- Getting into the Holiday Spirit
Getting into the Holiday Spirit
Masks, physical distance, and holidays at home. It’s not exactly ideal. But if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we’re creative, resourceful, and stronger than we ever imagined. So with the holiday season in full swing, let’s look at some ideas to make it as meaningful and joyful as ever.
Keep up your traditions
Sure, coronavirus may have put a crimp in your plans for any big, indoor celebrations. But your favorite holiday movies? Go for it.
Decorations? Go wild. We know some folks are saying, “Why bother? It’s not like anyone’s going to see them.” Do it for yourself. You deserve it.
Gift giving? Yes! Remember to send your packages early in case of shipping delays. You can even have a virtual gift exchange with family and friends.
Baking cookies? Challah? All the classic treats? Yes, yes, and yes. Make some big batches and drop them at your neighbors’ houses. Need some new recipes? Try some of these. Or these. Or these. (Do we like our cookies here? We do.)
Finally, go ahead and lose yourself in the crackling sounds and mesmerizing flames of The Best Fireplace Video. And if you really want to up your cozy game, take some hints from the Danes and their idea of hygge.
Giving is good...for everyone
If it’s within your means, nothing meets the spirit of the season more than giving. When we look out for others, it’s not just the person on the other end who benefits. Turns out, giving is good for you. It can lower your blood pressure, reduce depression, and bring you greater happiness.
Charities like Toys 4 Tots and the Salvation Army are making it easier than ever to give online. Community centers who distribute food and clothing are strapped this year because they’re serving more people than ever. Your donations will help people right in your own neighborhood.
You can also ask around town to see if there are safe ways to volunteer (ideally, masked and outside). So check in with your local community center, Council on Aging, and other groups that may need help.
Let’s talk about self-care
Even in the best of times, the holidays can get stressful. And frankly, this isn’t the best of times, which makes things even harder. That means it’s more important than ever to pay attention to stress, depression, and anxiety.
If you’re feeling lonely, sad, anxious, or depressed, please ask for help. We have some odd ideas about mental health in our culture. Often, we think we need to “tough it out.” We’re here to tell you: no, you don’t. Sometimes, you just need help. Emotional and mental health challenges are no different than health problems with your body. And you can get help. Here are some ideas.
Call us at 1-800-338-6833 (TTY 711). Your plan covers mental health care and we can help you find the services you need. If that feels uncomfortable, try talking to a close friend or family member. Or your doctor. Sometimes, just talking things out can help.
And if turning to someone close to you feels scary, call a free service like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can even chat with them online. Or call SAMSHA at 1-800-662-4357, another free service that can help you find the care you need.
Finally, you can use your plan’s Wellness Bucks to pay for a subscription to Calm or Headspace. With these apps on your smartphone or tablet, you can learn to meditate, get help falling asleep, and listen to relaxing music.
Point is, you’re not alone in this. There are a lot of ways to get help. And there’s no better gift to yourself or the people around you than taking care of your own well-being.
Need help getting food for the holidays?
Find out about delivery options, food pantries, and more in your area. If you can’t find what you need, call us at 1-800-338-6833 (TTY 711).
And lastly, Happy Holidays!
It feels impossible for us to express the gratitude we have in our hearts for our members. You inspire us every day and we wish you a bright and joyous holiday season.