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Blog / / Safe holidays during the epidemic. There will be time for celebration.
25/12/2020
Safe holidays during the epidemic. There will be time for celebration.
Marija Živković Psychotherapist in Psychological Counseling Center ‘Mozaik’
Safe holidays during the epidemic. There will be time for celebration.
The holidays are here. We are always looking forward to them, and so is the case this year, when we should stay at home, and when it is recommended that we should not host people outside the household. After many months of isolation, economic uncertainty, and pandemic fatigue, we now need more than usual to have hugs of friends and family, relaxation and a sense of security provided by the festive warmth. Gifts and a specially prepared meal, exchanging wishes and hopes for a better tomorrow – do not mind the epidemic and are looking for their deserved place in our lives.

Just like the whole year has been, the holidays will be difficult and significantly different from what we expect. Holidays are always a period of the year when everything is felt more intensely, both happiness and loneliness, so the holidays can bring sadness to some. However, since we know what is ahead of us, we can do something about it and maintain the spirit of celebration in a different way. Start the preparations now, it’s the right time!

Gifts

Gifts not only make the recipient happy, but also significantly raise the mood of the giver. Set aside time for giving gifts. Instead of visiting gift shops, order gifts which are directly delivered to recipients. The conditions in which we have spent this year inspired many residents of our country to turn their hobbies into small entrepreneurial ventures, which was often a necessity due to the loss of a regular job. Wonderful handicrafts are available on social networks that you can buy as gifts and thus make even the one who sells them happy. Think about whether you already have something in the house that you do not use and you know that it will make someone happy – it is not a shame to forward a gift. Moreover, the gift brings attention and thought, and it is exactly what we need. Find those trifles among your belongings that you can leave to your neighbors in front of the door, packed so that they can disinfect them. Giving a secret gift to someone is a perfect recipe for feeling good, for both you and the person who sees it when opening the door, which is probably rare these days. In addition to putting a mask on your face and keeping distance, which are implicit in a store, put some chocolate or fruit, a small decoration or coffee in your basket, and do not pack them in your bag. Leave them to the cashier; they also look forward to the holidays, and are at a higher risk compared to many people. There is a box for collecting foodstuffs next to the cash register in many supermarkets that are intended for our fellow citizens who live in difficult conditions. Leave an apple or tangerine in front of the door of a healthcare professional from your block. None of these proposals will take you much of your time, nor will they change your routine.

Meeting with friends and relatives

If you have been separated from your beloved ones for too long, and you cannot resist celebrating at home with the closest friends - isolate yourself before and after the celebration. You have time, and it is a confidence test for you and your friends. Loneliness is not a pleasant feeling, and the latest researches conducted in many countries show that socializing online cannot replace socializing offline. However, the same researches show that socializing online can significantly reduce the feeling of loneliness. The ways you spend time with your beloved ones through various applications can be also very creative. Arrange with your friends to create a shared playlist. Make a joint video, record separately your own parts, and edit it together on the Internet. Send each other ‘holiday assignments’ of which one should be recording yourself while reading poetry in a language you do not understand, the other should be singing, dancing, or - even more personally – record and share memories, old photos or gladly shared anecdotes. What you need to beware of is psychological isolation.

Meeting strangers

When performing tasks, when you are in the store or at the post office, keep a distance, wear a mask and avoid touching other people. There is often someone who does not do that, and employees are responsible for encouraging them to behave in accordance with the established social agreement. Help them with that. Tensions in society are high and there are no relieved and carefree people now. There is a lot of nervousness and worry, people may be unkind, but everyone becomes kinder and more attentive when you manage to show understanding. Of course, your understanding is not to be wasted, but invest that one percent of good will that you have in strangers you meet. Keep in mind that no one intends to hurt anyone, so in a calm voice, take the side of the person who speaks in favor of observing the measures and say: ‘That's what we have agreed, we are all doing that’.

Understand this as an important mission: in addition to your own health and the health of other people, we also have to safeguard the holidays. We should cherish empathy and closeness among people, and therefore we must not isolate ourselves mentally by any means, as we have to isolate physically. We will do that by preserving the essence of the holiday, and that is the mutual warmth of people, not the celebration. We will celebrate.
AUTHOR
Marija Živković
Psychotherapist in Psychological Counseling Center ‘Mozaik’