For many of you, this might be the first time you are not traveling or spending time with family and friends for the holidays.  Those of us that don’t have family in the immediate area and have gone through a divorce, however, are far more likely to have experienced this before.  In prior years when I did not have my son for the holidays and could not travel to be with family, these are a few things that kept me sane:

  1. Make it Festive– Decorate your home, even if no one is coming over.  Normally, I do this during Thanksgiving while watching the Macy’s Parade, but this year there is no parade, and I decided to start early while playing some of my favorite tunes.  Apparently, according to the Facebook posts I’ve seen, I’m definitely not alone.
  2. Reach Out– Your friends and family want to hear from you, know that you are okay.  It may only be for a few minutes, or maybe you share a meal together via Zoom or Facetime, but now more than ever it’s those human connections that will help remind you that you are not alone.
  3. Challenge Yourself– Try something new.  This year, rather than sticking to the same old recipes and buying an over-priced gourmet pie, I signed up for a cooking class to learn new side dishes, and a friend who owns Happy Healthy Chefs taught me over Zoom how to make my own apple pie from scratch (by the way best pie I’ve ever had)!
  4. Have a Plan– Aside from cooking and eating, carve out some time to exercise, download a good book on your Kindle, queue up some fun shows to stream, write out some holiday cards, and start working on your holiday shopping list. This is not the year to be a procrastinator given the unpredictable timeframe for packages to ship.
  5.  Be Grateful and Kind– This year more than ever it’s about being grateful for the little things– like our health, having our basic necessities met, and loved ones in our lives.  Be kind to those around you, maybe they are not as fortunate as you.  For the first time ever, I’ve come to understand that many within my own inner circle have compromised immune systems, don’t have the financial resources required to weather this pandemic, or have limited deep connections.  Truly, we are all at our most vulnerable moment in our lives and what we need more than ever is kindness.

In these unprecedented times, I hope these tips will come in handy and wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!

By Regina A. DeMeo