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Coping this COVID Holiday

December 18, 2020
two adults and a child opening presents over a video call

A few years ago, I stumbled upon an online guide called "Simplify the Holidays." Emphasizing connection and joy, rather than stress and the accumulation of stuff, this guide spoke to my growing desire to tune out the frenzy and commercialization of the season. Without much choice, we are all being asked to simplify our holiday this year, in order to follow public health guidelines and to keep each other safe. Without the usual activities of travel, large parties, and visits to crowded malls, we have a chance to slow down and discover a new way to celebrate.

The guide suggests identifying what matters most to you and your family during the holidays and to prioritize those things. For me, it is quiet reflection time and feeling connected to the world around me. We have all experienced individual and collective losses in 2020, and it is important to make space for that grief. A journaling or spiritual practice can help with healing, and also allow you to recognize the parts of your life for which you remain grateful. To prioritize joy and connection I plan to play virtual games with friends, take nighttime walks to look at decorations and lights, and spin around Shelby Bottoms Greenway in the new roller skates I gifted myself. It is a true feat we have made it to December, and that alone is worth celebrating.

Need Mental Health Support?

The pandemic has added more stress and isolation to a time of year where people already struggle with seasonal depression, substance use, and trauma triggers. You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 for confidential emotional support. Call 1-800-273-8255

2020 Holiday Resources

Hand-picked titles to help you simplify and reimagine your holiday this year.

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Elizabeth Roth

Elizabeth coordinates the Be Well at NPL initiative. You may spot her walking or biking around Nashville, or asking too many questions at one of the health and wellness programs at your branch.