Preparing to Stay-at-Home for the Holidays: 5 Tips to Help Cope with Being Apart this Season

The smell of food cooking, the laughter of family and friends, warm hugs, and sipping cider by the fire with loved ones- these are all cornerstones of the holidays. This year, however, the holidays are going to look very different for many of us as cases of Covid-19 continue to spike, forcing many families to plan their holiday celebrations apart this year. As someone who has spent many holidays away from family, here are my 5 top tips to stave off boredom, homesickness, and loneliness during the holiday season!

1. Make a Plan

It's easy to tell yourself that the holidays are "just another day". That is until your sitting on your couch, still in your pajamas, wondering what you are going to eat or do until bed. Bleak thoughts begin to creep in, and you end up feeling sorry for yourself because your longstanding family traditions have been broken.

Instead, plan out a few activities beforehand, and have them ready to go. You don't need to keep a tight schedule- after all, part of the magic of holidays is getting to relax- but knowing that you have a good meal planned, a few chores that you've been putting off for a really long time (like cleaning those makeup brushes) ready to go, and something fun just for your own benefit can make the day feel special, productive, and reviving.

2. Call or Video Chat with Family Early

Waking up and knowing you get to commune with loved ones makes the distance much more bearable. Don't put off your conversations- have them earlier on and give yourself time to spend with each of your family members you are missing this season. calling early on also gives busy family and friends time to call you back before it gets too late.

Remember, love only grows, so the more you give, the more you will receive. Share all the love you have to give, and then some. Tell everyone you have the chance to come into contact with how thankful you are for them- It will come back to you tenfold and lift your spirits in unimaginable ways.

3. Try something new.

Though it may seem like an odd perspective, think of this time to yourself or with your household as a gift. You have the opportunity to create intimacy with those you're "stuck" with (even if it's just you getting to know yourself better!). Use this opportunity to try a new skill- Maybe that's painting, an online dance class, cooking something challenging, the possibilities are limitless. You don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. I always try to remind myself that everything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. By taking the time to try something new, you're creating a sacred space for yourself to explore, learn, and grow- and even possibly discover something you're passionate about! You'll also have something new to talk about the next time you connect with the rest of your loved ones.

4. Practice self care

This is possibly the most important tip on this list. Babydoll Box was created with the idea of self care in mind, and so it is a subject our entire team is passionate about. In fact, our first blog post ever is about how self care is not selfish. Self care is different for everyone, however we do have some suggestions that have been effective for us. Yoga, meditation, good and healthy food, a warm bath, tea, face masks, exercise, giving yourself a mani-pedi, trying a deep conditioning hair treatment, are all things that work extremely well for us. You know your mind and body better than anyone else, so however you pursue giving yourself some TLC is perfect and exactly what you need.

5. Finally, Join a Chat Room

I love internet chat rooms. Whether it be interacting with a live person and their viewers on Twitch, or joining a group of people with similar interests via forums, Facebook, or Discord (to name just a few), group chat rooms can offer a fulfilling social experience, foster comradery, and even forge friendships. If you find yourself feeling lonely, jumping into a chat with people can brighten up that dreary feeling and remind you that other people are going through the exact same things as you. It's always nice to know that you're not alone in feeling your feelings, and even nicer to feel the love and support of others, even if it's through a written message here and there. If writing isn't really your thing, check out Discord! Discord offers the option to voice chat with a group, as well as just post via public forums.

Remember, you are loved, and distance can never change that.

This season, as we all hunker down and get cozy for the winter, try these tricks to maintain your mental health and brighten your corner of the world. Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know! we'd love to hear from you.

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