How to Stay Extra Close to Your Family This Holiday Season and Beyond

The holiday season and the time following it has had a different look this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Large, extended family gatherings were often canceled, and people spent much more time at home than they’re likely used to during this time of year.

While stress around the holiday season is nothing new, the physical distancing requirements brought upon by the pandemic created a new kind of stress for families to navigate, and likely made keeping the holidays happy during the pandemic in Havre, MT a bit of a challenge. Sure, you’ve likely been spending a lot of time isolated with your immediate family, but closeness in terms of proximity does not necessarily correlate with closeness in terms of relationships.

With this in mind, here’s a quick overview of some of the steps you can take during and after the holiday season to stay calm and collected while maintaining a closeness with your family that lasts into the new year:

  • Spend time together: Even though you’ve likely been forced to spend a lot more time together over the last year than you normally might, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve actually been spending quality time together, in which you are purposeful about your interactions with each other or engaging in activities with each other. Watch some movies, enjoy family meals around the table or play games as a family, put the devices away and have some carved-out quality time.
  • Stick to a schedule: The pandemic has made it easy for people to fall out of their routines, especially if you’re now working from home or have kids going to school remotely. But as much as possible, make sure you’re sticking to a routine, at least on the weekdays. Keep bedtimes and meals on a regular schedule, make sure people are up and about at a reasonable time and dress as though you’re going to work or school.
  • Watch your spending on gifts: Money is tight for a lot of people this year due to the pandemic, so watch what you’re spending on gifts and don’t feel pressure to overspend. If nothing else, hopefully this year has provided some perspective on what’s important in life, and having a ton of gifts under the tree isn’t one of those things. Enjoying each other’s company is far more precious.
  • Take care of yourself: Throughout the holidays and moving into the new year, be sure to take care of yourself. Yes, this means eating healthy and having good, healthy habits (like getting plenty of sleep), but it also means allowing yourself to indulge in things you enjoy and care about doing. Maybe it’s setting aside some quiet time for reading, or participating in a hobby like crafting or woodworking.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed with to-do items: If you have a list of things you need to accomplish around the house, focus on completing just one task at a time rather than making your way through the list as a whole. This will make it much easier for you to get everything done without stressing yourself out, and will also allow you to spend more time as a family rather than overburdening yourself with chores.

For more tips about the steps you can take for keeping the holidays happy during the pandemic, as well as ideas to stay happy into the new year in Havre, MT, contact Ellen Savage LCPC today.