It’s been a year full of change. Some good, some difficult, and some we may still not be sure how to process yet. But one way or another, the holiday season has arrived.
While many of us have gotten creative about connecting with loved ones throughout the year, the holiday may bring some extra challenges for those of us who are unable to spend time with family or celebrate in the ways we have in the past.
So how do we still make our holiday special and enjoyable even if they’re looking different this year?
Here are a few tips:
Find connection to what you usually do—In times where everything is different and there is a lot of uncertainty, it’s important to do what we can to cultivate a sense of normalcy. Do your best to honor your traditions. Just because your gatherings may be smaller or in a different place doesn’t mean you can’t eat your special foods or decorate your space even if you’re the only one who will see it. Whatever you typically do to celebrate the holiday, make an effort to do those same things now.
Try something new—Just as it’s important to connect to the things we normally do during the holiday season, this year gives us space to try new things or create new traditions. Get ideas from your family about what changes would make this season special.
Validate your experience—Whatever you’re feeling—good, bad, or all of the above—your experience is valid. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling, and be gentle and with yourself and your loved ones. Focus on taking care of yourself and encouraging others to take care of themselves as well, giving each other the space and freedom to do the things that help you all feel safe, healthy, and cared for.
Whether you intend to celebrate as much as you can or you find yourself grieving or struggling through the changes, it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. No matter what, your experience is valid. Just remember to make the holiday what you need it to be and be intentional about making some memories. Just because the holidays are different doesn’t mean they aren’t still meaningful and important. Be intentional about doing what makes this holiday season meaningful and important to you.
If you would like additional support this Holiday season, be sure to visit us online at CatholicCounselors.com.