How to Stay Positive During the Holiday Season and the Pandemic


Photo courtesy of Working Mother.

The Holidays can be stressful and on top of the covid-19 pandemic, there is even more stress.

Kelly Zarate, Co-editor in chief

“Tis the season to be jolly,” but many are wondering how one can be jolly when the holidays just won’t be the same this year.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises against traveling to visit relatives because it could pose a risk for your own health and to others at high risk. Governor Gavin Newsom has just placed the state of California under a new stay at home order that limits many things such as outdoor dining, personal care services, and many others. This leaves most popular holiday attractions such as Candy Cane Lane, Holiday in the Park, and pictures with Santa out of the question. With all these barriers, how can one get into the holiday spirit while remaining healthy and safe during the midst of a global pandemic?


Self Care

The holidays are stressful enough as it is, but this year especially. With all the limits on the holiday, many people can feel stressed and lonely. It is vital to allow yourself to feel what you feel, and know what you are feeling is alright. Be kind to others, but especially yourself. Give yourself grace and practice some self-care, whether it be watching a holiday movie, reading a book, eating some holiday snacks, or performing some positive affirmations. By performing some positive affirmations and self-compassion, you can build resiliency and feel better overall. 

By saying these phrases to yourself, you are redirecting negative thinking into new ways through mindful practices.

  • I can handle anything that comes my way.
  • Whatever I did today was enough.
  • Better days are coming.
  • I am strong, and I am loved.


Staying on a Schedule

In the pandemic, it’s easy to feel like all days are the same and lose track of time. Creating a schedule while following the stay at home orders helps put an end to what seems like the endless hours and ongoing days. 

Humans are creatures of habit. As humans, we feel more comfortable in a well-known environment and when we know what to expect. According to Indumathi Bendi, MD., a primary care physician, “Carrying out routine activities reduces stress by making the situation appear controllable and predictable. Preparedness is a key way to prevent stress.”

Creating a schedule can eliminate the stress that comes from the pandemic because they create structure. According to Hackensack Meridian Health, “A daily routine often begins with the alarm clock ringing to start our day, and the routines follow from there with showering, brushing our teeth, dressing and grabbing coffee on the way to the office.” By just creating a small list on how to go about your morning, you are already eliminating some stress in your day as well as creating a sense of accomplishment.

In addition to creating a routine, it’s important to create some time for some new activities and leisure time. For example, schedule about 30 minutes to try some breathing exercises and meditation, or schedule time to binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix.


Giving Back

This year, 2020, has positioned us to accept the change from distance-learning to social distancing and every mask-shaped struggle in between. This year, hugs are being advised to be replaced with waves and elbow bumps and masks cover the smiles of loved ones. Though many things have changed, the holidays are a season of giving, and that is one thing that shouldn’t stop this year. There are many things that we can do this year to keep the spirit of giving, whether it be a simple phone call to a friend or performing an act of kindness to a stranger. 

One excellent way to stay positive during the holiday season is to get involved with a local charity. In the face of Covid-19, charitable organizations still continue to raise funds and provide critical services. 

Many local organizations take part, such as the Saugus club, Smile! SCV, Santa Clarita Grocery, Circle of Hope, Henry Mayo Foundation. Residents can donate and volunteer at these places. No matter the size or shape of your donation, or how many hours you volunteer, you can make a difference in someone’s life. Show your spirit of generosity and feel the positivity of the season with safe giving opportunities. 

Another way is to perform an act of kindness. You can drop off a gift or kind note on their doorstep. You might bake their favorite brownies and leave them on their doorstep. It could even be as simple as paying for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru lane. Get creative if you like and remember that the most important thing is that the other person’s day be brighter.


Know When to Reach Out

We are all going through unprecedented times, and the holiday season will not take away how difficult that feels. Mental health is an important part of our well being, it affects our day to day activities. It’s imperative to know when to reach out for professional help. According to the CDC, the best way to get mental health resources, especially during that pandemic is to “Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row. Free and confidential resources can also help you or a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.”