With all the planning, shopping, cooking and merrymaking, the holidays can be stressful, even without a pandemic. With COVID-19 added to the mix, it’s natural to feel more seasonal anxiety. We’re pressing pause on so many traditions, second-guessing those we want to keep and trying to keep everyone happy and healthy.
But that doesn’t mean we have to take a holiday raincheck. We’ve learned so much this year that we can build on. With masks, social distancing, hand washing and creativity, we can find new ways to embrace the holidays safely.
It does mean that we need to do our research to make informed decisions for ourselves and our families over the next few weeks. We’ve pulled together some useful resources to get you started, plus some basics for a healthier holiday for this year and beyond.
Holiday safety during COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is your best source for up-to-date COVID-19 information, support, and resources. Specifically, be sure to read the very latest safety guidelines regarding holiday gatherings and travel (however, as of the writing of this, COVID-19 cases are rising and the CDC recommends staying home as the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19).
The CDC also has a robust library of topics related to the pandemic, including:
- Tips on wearing a mask: The dos and don'ts, plus how to clean your mask.
- Coping with stress: Everyday management, plus targeted support for essential works, health care providers, caregivers, those who are socially isolated, and others.
- Running errands and going out: Comprehensive instructions for all sorts of places, and activities, including the bank, the grocery store, gas stations and playgrounds.
- What to do if you are sick: Steps to take immediately, how to prevent the spread within your household, and when to seek emergency medical care.
- Precautions for people at increased risk: Targeted resources based on your individual situation or where you live.
The basics of any healthy holiday
Beyond keeping yourself safe and informed, it's important to take time to maintain your health and well-being. This can boost your mood, reduce stress and strengthen your immune system to help fight illness.
- Make time to exercise. Boosting your heart rate by exercising several times a week is an easy way to destress and improve sleep (and offset that second helping of pie). Get the CDC guidelines for exercising safely outdoors or find a home workout app to keep things fresh.
- Get enough sleep. Stress, big meals, and alcohol all disrupt sleeping. Try avoid eating within two hours of going to bed and take time to unwind an hour beforehand. Try swapping screens for a good book or some soothing music.
- Eat healthy foods. We know—this time of year, it's more about the gravy than the greens. But eating healthfully keeps our immune system up—and our anxiety down. And this doen't mean giving up the holiday foods we love. It just means eating more mindfully—and taking it easy on the sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. You might also try new, heart-healthy recipes for the holiday table, like this tantalizing wild mushroom gravy with red wine, or this boldly colored winter salad with beets, orange, and pomegranate. Explore additional healthy holiday recipes that don’t skimp on flavor.
- Claim time for self-care. When you care for yourself, you’re better equipped to care for others. Set aside time to do something that’s meaningful to you—if needed, a partner to help you protect that time. Try taking thirty minutes to read, journal, do something creative or call a friend. Get more self-care tips and ideas.
Journi is ready with holiday support
We’re here to help our users 24/7 as they navigate the 2020 holiday season. Our Care Guides, nurses and health coaches are trained with the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines and they’re ready to provide answers, resources and personalized support for any questions or concerns users might have, like:
- How can I social distance safely?
- How can I safely shop for gifts?
- Is it ok to bring a gift to the neighbors?
- What happens if I get sick if I'm away from home?
- What should I do if my doctor doesn't have any appointments available?
- How do I tell my family I'm uncomfortable visiting in person?
- What can I do to manage the loneliness of spending the holidays on my own?
To learn more about the many ways Journi is supporting our users, get in touch.