Coping during the holidays

How to stay Merry and Bright

In anxiety, Grief, Grief Counselling, Individual Counselling by Ivanna Van Holst, BSW, RSWLeave a Comment

The holiday season is fast approaching. For many it is a time to celebrate with family, spend time with friends, exchange gifts and eat foods steeped in tradition. This year, much of what we consider holiday cheer is going to look quite different.

The year 2020 has been unlike any other in recent history and for many a difficult year to navigate. With everything that is happening in the world, it’s very normal to feel discouraged, frustrated and unmotivated. It’s okay not to be okay. You are not alone. So many people are feeling this way or have felt this way through the past few months.

Even though this holiday season will look different, we have to be mindful of the belief that “all is lost.” It may take some creativity and innovations, but we can still find ways to celebrate and have a good time with our loved ones. Here are some things that you can try out that may help to make your holiday jolly and bright.

Heart check- Gratitude

It’s easy to look at all the negative things we have had to go through
this year. Yet not everything was bad this year. It’s important to do a gratitude check. What are the little or big things you are grateful for? Make a list or write one thing you are grateful for each day, until the end of the year.

New ways of connecting

Virtual get-togethers: Host holiday virtual parties. Invite
your friends, family, co-workers, or anyone you want to. Try some virtual game nights, dance party, karaoke, and holiday virtual potluck.

Reaching out to your community

Some many people might spend the holidays alone. There
are so many ways in which you can reach out to them or give back. You can write letters to seniors in your community, donate to a local shelter/food bank, send holiday post cards to your family, friends, and neighbors.


You are spending most of the holidays at home, here are some ways you can give yourself some love. Create your own DIY spa day, read that book you haven’t gotten to, binge on your favorite show, go for a walk around your neighborhood, watch your favorite holiday movies, take a long bath/shower, eat your most favorite holiday foods. Are there are things you do to show yourself some love?

Explore the outdoors

There is so much natural beauty around us. Explore near by parks or
trails, go for walks or hikes. Take pictures of nature and make a picture collage of all your walks. Create a scavenger hunt of animals, plants, colours and objects and see how many you can find.

Relive traditions and make new ones

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Can
you think about new ways to have these traditions? Think about fun ways to create new ones.

Holiday lights showroom

Drive or walk around your neighborhood in the evening and appreciate the holiday decorations. You can also attend light shows in your city.


This holiday season will not be like any we have experienced before. There may be grief in that, for others there may be a sense of relief. Taking some time to acknowledge how you feel and care for yourself through these feelings, can help alleviate the intensity of them. No matter what you decide to do this season, we hope you stay safe, have fun and enjoy the simplicity of this year’s holidays.

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