Under the best of circumstances, the holiday season can be difficult for many people. While it is a time for celebration and joyous family reunions for many people, it is also a time of depression and sadness for others. There are many reasons for depression during the holiday seasons such as lost family members, physical separation, illnesses, and dozens of other reasons for the holiday blues. In addition to the normal set of mental health problems associated with the holiday, 2020 has given us another set of obstacles – COVID-19.
The Coronavirus has caused our lives to change drastically. Due to the nature of this highly contagious disease, we have had to change our normal lives. In public settings we need to wear masks and socially distance to reduce the chance of spreading the virus. Many of the businesses we have frequented have either closed, reduced hours, or limited the contact we have had in the past. Restaurants have reduced occupancy and relied on takeout or delivery services to operate. Sporting events are taking place without spectators, and our normal interactions with our fellow fans have changed. And many of our jobs are now done remotely without the face-to-face meeting with co-workers.
But probably the most painful change has been the direct effect of the virus. So far over 330,000 Americans have died from the virus, which in less than one year, is more than any war that the United States have been involved in. For the families that lost loved ones during the year to Coronavirus, this was a heart-breaking holiday season. In addition, millions more have been infected by COVID-19. While the vast majority have recovered, many more will have lingering effects on their heart, lungs, and other organs for the foreseeable future. These situations have and will take a toll on the mental health and wellness of millions of families for years to come.
If you have been impacted by the virus, what can you do? The most important thing that you can do for yourself and your family is contact a mental health professional. Each community has agencies that are specialized in helping people cope with feelings of sadness and depression. During this troubling holiday season, it is a more crucial service than ever. If you do not feel that you need to contact a mental health professional, there are still things that you can do to help with your feelings.
Have Contact with Someone
Presently visits to other people’s homes are not a good idea. With the virus spreading at a rapid rate, personal contact with others is discouraged. Instead, technology is available to keep in contact with friends and relatives. Video calls can be done on your phone, tablet or laptop and you can communicate with others and make it seem you are almost in the same room. Other options are calling someone on the phone, texting or emailing. The important thing is that contacting someone can help fight the blues.
During the year we have spent a lot of extra time at home with our families. To help pass along the time we have come up with activities that can be done as a family. We have had weekly game nights when we will play a board game or family video game. Saturday nights have become movie nights where we will get some popcorn and candy and put on our favorite movies. Other activities that you can do as a family are biking, hiking, and working around the house.
Taking Care of Your Body
While you are staying at home more than normal it is still important to take care of your body. Even though you cannot do all of the things that you have done in the past you can still take care of yourself. To do so make sure that your diet is good. During the pandemic we can be tempted to bad eating habits, so getting back to eating properly can help. Also, get a little exercise. Whether you are inside or outside, do some activities that can help your body. Taking care of your body, can help take care of your mind.