As the holidays get closer, it is natural that we begin to feel emotions such as joy and excitement. However, this 2020 we are also experiencing stress and anxiety for not knowing what Christmas will be like in the times of Covid 19.
We all want to know if something will change in terms of the pandemic restrictions when December arrives. We are anxious to know how we can socialize with our loved ones or how and where we can travel to enjoy this long-awaited vacation.
Have a Merry Little Christmas
Information and media news on issues that concern coronavirus have kept us informed of the measures to keep ourselves safe. We now know how important it is to stay healthy through physical activity, good nutrition, sleep, and relaxation. But on the other hand, keeping us informed also has given us high levels of stress and sadness, especially this holiday season. We are always preoccupied with all that we have to do to protect and keep our loved ones, ourselves, our community, and the entire world safe. It has been shocking for us to know that social distancing will rule Christmas celebrations this year.
Dining in Winter Wonderland
Epidemiologists advise that we avoid social gatherings involving people we do not live with and consider virtual celebrations with family and friends who are not members of your household.
Let’s suppose you decide to have guests from outside. In that case, you will have to take all possible precautions to minimize risks and make these holidays as safe as possible for everyone—the experts suggest small gatherings, ask your guests to quarantine for 14 days before the meeting takes place. Wear a mask all the time, remove it when eating, and stay 6 feet apart between people from different households.
Take your party outside! Minimize the risk of spreading by taking your dinner and celebration of these holidays to open spaces.
Now that we know the things we have to do for a safe holiday gathering, you can decide if you gather with your household bubble or do it with people who will come from outside.
Baby, it’s Better Outside!
After all these months, since the coronavirus outbreak appeared, we have been getting messages about safety and health. Still, we have not received much information on how spending time in natural areas like green spaces or blue waters can benefit our wellbeing and mental health. Connecting with nature can:
- Improve your mood
- Reduce stress
- Help you feel more relaxed
- Improve your physical health
- Help you feel gratitude
In this holiday season, nature can be of great help in sustaining our general wellbeing and happiness.
“Studies have proven that even the smallest bit of nature — a single tree, a small patch of flowers, a house plant — can generate health benefits.” Kathleen L. Wolf, Ph. D.
That is maybe why the Christmas tree brings us so much joy at home.
The view, the atmosphere, and the place where you celebrate Christmas can make your festivity safer, but it can also make it peaceful and satisfying.
Changing the scenery on this holiday could also be a good idea. Maybe there is a town in the mountains or a beach nearby where you can book a winter getaway to spend an isolated Christmas. Plan your trip by car and look for information about the rules and regulations for COVID-19 in the destination you choose. Nowadays, travel restrictions are constantly changing.
Spend Christmas morning with family —all household members—cooking a delicious dinner with a view of the mountains through the window followed by a winter activity like sledding in the snow or snowshoeing and, in the evening, share stories with family around a fire pit. This kind of getaway could be a lovely way to enjoy family moments connecting with nature.
For those who are not fans of cold weather, there is the option of a warm Christmas in a place where you can do fun outdoor activities away from crowds and allow you to connect with nature. Think of enjoying a morning hike with great lake views and beautiful sunsets.
“Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.” Harvard Health Publishing
If we cannot, or we do not wish to leave the city, we can find parks or natural areas to walk watching trees, plants, and birds, this simple exercise of going out to see and feel nature can go a long way in taking a breath, clearing our minds. Walk around nature can help us to stay happy on the holidays during the pandemic.
Looking through a window or looking at photos and videos of forests, mountains, and oceans is also an effective way to promote positive mental health, mainly for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 that can’t go outside.
Let the Happiest Season of All Remain
Christmas 2020 will be different, the world is in the middle of a pandemic, and we all need to take care of ourselves, so the virus does not continue to spread. In this holiday season, in addition to washing our hands, wearing face masks, and maintaining social distance, let’s aim to contact nature to minimize the stress, and anxiety COVID-19 has brought to our lives.