Can’t Come Home for Christmas? Here’s How to Cope

By Belo Medical Group on December 18, 2020

Christmas is just a few days away, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with everything happening so quickly. Most of the country is still under quarantine, and a surge in COVID transmissions over the holiday season is still a very real threat.

So if you’ve decided to stay home for the holidays instead of spending it with your family, fret not—you are not completely alone. We’re sure there are tons of people around the world who are going through the exact same difficult but wise decision.

On a personal note, I haven’t hugged my mom since the lockdown started in March. As recommended by Dr. Manisha Juthani, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, my entire family is making sure to conduct a 14-day self-quarantine before we all meet together on the 24th so we could at least have the holidays together. But I know a two-week-long quarantine is not possible for a lot of people.

If you won’t be coming home for the holidays this year, here are a few suggestions on coping.

Don’t disconnect.

The holidays are not the time to unplug and detox from social media, if you’ll ask me. It might do you better to keep interacting with your loved ones online, whether it’s through daily chats about what you had for lunch or a Zoom family call on Christmas Eve. Maximize the advantages of social media so you won’t miss your family too much.

Take care of yourself.

This time of the year is also a great time to treat yourself. If you have the means, pamper yourself whichever way you like: binge watching your favorite series, a spa day at home, or even ordering your favorite food so you can have your own Noche Buena feast at home. You’ll always have time to go back to the hustle of work or the restrictions of your diet next year. Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays this year.

Maximize available resources.

Whether it’s free Zoom calls or the availability of the hard-working delivery workers, we can choose to maximize the things we have in order to make our presence felt despite being physically far. If you can afford it, why not send goodies to friends and family? You can also hire couriers to send your Christmas gifts or use the “Send As Gift” option on your favorite websites.

Focus on the bigger picture.

Instead of dwelling on our current situation, focus on the bigger picture. Remind yourself that this distance, this separation is only temporary. It will end at some point (COVID vaccines are already being rolled out in other countries — we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!). Personally, I tell myself “distance is temporary, but death is forever” to remind myself that we just have to endure these months so when it’s finally safe, we can gather together and everyone we love would be there.

If you’re spending the holidays alone at home, remember that it doesn’t diminish the true spirit of the season. What’s more important is that we’re alive and healthy enough to survive this crisis…so we can celebrate better next year.

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