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Staying Connected At The Holidays


As we approach the most wonderful time of the year, many of us are feeling the weight of pandemic fatigue. Months of drastic changes to our daily lives, isolation from family and friends, the exhaustion of virtual learning or the worry of sending your child in-person, and financial uncertainty. All of it is weighing heavy on so many of us at this moment. With the colder months, flu season, and rapidly increasing Covid-19 numbers, many of us are concerned about how to feel connected during the upcoming holidays.

It may feel impossible to find joy and spread cheer when we are feeling so weary. But it is important for all of us, and our mental health, to find ways to maintain human connections- even during a pandemic. Here are a few safe ways to feel the holiday cheer and feel connected to family in the coming weeks.

  • Drive-by birthday parades have become a popular way to celebrate during 2020, why not organize a drive-by holiday parade for local relatives such as grandparents who may need some holiday cheer? You can make signs, wave, decorate your car, sing carols, or bring gifts/baked goods.
  • Set up video calls for important holiday moments such as dinners, present exchanges, etc.
  • Take a family drive together with your household members and listen to carols and drive through area holiday light displays.
  • Work on a family charitable contribution such as adopting a family through the Children’s Home Society or participating in Operation Christmas Child.
  • Start a virtual book club with family members, neighbors or friends. Decide on a book to read and meet weekly through a virtual format to discuss.
  • Explore your outdoor options, there’s something quite festive about bundling up to take a walk in the cold weather or cozying up by an outdoor fire.
  • Break out the classic board games for family nights- Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Candy Land, or other classics such as Uno, Jenga, or Phase 10.
  • Focus on giving to those in need during these hard times such as Open Door Ministries or other local food pantries.
  • Look for local outdoor attractions that allow for distancing such as the Science Center, Tanglewood, or the NC Zoo.

As humans we thrive on human connection. This time of year many of us ache for family gatherings or catching up with old friends and the pandemic has currently made us yearn for these connections so much more. As we buckle down for what is looking like a tough winter, we must remember the importance of maintaining human connection in any way we can. In 2020 it might take a little more creativity and planning than usual but let us prioritize putting in the effort. May we all stay safe, stay healthy, and find joy this holiday season.