As fun and memorable as the holidays are, it's no secret that they tend to induce an increased level of stress. Add in a tiring year due to a global pandemic, and that typical stress can easily transform into anxiety or depression. Planning enjoyable, yet safe, celebrations this year can be tricky, but even with social distancing guidelines and other necessary precautions, there are ways to enjoy the holidays while still ensuring your safety.
Opt for a Smaller Gathering
Gathering in large groups can increase the chance of spreading COVID-19 and other illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting the number of guests, so consider celebrating with those you live with only. Keeping your circle small will decrease your chance of exposure and allow you to social distance properly.
Host a Virtual Celebration
Technology has provided opportunities for connection during this pandemic. With Zoom calls, FaceTime, and other methods of video chatting, families can enjoy each other's company without physically being together. Although many families prefer to celebrate in person, a virtual celebration is a safer alternative to having a large gathering. You could split the family into teams to play games after holiday dinners or have a virtual ugly sweater party. Have fun with it and get creative!
Follow the Current Guidelines
If you still plan on attending a gathering, continue to follow CDC guidelines. Continue to wear a mask, keep a six-feet distance from others when possible, spread seating out, and frequently wash your hands. The best option would be to host the dinner outside. If this isn't possible, open the windows for ventilation.
Ditch the Buffet
The CDC recommends limiting the number of people near food stations, so avoid buffet-style serving, where guests line up and serve themselves. Designate one person to serve the food while taking sanitary precautions. Make sure single-use utensils are being used and disinfect the counters frequently.
Before you book your trip, check for any current traveling restrictions. If you must travel, wear your mask, social distance, and keep hand sanitizer with you, especially if you plan on using public transportation.
Although this year's holidays may be different than what you originally anticipated, they can still be memorable and safe. Communicate your feelings or concerns with your family. If you are nervous about gathering in large groups, make it known to your loved ones. Together you will come up with a plan that will allow everyone to have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, November 12). Celebrating Thanksgiving. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html