Home for the Holidays: finding joy and meaning during the pandemic

Denise GillinHealth Benefits, News

By Michael Diller, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist and Director, Employee Assistance Program, WellSpan

As we enter the November and December holiday season, we remain amidst the ongoing, slow moving and ever-changing storm of COVID-19. Celebrating holidays that are rooted in tradition and history, mixed with personal meaning, can be disconcerting given our current situation. This can create heightened distress more so than any previous time. So, what can we do to help navigate the ongoing uncertainty and still find ways to embrace all this season has to offer?

Tips for navigating and embracing this holiday season

  • Acknowledge this year will be different: Express and own any normal frustrations. Admit the losses that are unique to you. Think of ways to safely celebrate the season this year.
  • Accept new ideas for observing the occasion: This is not the same as being okay with or agreeing with how celebrating the holidays will need to be this year. Celebrations must include protecting loved ones by keeping them healthy and safe. (Note: follow CDC guidelines for celebrating the holidays.)
  • Find meaning and even joy: Shared meals and  gifts are important, but meaningful relationships are what matter. Be creative finding ways to safely maintain connections. It may not be how you would like to celebrate, but you can still preserve networks while protecting the wellbeing of family and friends. Find opportunities that provide meaning and yes, even joy.
  • Practice self-care: Remember, even without a pandemic, the holidays can be a stressful time despite being a time of celebration. Slow down, press pause, take care of the bare basics (nutrition, rest, hydration), move, and stay connected with others outside of holiday festivities.

If you need any extra support, that’s okay too. Know that you are not alone. For more information, contact Mike at mdiller@wellspan.org or a member of the Murray Benefits Team at 717.397.9600.

Share this Post