Beating the COVD Holiday Blues
Bill Cottringer

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness during this holiday season.” ~Helen Keller

This year the normal holiday spirit may be dampened by the COVID situation that is trying to hold us all hostage. But in an effort to not let that happen, here are a few suggestions on keeping the holiday spirit alive and well:
1. Despite the present difficulties, try to focus on the positive over the negative, as every bad situation has some good aspects and benefits. When you play out these positive aspects, the negative feelings don’t seem to have such a bad impact.
2. Adapt and adjust to the COVID restrictions rather than resist or avoid. Follow the rules of limiting travel and social gatherings, masking-up, washing your hands frequently, keeping the 6-foot social distance with others, and comply with the current quarantine guidelines of 7-days upon exposure and no symptoms (14 is still the ideal).
3. Accept the reality that the holidays may be much different this year than the past fond memories, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Invent some new traditions for fun.
4. Keep a lean holiday budget but do put up festive holiday decorations as they help improve a positive holiday spirit. If you are short on money, places like value village and the Salvation Army have inexpensive vintage decorations.
5. Avoid the temptation of over-eating or drinking too much in response to boredom and work stress, as these bad habits worsen the negative impact of stress. Engage in stress-reducing activities after work. Always get plenty of rest and sleep. And take needed breathers at work, as well as learning when to say “no” to avoid being overloaded.
6. Don’t stop healthy habits. Go outdoors and exercise every chance you get. Walking around the neighborhood or easy hiking out in nature are good ways to stay connected with life and limit uncomfortable feelings.
7. Love you home or apartment, family members and pets. These connections maintain good feelings and are excellent medicine for fighting the COVID holiday blues. Set aside differences and repurpose your tolerance and patience with others.
8. Maintain connections with remote family and friends by setting up virtual group meetings on zoom and MS Teams.
9. Call, e-mail and text family and friends with positive messages, and abundance compassion and understanding, and any good advice you come across. Be the one to reach out to others.
10. Invent some free or inexpensive ways of having fun within your required physical boundaries. Maybe it is a good time to get old books or board games out to re-read or play with family members. Watch the many good holiday TV shows and specials.
11. Write up-lifting holiday messages to family and close friends. It usually takes one person to assume the lead in maintaining such good relationships, so step forward and be that person.
12. Make a bucket list of things you really want to do when the vaccine beats C-19. This will be a good way to reward yourself after all the annoying precautions and uncomfortable restrictions we have all endured.
13. Acknowledge and accept your negative feelings like depression, fear, disappointment, regret, and anxiety, so they can run their normal course and not over-stay their expiration date. You are meant to be happy more than unhappy.
14. If you are all alone, find someone to talk to or be a good listener yourself. Don’t be ashamed to seek support and consider volunteering in a safe environment. Helping others is the best-known way to help yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help—giving or receiving.
15. At the end of the day identify and appreciate the few blessings you have in the dire situation we are all in.
You don’t have to do all the things on this list to keep the holiday spirit alive, just a few will do the trick!

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~Socrates.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Team Member for Pal American Security in Bellevue, WA, along with his hobbies in being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the scenic mountains and rivers of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), and “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden), Thoughts on Happiness, and Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant House). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or