The coronavirus crisis has caused a real break in all kinds of social conventions, and has forced us all to take a series of special measures during the Christmas holidays or any other kind.
However, beyond the restrictions and precautions applied to minimize the risk of infection, there are a number of other adjustments we need to make to accommodate the circumstances of a pandemic Christmas. These are less objective and have to do with psychology: What can be done to emotionally manage these vacations in times of social and health crisis? Let’s look at some tips on this.
Tips for dealing psychologically with a pandemic Christmas
Here are some helpful behavioral guidelines and tips for not only taking care of your physical health (and the health of others), but also doing your best to improve your emotional well-being during a coronavirus-scarred Christmas. Some are applicable to the Christmas holidays of any year, and others are designed specifically for the COVID crisis.
1. Set a spending limit in the face of the desire to “compensate”
One of the main concerns of the Christmas holidays is the cost for most families to organize all kinds of events, parties and hearty meals with family and loved ones. In this phenomenon there is a part of social pressure intensified by marketing campaigns and consumerism. Outraged, a lot of people try to spend a lot to make up for not being able to spend Christmas together (or having a lot of physical limitations).
Do not fall into this trap: if there is anything that makes Christmas special, it is its symbolic nature and the fact that it is a pretext to strengthen the bonds with our loved ones, and that regardless of what you buy or stop buying. .
So, so as not to overwhelm us too much and not have surprises in our finances at the end of the month. it is advisable to fix in advance a maximum expenditure which should not be exceeded during celebrations.
This is a great relief for many people who are worried about their financial situation this Christmas, as it gives us due diligence on any expenses that will be incurred for a week or more.
2. Take the test before the meeting
Another of the most useful tips for having a safe Christmas during a pandemic is suggest that all family members even take a rapid test before dinner or any other meeting of non-cohabiting people.
In this way, not only will we be able to limit the risk of the coronavirus spreading to the elderly or vulnerable relatives most at risk of contracting the disease, but it will also affect the mood of those present and it will be possible to get the best out of it. gone in the evening. do not forget that anxiety is often a response to uncertainty, and minimizing it in a context of risk of infection will allow us not to be distracted by the fear of the virus.
3. Harness the technological potential of video calls
Presence or absence at a Christmas dinner today is relative: video calls provide a live connection that allows you to talk and “be” virtually, which can benefit people of all ages.
4. Prepare in advance
Another key to having a quieter pandemic Christmas with or without a pandemic is to organize each of the planned holidays efficiently and in advance. Outraged, this will prevent us from spending too much to “compensate” for the lack of planning, something that we have already seen could happen. This is important not only to avoid financial problems, but also to enjoy Christmas without feeling guilty.
This is why it is so important that each member of the family commits to cooperate so that everything goes well and not to leave at the last moment neither the purchase of gifts nor the preparation of food.
5. Open the windows
Opening windows for a few minutes with some frequency when we are in places under the roof with other people from different bubble groups or people living together has become one of the most common Christmas protocols in recent years. Scientific research on this subject shows that outdoors, the risk of infection is very low, so the more we do to transform the place for lunch or dinner on the terrace, the better it is, and this too will result in the feeling of security of those present.
6. Keep your distance
Another safety protocol for dealing with infections that have already become the norm in everyday life is to maintain a distance of one and a half meters between people both outside and at home. This is to avoid long hugs and close contact, but it shouldn’t make communication at a large table much more difficult. where it is possible to keep a meter and a half between us and those most vulnerable to health problems. And as much as possible, we should try to make diners feel like they are moving away from each other more than usual.
7. Don’t obsess over disinfecting surfaces
Research on contagion dynamics shows that the risk of transmission of the coronavirus through direct contact with surfaces is low (at least with the pre-omicron versions). For that, so washing your hands well is more important than in other circumstances, you should not be obsessed with disinfecting everything and devote our efforts to other more effective prevention measures.
8. Remember those who are not there
Christmas dates are a time of celebration with family and friends in which we also often remember our loved ones who are no longer sitting at the table with us.
Being with family or with other loved ones is a good opportunity to share memories and support others in possible feelings of grief related to bereavement.
9. Don’t obsess over the perfection of the event.
Some people have high self-esteem they can become obsessed with protocol and that everything is going well during the celebration, and even very frustrated in case it is not.
During Christmas dinner and the following celebrations, it is important to relax and take the time to have fun with our family, without obsessing over whether everything is going well, with the food to be served or the clothes that we are looking for. we will carry.
10. If you can’t see it clearly, postponing dinner is not a defeat.
Canceling all kinds of social events is the order of the day and nowadays it is also common for many Christmas dinners to end up being canceled or postponed due to contagion.
Likewise, if there is a high risk of infection for the very old or sick, it is also advisable to postpone dinner until later, as the important thing in the end is to be together, not when.