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I think it is safe to say that this holiday season is unlike any other in modern history. Any holiday season can be both joyful and stressful, magical, and overwhelming. This year it just so happens that at the same time, we are trying to celebrate, and we are also grieving a season that has been gutted by a pandemic. The public health experts continue to remind us that the most prudent and safest approach this year is to stay home for the holidays, to be in it together but remain separate; ten months of this kind of separation is tough no matter how much you see the current situation through a glass half full lens.

Pandemic fatigue is real and the one common theme I hear from friends, family, and clients alike is that finding comfort and joy in 2020 feels odd at best, and for some, it feels like a real loss of closeness, tradition, and memory-making.

As you make significant sacrifices to keep yourself, your family, and your communities safe, I hope that you find some comfort and joy in connecting and celebrating in the unusual ways we have access to today.

Go the Virtual Route

There have been all kinds of dinners, dates, and events happening all year over Zoom. Lift a lonely mood by doing some holiday gathering with loved ones this way too. Dine together, share vivid descriptions of food, unwrap a gift or two, and give a little gratitude for the innovative ways we do have available to connect with one another in the present moment.

Gather Outdoors

Set the stage. Celebrate this year in small, socially distanced groups. Gather around a fire pit or beneath heated lamps. Who knows, it may be just the thing to ignite a whole new outdoor holiday tradition in the years to come!

Get Tested 

If you are hosting for the holidays, ask guests to take the PCR (nasal swab) test. While this is not a green light or foolproof plan since the test is only as accurate as the day it was administered, the clarity may provide some peace of mind.

Now that we have addressed safety, a critical component of comfort, let us look to joy!

Prioritize Delight

The most meaningful holiday seasons are not the ones with the craziest parties, least amount of sleep, or the most presents under the tree. Instead of checking off a list of holidays “to-dos,” obligations, or a lengthy list of events in the name of holiday joy, look for magical moments, create some space to delight in listening to your heart, give thanks for your health and give yourself permission to engage in the holiday in the ways that feel delightful, filling your heart and soul. Anything that has been overwhelming in past years – let it go!

Keep it Simple

Navigate this season with one question in mind – does “it” fill my heart with comfort and joy OR does it empty it? If the latter is true, the time has come to be lovingly selective, giving your time, energy, and attention to whatever is most meaningful to YOU.

In gratitude and best care,

Sheila

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