Covid Holiday Coping Strategies:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But for the families of 250,000 American who have passed away from the Coronavirus it is not. Even for those of us who have not been harmed by the virus, this will be a holiday like no other.
I spoke to my mom, a retired guidance counselor, on strategies she recommends based on her 40 years of experience helping people cope with anxiety, depression, stress, and grief.
I write about climate change and its impact on mental health. What does this pandemic possibly have to do with eco-anxiety?
Simply, we all have anxiety right now.
And we must take care of our mental and physical health. Self-compassion and community connection are how we will Reset to Green in a post-pandemic era and as President-Elect Joe Biden says build back better.
Five Covid Holiday Coping Strategies from this Retired Guidance Counselor:
1) The holidays are tough no matter what, but the isolation this year is especially challenging. Give to your favorite charity or volunteer (if you can) to support others in this time of global crisis.
2) Schedule things to look forward to — even if it’s on Zoom or FaceTime. Make sure you have joy on the calendar.
3) Use this time to look through your digital photos, home movies, or even — photo albums. Share stories and re-tell family stories. Record these stories at your Zoom gatherings. You’ll treasure it later.
4) Be patient with yourself, your family, and the community. There is so much pain, but try to lean into the joy. Realize most people are doing the best they can.
5) And finally, be present. It’s hard. For many families, we’re together but we’re not. Put the phone down. Go outside for a walk if you can. Listen. Look up. And wear your mask!
Here’s to finding moments of peace in our pandemic world. This, too, shall pass. Until then we must embrace each moment.
Heather White is a conservation law and policy and green living expert. She is the President & CEO of Heather White Strategies, and former President & CEO of Yellowstone Forever and Executive Director of EWG. She writes and lives in Bozeman, Montana. Check her out at The Eco-Anxiety Blog.