8 Ways to Cope If You Can’t See Family and Friends This Holiday Season
The first year of this new decade has been full of anxiety, stress, frustration, confusion, fear, and disappointments. For many people, it’s meant losing a job—or a loved one. For others, it’s forced them to make difficult decisions about significant life events, like canceling their wedding or giving birth alone. No matter how the coronavirus pandemic has shaped and changed your life, it’s safe to say that everyone has had a lack of celebrations this year, with virtual birthday parties, vow exchanges, and graduations taking the place of in-person gatherings.
As we inch closer to a much-anticipated holiday season, many people may feel emotional. After all, what will the holidays be like if we can’t see our family face-to-face? Or if we can’t meet our friends for our annual holiday gift exchange or happy hour? With CDC guidelines encouraging people to avoid holiday travel and large gatherings, there’s a chance we’ll find out what small-scale, solitary holidays look like sooner rather than later.
It’s normal to feel disenchanted and flat-out sad about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve when there’s a chance you won’t be able to spend it with the larger circle of people near and dear to you. While psychologists say those feelings are normal and expected, it’s also essential to find coping strategies. We spoke with experts on their best advice for feeling connected and remaining positive during the 2020 holiday season.