Preparing for a ‘New Normal’ Christmas
As we head further into the cold months and start ticking off our Christmas shopping list, we have to consider how this happy holiday will be impacted by Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions. We can’t expect everything to be as normal as last year, but is there some hope for a semi-typical holiday without too many restrictions?
Unfortunately, we are getting differing information from news outlets and politicians, and many people are having their say on social media about whether or not a typical Christmas is good for the impact of Covid-19. But, we also have to consider the ways a ‘new normal’ Christmas can alter peoples mental health.
Please keep reading for more information about what a ‘new normal’ Christmas could look like and how you can support your mental health during these uncertain times.
Goodbye to the Work Party
One of the highlights of the festive season for many is the work Christmas party where you get to relax, have fun and celebrate with your work besties! This could typically be a meal with drinks, a fun activity like mini-golf or even a black-tie event with dinner and entertainment.
However, Covid-19 has surely seen the work Christmas party we are used to cancelled. With large gatherings a definite no-no, a party like this cannot go ahead safely without breaking restrictions and putting others at risk.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a work Christmas party at all. Virtual parties are the latest in social gatherings, allowing your workforce to celebrate together from the comfort of their own homes. Speak to someone at work and suggest this route if they haven’t already thought about it. Not only will this allow you to meet before the Christmas holidays, but it will keep people’s spirits up too!
What About the Big Day?
Undoubtedly, the biggest worry everyone has about Christmas 2020 is whether or not Christmas Day will look different. As it stands, there are different Tiers which dictate how you can meet people within homes. If you are in Tier 2 or Tier 3, you can only meet indoors with your household or support bubble. This means families who are used to grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles or children visiting their home on the big day are in for a very different Christmas.
However, there is some hope for families wanting to spend this special holiday with loved ones outside of their household. Professor Neil Ferguson, the man behind the March lockdown, has said that lifting restrictions for one or two days over the Christmas period would only have a ‘limited impact’ on the spread of Covid-19. Even PM Boris Johnson is hopeful that Christmas will be close to as normal as usual this year with people spending the day with their family.
Your Mental Health
So, how can a ‘new normal’ Christmas affect your mental health? Even if you live in a busy household with a partner and children, it may be upsetting to think you might not be able to see your parents or other loved ones on Christmas Day.
Those who live alone may be faced with a lack of choice on who to visit on Christmas Day. As of September 14th 2020, anyone with a support bubble was no longer allowed to change it. This means whoever their support bubble is, they are the only people they will be able to visit the household of. You may have wanted to have travelled home for Christmas as you have in the past, but now you are prevented from doing this. Of course, if you have a child and are divorced, they are allowed to travel between homes without restriction.
All of these worries and concerns can leave a person feeling very anxious and depressed. With no clear idea on what Christmas 2020 will exactly look like, we are left imagining the worst-case scenarios. As anxiety and depression take hold, these amplify our feelings of worry, fear, sadness and loneliness, only making our mental health worse.
If you already suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), all of these changes can worsen your condition and cause you to spiral into a deep depression. You must find the right support you need and deserve if you want to get through Christmas and come out of 2020 with a positive outlook on the future.
If there’s one thing we have learnt in this modern and increasingly accepting time, it is that mental health is not something we can always face alone. For decades, therapy was a word associated with bad connotations or fears of being ridiculed. However, more recently, people finally understand the necessity of therapy to support our mental health, improve our understanding of how the brain works and boost our quality of life.
If you are concerned about your mental health, therapy is an excellent place for you to find expert guidance and advice, which will enable you to face each day with confidence. If you understand your triggers, what it is that brings you anxiety or depressive thoughts as well as what to do in these situations, you can gain more control over your mental health.
Rather than letting your mental health issues dominate, I can help you understand ways you can recognise when it is your anxiety or depression, controlling your thoughts and emotions. With my dedicated support, this task which may seem difficult now can come with ease, with me reassuring and guiding throughout.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. If you are worried about your mental health in the coming months as we face even more uncertainty, I am here to guide you and support you through it all. My expert advice, a compassionate ear and hefty experience ensures that you are in capable hands throughout.