BLOGS from St. Anthony
With the holiday season here and COVID-19 still present, you may not be able to celebrate the holidays the same way as in the past. While it’s important to continue social distancing, wearing a mask, and following your state guidelines, it’s also important to check in on your mental health and do things that will maintain your well being. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can still celebrate the holidays this year while still adhering to these guidelines and keeping others safe. Here are some suggestions for you to safely celebrate the holidays and maintain your mental health during this uncertain time:
- Take Care of Yourself. You may be feeling uneasy or overwhelmed the more you stay home and away from loved ones. Make sure you take care of yourself by setting aside time for yourself, like meditating, going for a walk, keeping a journal, and getting enough sleep.
- Check-In with Loved Ones. Social distancing is essential in stopping the spread of the virus, but limiting contact with others can also take its toll on your mental health. Make sure to check-in with others and visit with others virtually over video chat or phone call, writing letters, or chatting with friends you may not have reached out to in a while.
- Connect, Engage, and Socialize in New Ways. Get creative with your virtual visits! There’s only so much you can talk about, and having something fun to do will keep your spirits up while still getting to socialize with your loved ones. Consider watching a movie together virtually, playing games, or having an impromptu concert. Or, you may want to lower your media consumption by limiting your social media intake. Do things at home like picking up a new hobby or playing board games with your family.
- Relax. As stressful as this is, make time to relax and recharge. Get outside, exercise, take a bath, watch TV, or have a dance party with your family. It’s so important to have fun and do things that make you happy during this time to maintain your mental health.
- Consider Health and Safety for Small Gatherings. Depending on where you live, guidelines may allow you to have a small gathering. Make sure that your gathering is low-risk by having a large enough venue to make sure all your guests can social distance and keep 6 feet away from each other. Provide masks for everyone to wear, and encourage everyone to wear them to protect each other. You may also consider other tips on celebrating the holidays during COVID such as wearing a mask to prepare food, having one designated server of food, having everyone bring their own food, and having hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant available for everyone to use throughout the party.
Holidays often mean visiting with older family members, and with COVID-19, visiting those older and more at-risk loved ones may not be possible. Prioritize their health, but include them in your holiday festivities with creative ideas such as:
- Send a Gift Basket. Send a gift basket full of the goodies you may be having at your holiday gathering. It could be a bit of the food you’re serving, a special dessert, a unique present, or some goodies and grab bags you were giving to other guests. This will allow them to be part of the fun and feel thought of, appreciated, and missed.
- Video Chat. Skype, Facetime, or Zoom loved ones into your party! That way, they can experience your gathering in real-time, and visit with everyone at the same time while staying safe.
- Drive-By Reunions. Some nursing homes are allowing drive-by reunions, where you can drive by your loved one with signs and messages meant for them. This ensures you are keeping a safe, social distance while allowing them to see some of the loved ones that they miss so much.
- Window Visits. If a nursing home isn’t allowing drive-by reunions or other outside visits, see if they are doing window visits, where they can see you through a window and speak to you through a walkie talkie. While this isn’t the same as an in-person visit, it will allow all of you to see each other and visit without endangering anyone.
St. Anthony Regional Hospital takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and is doing everything we can to ensure the safety of all our patients and guests. Our hospital, clinic, nursing home, and Garden View have implemented visiting measures during this time to keep all your loved ones safe during the holiday season. Learn more at our website or Facebook page, or give us a call at 712-792-3581.
- mental health