How to celebrate during the restrictions

For many of us, this time of year is a time for finding joy in the planning and celebrating of various festivals and celebrations that bring families and friends together over the winter months. With varying levels of lockdown restrictions in place across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, it is safe to assume that this year’s celebrations will be very different to those in years gone by.

As we approach Christmas, The Mental Health Foundation, which is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak, suggests some key ways we can still celebrate, allbeit in a different way this year.

Top tips on how to celebrate during the restrictions

For many of us, this time of year is a time for finding joy in the planning and celebrating of various festivals and celebrations that bring families and friends together over the winter months. With varying levels of lockdown restrictions in place across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, it is safe to assume that this year’s celebrations will be very different to those in years gone by.

As we approach Christmas, The Mental Health Foundation, which is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak, suggests some key ways we can still celebrate, allbeit in a different way this year.

Top tips on how to celebrate during the restrictions

  • Focus on kindness – try to divert your attention away from what you can’t have and instead focus on what kind things you can do for others and for yourself.
  • Be there for each other – try to have conversations with family and friends about how you’re feeling, listen to how others are coping and act with empathy and understanding.
  • Take time to be grateful – appreciate the joyful little moments. Reflecting on all you have to be grateful for can really lift your mood.
  •  Gift giving – if you feel the need to buy more gifts than usual – perhaps to compensate for celebrations being different this year – remember that this is a normal feeling, but not something you need to do. We’re all in this together and you and your gifts are enough. You don’t need to compensate for things beyond your control. If money is tight this year, remember not to stretch beyond your means and consider doing something creative or thoughtful rather than spending more money.
  • Be aware of overindulging – regardless of whether we can have large celebrations or not, it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re drinking, eating and spending. Some people may turn to alcohol, food, shopping and illegal drugs to help cope with stress.
  •  Celebrating with children – why not start a ‘living history’ scrapbooking project to commemorate how you celebrated in 2020? Explain that in years to come this will be an important document of how we lived. Similarly, older children and adults may want to journal their thoughts and feelings at this time. Additionally, this may be a time your children usually get together with cousins or their friends. You could try to keep them connected through video calls, so they feel included.
  • Do something different – this year you could let someone you know that you’re thinking of them with a heartfelt, handwritten note. If you can’t buy stamps or get to the post office, you could always send a digital card through social media or email, through companies like SmileBox or Paperless Post.
  • Maintain traditions – you could try to stick to the traditions that you have in place. Whether it’s making a particular meal, or decorating your home on a certain day, by maintaining these traditions you can create a sense of normality.
  •  Stick to the rules – if you’re feeling under pressure from friends or family to break the rules, remember why we are in lockdown. It is for the safety of everyone, including ourselves, to stick to government guidelines. By following the rules, we all contribute to a healthier society.

Source and for further help and guidance: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/celebrating-festivals-and-occasions-during-lockdown

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