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Do's and don'ts for this year's holiday season - lockdown edition

Daily life | Reading time: 3 minutes

Right now, we are in the middle of the ''darkest'' days of the year. Last year, we were able to ''lighten'' the mood with holiday festivities, social warmth and coziness. This year, however, we will have to find alternative ways to reproduce that feeling. Especially the social warmth will be different this year. We will have to look for alternative ways to make the coming holidays as comfortable as possible for ourselves.

It is not strange that you may feel less enthusiastic about getting this done compared to previous years: We are left with less options that are important to us, and we are less able to give it the space we want it to have, such as seeing all loved ones and spending time with them. We have spent more time talking to people feeling that same way. Feeling a certain way about this abnormal situation is a perfectly normal, human reaction.

Less feasible distractions during these dark days

Because of this situation, we are seeing that more and more people are starting to feel more loneliness and/or sadness. This time of year is already infamous for its well known ''winter blues’’. Usually, we can counteract this feeling by undertaking social activities or doing the things you enjoy most. However, these times are extra tough due to the reduced possibilities.

Unfortunately, we only have limited influence over the current circumstances. We can not directly change the lockdown rules, and that may leave you feeling powerless. That is why we aim to help you find the focus for things you can influence, since there are always things you can change positively in your life.

Tips to make the most of the holidays, even in times of lockdown

Since the addition of regulations, we have received an increased amount of questions on how to take care of yourself mentally during these times. To help you find a way forward in these times, and help cope with (upcoming) feelings of sadness or loneliness, we will give you a few do’s and don'ts to help cope with the situation:

1. Aim your focus towards the things you can control

DO: Organize a group-videocall with loved ones to discuss a positive plan for the future.

DONT: Surround yourself with negative news and with the things you can't do at the moment

Example: Can’t spend the holidays together with your family, but still want to find ways to spend it together in a different way? Try to make it as memorable as possible, for example by becoming a gameshow-host and playing online games with your family or friends.

2. Keep in touch and connect frequently

DO: Schedule the next time you are going to catch up with the person you spoke to.

DONT: Stop reaching out because you do not want to burden another person with your feelings.

Example: Call that one family member that you usually do not talk to very often. No need to feel any pressure, everyone is going through a difficult time nowadays.

3. Give yourself plenty of structure for the coming days.

DO: Keep going outside and plan a few things to do each day

DONT: Sleep in forever and miss the sunlight of the day.

Example: Living and working in the same space? Do you usually unwind by traveling from and to the office? Try spending the time that usually went into commuting into walking or cycling around the block. This way it seems just like you’re arriving and leaving the office.

More tips on how to survive the corona lockdown?

The tips above are relatively specific. Are you still feeling sad or lonely? There are many more things to try out to combat these feelings. We would like to refer to one of our written programs discussing ways to deal with sadness: https://programmas.openup.care/en/kaart/1-corona-somberheid

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