How to Keep the Covid-19 Grinch from Stealing Your Christmas!

How to Keep the Covid-19 Grinch from Stealing This Christmas!
Santa Claus hands holding a coronavirus surgical face mask. Covid Christmas.

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” -C.S. Lewis

This post, How to keep the Covid – 19 Grinch at Bay This Christmas, will give you some additional tools to help you have an awesome holiday.

This is undoubtedly going to be a Holiday Season to remember! Sadly, the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is casting its gloomy clouds over the Christmas Season. The combination of pandemic fatigue combined with the holiday season is a highly stressful time for people. Added to that colder weather, and other factors all create a perfect storm, if you will, for things to go from bad to worse.

As I reflect on the meaning of Christmas, I am reminded that the Gospel stories of the birth of Christ took place in a time of great crisis in the nation of Israel. Joseph and Mary, who were expecting any day, were forced by the Roman government to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted in a census. Upon arriving, they had to settle for less than usual housing arrangements. 

Pretty tough times.

With that story in mind, let’s look at some things we can do rot make the best of the situation we find ourselves in.

Here are some tips for a happier holiday season.

Practice Self-Care, Self-compassion.

Self-Care Explained 

Do you remember the safety briefing from your last flight? When the flight attendants get to the part about the unlikely event of sudden cabin depressurization, they explain that the oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling. At that point, they instruct you to put on your mask first, then and only then, help someone else with theirs. 

Self-care is sort of like this, in a way. It is an intentional, active choice to take care of our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. It’s putting us first…because we can’t care for or be the best help to help others unless we first take care of ourselves. 

The benefits of self-care

Self-care can have the following positive effects:

– Improved self-esteem and self-compassion

– Increased insight in decision making and motivation

– Boosted immune system

– Enhanced stress management by reducing anxiety

– Improved productivity fostered by a greater ability to focus

– Deepened spirituality and sense of meaning

– Heightened connection to yourself and others

– Increased resilience

– Greater ability to set boundaries (internal and external)

– Enhanced stress management by reducing anxiety

– Improved productivity fostered by a greater ability to focus

– Deepened spirituality and sense of meaning

– Heightened connection to yourself and others

– Greater ability to set boundaries (internal and external)

Here are seven ways to practice self-care

1. Get your horizontal and vertical relationships in order. The quote from Jesus pretty much sums it up. Love God, and out of that love of God will come to the love of self, then love of others.

2.  Remember, we have to all constantly fight the inner poser. We all feel like fakes and frauds from time to time. When you find yourself beating yourself up, calling yourself names, rehearsing old hurts, telling yourself you are a loser, or suffering from the paralysis of analysis, STOP. Everybody struggles with this from time to time, and it is all part of being human. They are just thoughts. You always have a choice to give them a place in your brain and heart or to dismiss them.

3. Be a buddy to yourself. Would you offer yourself support and encouragement on a bad day? Would you cheer for yourself on a good one?

4. Use your meals as an act of self-care. When you eat, pause to notice that you are taking time to nourish yourself. Rather than seeing how fast you can consume your meal, a nasty habit that I picked up in the military, chew your food slowly, savor the flavor as you add fuel for your body.

5. Get the rest your body needs. 7–8 hours is a great goal and has been proven repeatedly to renew and refresh.

6. Have a time of stillness and quietness in the morning. It could be a time of prayer and meditation. You could read from a daily devotional or have some type of daily reading plan. I have used to read one chapter of the Old Testament book of Proverbs a day.

7. Ask for some help. No, I do not mean therapy, although a good therapist could help. Here is a thought, experiment with giving someone else a chance to help you. It might be a friend, colleague, or mentor who can come alongside you to help out, be an accountability partner, or just an encourager.

Respect the Safety Concerns of Others

The CDC’s guidelines of maintaining your space, washing your hands and wearing a mask, and limiting gatherings to only family members are things we must do to ensure both our personal safety and the safety of others.

Tips for Couples

Why on earth would I tell you this? Because the holidays can be a very stressful time for any relationship. With that in mind, I wanted to give you four things you can do to have a less stressful holiday.

First, turn towards each other.

It is so easy to be swept up in the frenzy of the season. One of the easy things to do to have less stress over the next few weeks is to be sure to spend some time together as a couple. No smart devices, if possible, no kids, no distractions. It might only be a few moments in the morning or the evening; just make sure you get some uninterrupted time together. NOTE: don’t think big about this. A few private moments can go a long way.

Second, share the load.

For many, the holidays can become a whirl of activities. It is essential that as a husband and wife, we make sure we work together to share the burden and get through the season with minimal stress. 

Third, encourage each other.

Encourage. The word means to give courage, hope, and confidence. Here is a secret that I have learned as both a therapist and a man married to the same woman for 47 years.

Men need three things: To feel needed, to feel competent, and to feel respected.

Women need three things: To feel valued, to feel cherished, and to feel secure.

If you think about these three needs, you will find it easier to be an encourager.

Remember, these three things, turning towards each other, sharing the load, and intentionally encouraging each other, can go a long way in mitigating the season’s stress.

Here are some more tips for couples.

I sincerely hope your holidays are filled with joy, contentment, and great memories.

Be a blessing this week!

B Begin your day with
L Love on your heart.
E Expect great things.
S Smile because you are alive.
S Shine like sun.
I Inspire someone today.
N Never forget that,
G God is with you all time.”

— Ben MalkiBlessing

One thought on “How to Keep the Covid-19 Grinch from Stealing Your Christmas!

  1. WOW !!!
    Thank you John for your encouraging ways for us to deal with this pandemic and the most important holiday and celebration of all. I really appreciate your and Angie’s friendship thanks to Premier Designs. Hopefully we can visit when this Covid is over. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2021 Love you guys

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