SPARTA, Wis. (WXOW)- In addition to the usual hustle and bustle of the holiday season, this year families also face the challenges of COVID-19, causing many to feel depressed, stressed, or anxious.
The Monroe County Health Department recognizes this struggle and provides families with several key tips to help alleviate some of this stress and celebrate the season, while keeping each other safe.
You Can Stop the Spread
The department advises community members to do all of their holiday shopping online this year. If shoppers must go to stores in-person, they should wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, and social distance. In addition, individuals are encouraged to partake in virtual holiday celebrations, such as hosting a video group chat game night, talent show, dinner party or ugly sweater contest.
Put your well-being first
Managing behavioral health can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. The department encourages individuals to reach out to virtually to loved ones, spiritual advisors, coworkers, or online support groups for help. If feelings of anxiety or depression persist, talk to a doctor or mental health specialist. Individuals seeking assistance can call The LIFELINE at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOPELINE to 741741. To find a resource near you, click here.
Looking ahead and identifying situations that may be stressful or problematic can help manage and avoid stress altogether. For example, those hosting virtual events can check in with their guests ahead of time to ensure they know how to use the video chat program.
Simplify your commitments
The department reminds individuals that they do not have to say yes to every invitation they receive. Instead they can simply choose to attend the events that bring them joy and make them feel safe. After virtual celebrations, take time to relax and recover.
Take care of your body
The holidays have been known to interrupt healthy habits. The department advises community members to practice moderation when celebrating virtually, making sure to eat plenty of healthy foods, exercise, and get lots of sleep. In addition, individuals should take advantage of daytime hours and get some sun.
Set realistic expectations
With movies and social media creating unrealistic expectations, it is important to focus on setting reasonable goals this holiday season. The department urges community members to embrace the phrase “good enough”, keeping in mind that virtual holiday celebrations are new to everyone. Individuals are encouraged to simply have fun this season and know that they are appreciated.
Try to be patient
In regards to holiday conflict, the department suggests meeting others halfway this season, as everyone is feeling stressed and overwhelmed this year. Although you can’t control how others act, you can control how you respond.
The Monroe County Health Department would like to wish the community a happy holiday season and encourages everyone to help do their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and making this season safe for all. Those interested in more information, visit the Monroe County Health Department’s COVID-19 website.