! They can’t cancel going outside!! Ha!
  5. Don’t isolate: It’s hard to tell someone when you’re not doing mentally well. Especially now, because we assume that “everyone else has it hard too, so why does my case deserve anymore attention?” You do deserve that love. Do not let this pandemic win. Speak up when you feel yourself starting to spiral. Support others when they’re going through it too.

These are just a few tricks that helped me. I continue to use them.

Can you think of anything else we can do to get through one of the hardest holiday seasons ever?

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