Five Tips for a Socially Distanced Holiday Season

The 2020 holiday season will be like no other.

This year, the word ‘unprecedented’ has become a regular part of our everyday vernacular. It’s been an unprecedented year, so it’s no surprise that it would end with an unprecedented holiday season.

Covid-19 infections are on the rise, and states are once again implementing lock down strategies to try and curtail the pandemic. Going into the holiday season that can be especially tricky, because we all want to be around our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it has never been more dangerous to travel.

Factor into that, the fact that many of our relatives are elderly, and you really have a recipe for disaster (and I’m not talking about your great-aunt’s fruitcake).

So, how do we navigate an unprecedented holiday season physically away from our loved ones? Here are five helpful tips.

Connect with like-minded people. Not everyone is going to have the same standards when it comes to social distancing, and Covid-19 awareness. Normally we try and avoid our more questionable family members, but this year you actually have an excuse! Identify the family members that share your values in terms of staying safe and separate this season, and focus on connecting with them.

Communicate Openly. This year, not visiting family can actually help save lives. Communicate with your family openly about your fears and concerns. Being upfront about the risks you are willing to take or avoid will only benefit you in the long run. This year, the holidays are a guilt-free zone.

Find Creative Ways to Connect. A socially distanced holiday might actually be better for your family in the long run. Instead of spending a week crammed into the same house, you can plan separate events, and space them out over the coming months. If you normally make cookies with your mom, do it via zoom and have a tasting party. If you normally take long walks with your siblings, do it via Facetime, and make it a race. There are plenty of ways to connect with family via the Internet. Get creative.

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Be Flexible. Especially this year, it is important to be understanding and flexible. Be aware that plans can change at the last minute, and be prepared to reschedule. You should also budget time for technical difficulties. It might not be easy to navigate this, but it’s easier than traveling to a funeral.

Avoid Comparisons. This year you will probably see plenty of photos of other people who went home to visit family. Try and avoid the trap of comparing your holiday with that of anyone else. We are all just doing our best during this pandemic, and have to make decisions based on our own comfort levels.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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