This Holiday season many of us are feeling under appreciated, overwhelmed and fighting off the blues (or more). Parties and gatherings are canceled, families aren’t able to see one another and that festive feeling just isn’t in the air.
Author of What it’s Worth – a prospective on How to Thrive and Survive Parenting, Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, a Board Certified Music Therapist and Momprenuer, Dr. Bethany Cook offers some great insight on how to Survive this 2020 Holiday Season.
Remember, there isn’t a recipe guaranteed to create “holiday magic”. True magic always comes from within. If you are stressed and unhappy and constantly comparing yourself to the next person….you are guaranteed, COVID or no COVID, to have a rubbish holiday.
2. Create a COVID Family Tradition
This doesn’t mean a twist on an old favorite, this means creating something completely brand new. Outside of the box thinking is what is needed here people. COVID has rocked our world so this new tradition needs to match the “nuttiness” if possible. Get the kids involved in creating this new tradition or make it a surprise, each family’s situation will be different.
3. Express/Set Realistic Expectations
Slow down. Take a deep breath. You aren’t responsible for the happiness of every single person in your family. Often, the “job” of creating that magical “holiday vibe” comes from one person in the home, sometimes two. Either way, if one or both parents are completely depleted of internal resources things are going to go south quickly. Make sure to remind yourself that this year will NOT look like other years, for good or bad. And let your kids know this as well. Yes, even little kids.
4. Do Something JUST FOR YOU
Mom/Dad/Guardian, remember, you can’t offer support when your bucket is empty (poor diet, in need of sleep, super stressed, in need of alone time etc). if you don’t periodically find time to decompress that pent up energy/emotion will bubble up at unexpected (and usually inappropriate) times often creating more chaos. Remember, parent’s set the tone of the house and if you’re able to find happiness and cheer your children as well.
5. Create A Covid Competition
This can be done with family and friends near and far. Set-up a group email/text/FB group/website etc. and challenge each other to come up with the best Covid-CockTail (or mocktail) and the best Covid-Casserole. The winner gets a trophy. (You can have different categories so 2020 can have a few more wins for some of us.:))
6. Go Ahead and Set The Table
Just get the tablets and screens ready! If you are able to set a time for everyone to eat a meal and place the phone on their seat. Obviously if the screens are small it might be hard to see.
7. Create “COVID THE CREATURE”
Then Destroy It New Years Eve- Go around the house and gather found items that you can use to create a tangible “creature” that represents the stressors of 2020. Empty toilet paper rolls come to mind as something that may be handy. 🙂 Then once you’ve created it you destroy it. This is cathartic and offers a way to find closure on the year.
Dr. Bethany Cook is the author of What it’s Worth – a prospective on How to Thrive and Survive Parenting, Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, and a Board Certified Music Therapist and Momprenuer.