As we exit this very turbulent year, the time for festive celebrations is upon us and the reality is that some of us won’t actually be able to get together with friends, family and loved ones. So, this year’s holidays will be a bit different and it will affect some of us adversely and in some cases be a time when we can feel alone, disconnected or isolated. Especially as our world manages a pandemic!

When it comes to COVID-19, just navigating on a daily basis is stressful enough, add in the holiday season, makes the added stress affect our sense of well-being and mental health.  Since, there’s a plethora of resources available online and to save some time, this month lets look at some facts, prevention tips, and resources to help you and your loved ones stay healthy and active during this pandemic.

Let’s begin with what you can do for yourself?  Keep it simple, by taking small steps towards feeling better and more in control:

  • Understand what causes stress and recognize your own feelings.
  • Be patient with yourself and those close to you – it takes time to manage feelings.
  • Learn how to manage your reactions to these experiences.
  • Focus on the things you have control over.

To keep your stress in check, it can also be useful to participate in activities or try relaxation techniques right in your home. Here are some examples of activities and techniques that have been proven effective:

  • Hobbies. Discover a new pastime or take part in an activity that you enjoy.
  • Physical activity. It has countless benefits for your health and well-being that go beyond better stress management.
  • Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation. All these techniques are highly effective for managing stress.
  • Visualization. Visualization techniques tap into your ability to form positive mental images.

It may also help to:

  • Maintain daily routines and do things that normally give you pleasure.
  • Eat healthy foods, get sleep and exercise if possible.
  • Accept support and assistance.
  • Where necessary, allow yourself to feel sad and grieve.
  • Take small steps.

Keep learning

Providing emotional and practical support to people who are having difficulty coping can be helpful. Consider taking a psychological first aid course for self-care strategies, and ways to support others who dealing with stressful events.

Resources: redcross.ca/selfcare, CamH, psychologytoday.ca, participaction