The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change so many things about the way we live this year. Now, with the holidays fast approaching, it’s very likely that some of your favorite traditions will have to change and shift, too. So, the task becomes how to adapt traditions in the pandemic holiday season before us.
There are many new orders and guidelines in place with cases surging in different states across the country. Most of them reflect the idea that large get-togethers shouldn’t happen and that you should continue to distance yourself from others, not in your household.
Needless to say, you’re probably going to have to adapt traditions this year. That can be hard to deal with, especially if you’re already feeling sad, lonely, or even anxious. It can feel like you’re losing something special.
But, when you know how to adapt traditions effectively, you can still make the most of them and enjoy your holidays during these uncertain times. Let’s look at a few creative ways you can make changes.
The holidays will always be about connecting with the people you love. This year, you may not be able to do that in person.
However, technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected. Schedule a video chat with your friends or family during the holidays. Make an “event” out of it and start a Zoom call with multiple people. Maybe you all can eat dinner together over the call or have a “cookie swap” where everyone shares their favorite recipe.
Even calling the people you love can make a big difference in how you feel. It can strengthen your bond in a time of loneliness, and that’s helpful to everyone. It may not be your usual tradition, but it’s the next best thing.
Keep Your Favorite Traditions
Just because your family may not be around this year doesn’t mean you need to give up every tradition. Think about the ones that put you in the holiday spirit. What are some of your favorite traditions?
How can you adapt those traditions this year to still make them a part of your holidays?
You could try making one of your favorite family holiday recipes, or opening a gift the night before Christmas, etc. One way to adapt traditions is simply to make them smaller, with the people in your household. They don’t need to go away completely.
Start New Traditions
You might think that starting new traditions isn’t exactly “adapting,” but it allows you to be flexible in light of the situation.
By taking your favorite things about the season and turning them into new traditions, you’ll still have reasons to celebrate. Whether you’re by yourself over the holidays or with your immediate family, having traditions (new or old) will help you feel more grounded. That’s crucial during a time when things seem so uncertain.
Struggling With the Loss of Tradition
It’s only natural to feel a bit down this holiday season. Knowing how to adapt traditions is an excellent place to start, but you might still feel like you’ve lost something. You may even be grieving over that loss — and that’s okay.
Feel free to contact me about counseling for loss if you’re genuinely struggling or consider some other options. One of the best things you can do is to accept that loss, rather than trying to deny it or pretend you’re feeling better than you are. Adapting traditions can help, of course. But, it may not wholly take away your “holiday blues.”
Keep in mind that this era isn’t forever. By adapting traditions now to keep everyone safe, your holiday season next year can be filled with the things you’re used to and the people you love.
Please reach out to me today or visit my page on Counseling for Loss to learn more about how I can help.