The holiday season is among us and understandably, this year it’s bringing added anxiety as we adapt to celebrating amidst a pandemic. Let’s pause for a moment and look at 5 steps we can take to make the most of our time with loved ones and rid ourselves of any additional stress. But first, this is what the holidays look like for most of our team members:
The holidays look different this year. Remember, it’s one season (pun intended) and won’t last forever. Adaptations are necessary to protect our loved ones and our country so we can minimize the spread of a nasty virus until a vaccine is available.
My family is amazing, and I know how fortunate I am to have these people in my life. I’m the oldest of 6 kids; 4 of us are married. There are 5 dogs and 3 kids amongst us. And we always get together for the holidays–all of us! Here are 5 steps you can take (and I’ve done with my family!) so you can safely spend time with the people you love.
- Go on, have the awkward conversation. The conversations around precautions can be soooo awkward. Many people are addressing the virus in different ways. Clearly the virus has impacted some more than others. You have to plan ahead and have the awkward conversations, otherwise you’ll get to the dinner table and the conversations will be even MORE awkward because no one is on the same page. How do we serve the food? Do we require masks in the house? You should also consider who in your family is too high risk to see people in person at all. Our elderly population is at an increased risk for COVID-19 complications. Please err on the side of caution when you’re evaluating your plans. For a full list of high-risk individuals, see the CDC explanation here.
- Think about the food situation. Ideally, the person cooking should wear a mask and if you’re having a bigger family meal, the food should NOT sit on the table where it’s being eaten. Serve the food buffet style instead of family style. This will help eliminate the food getting contaminated from people talking overtop of it. Snacks should be dished with spoons and tongs (no grubby kids fingers all going in the bags of chips!) and individually packaged when possible.
- Wear the mask. If you’re within 6 feet of someone who doesn’t live in your house, wear a mask. That’s the guideline. Don’t want to wear a mask? Ask everyone to get tested prior to coming and commit to following full CDC and state guidelines until results are received AND until you’re all together. Additional ideas: Consider getting retested after being together and/or quarantining after seeing family. If that’s not an option for you, then reconsider if getting together with people at all is a good idea.
- Consider seating arrangements. Family can sit in different pods. People can sit at different tables while eating. Ideal? No. But also not that bad in the scheme of things. Getting to be together for the holidays is a huge blessing that not everyone has, so embrace the situation, rock it out, and let us all hope that next year we don’t have to worry about it.
- Put in time blocks. Staying overnight at a family member’s house? Consider putting in time blocks for when everyone is in close proximity (closer than 6 feet). My kiddos don’t have any issues wearing masks. They’re 2 and 4 and they’re used to using them at school. But wearing a mask several days in a row would be difficult. We can eliminate this by having blocks of time when they’re playing with aunts/uncles/grandparents vs mom and dad. Scheduling it out in advance gives everyone an opportunity to not have to wear masks constantly.
Make sure the loved ones in your life know how treasured they are, whether you’re in person or on Zoom this holiday season. Our love is bigger than this pandemic, and we’re in it together.
Here’s to life to the fullest,
Tiffany Rubin, Founder/CEO
Download: 5 Things To Do So You Can Enjoy This Holiday Season
Disclaimer: The current environment around suggestions and regulations for COVID-19 are constantly changing. You should always check your state, local, and/or CDC guidelines before planning to see individuals or travel. This information sheet was created by the Clinical Team at Silver Lining and is representative of their clinical expertise along with current guidelines at the time of publication.
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