Due to new restrictions in many Canadian provinces, residents may not be able to meet outside their own four walls for the upcoming vacation.
However, experts say there are a few things you can do to keep this season happy while creating new memories.
“We’re unable to accommodate our entire family for Christmas dinner, (but) we still need to eat, and so do our families. So what about a virtual Christmas dinner?” said associate clinical psychologist Arnella Myers.
“We are redefining our vacation time so that we have the opportunity to get together over the next few years.”
Myers noted that it is important to allow yourself to be sad and grieve over the loss of annual traditions, but to understand that there are ways to connect while apart.
“It’s important to realize that we’re dealing with all the changes,” said Myers. “All of the different things we have to deal with this holiday season, and it’s also likely that children will experience the same fear and grief if they are unable to immerse themselves in the holiday tradition as they normally do . “
“Think about what our traditions and routines usually mean this season. A lot of the things we do are more about connecting and community.”
Experts also say to focus on what you can control rather than focus on what you can’t with existing COVID-19 security protocols. and to avoid overcompensation with gifts or constant activity while trying to keep the family happy.
“When you’re celebrating the holidays or Christmas, I think it’s important to focus on the feeling and this can be a wonderful teaching moment for kids,” said registered clinical psychologist Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman. “We want to focus on what this family time means to us.”
“We are in control of how we get involved. We can still reach our friends and families,” Myers said. “Check in with them and wish them a happy holiday. We can still decorate something if that is available to us. We can still have a special meal and these are things that are part of our normal routine. “
While everyone is at home and most of the attention is focused on others, experts say it is important to take care of your own needs as well.
“Sometimes mom or dad or whoever your guardian is need a 15-minute break to themselves,” Myers said. “Structure activities that you can do at this moment or at this time when you have time to do something for yourself.”
Myers said using technology to connect and give you time for yourself can also be a good technique.
“Structure activities where they contact other friends and family members so you also have some time to talk to someone about what’s going on for you and how you are feeling.”