Tips to Care for Yourself and Others This Holiday Season

Can you believe that it’s been about nine months of living and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic? Many of us may be tired and weary, while still being aware of the struggles of those around us. Some people are experiencing stress at levels never experienced before, especially around the holidays. We may be worried about ourselves and our community. We may also find ourselves feeling stuck and wondering what we can do. Here are some tips for caring for ourselves and others during this holiday season and beyond.

Caring for yourself:

  • Consider reducing your media consumption. While it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world around us. Too much can cause us excessive worry about the current situation. Consider spending that time doing another activity. Even if it is something as simple as watching funny TikToks. 
     
  • Take a breath. Sometimes we need to pause and ground ourselves in the moment. Give a breathing technique, such as this one at www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing, a try.
     
  • Think about getting active. This doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. It can be as simple as walking or gentle yoga.
     
  • Reach out for help if you need it. Resources are available at www.kent.edu/coronavirus and www.kent.edu/stateofwellness
     
  • Help others. Helping others has been shown to boost the mood and reduce stress in the person who is helping.

Helping Others:  Some things to remember when helping others are that it doesn’t have to involve money, it can be something small that you do, and remember to not over do it. 

  • Stay home. If you can stay home. Remember you are helping to stop the spread and reducing the strain on healthcare and other essential workers. If you do go out, remember to wear your mask and keep physical distance.
     
  • Consider donating food. Food is needed, and many places are collecting food for those in need right now. Remember to only give if you can.
     
  • Run essential errands for those at risk. If you are able, consider helping those who are at risk by going to the store for essential items.
     
  • Reach out to others. Consider a phone call, text or video chat, which can help to curb loneliness and boredom for you and the other person! 

Remember, we are in this together, and together will get through this!

POSTED: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 11:14am
UPDATED: Monday, March 15, 2021 - 11:15am
WRITTEN BY:
Bethanie Mauerman, licensed professional counselor and doctoral student