In a year unlike any other, preparing for the festive season and summer holidays feels strange for most of us.
Perhaps some are feeling relief, as COVID-19 border restrictions in Australia drop and we start to move more freely.
Even so, there is still much uncertainty around the holiday season, and many are limping to the 2020 finish line.
There are a few approaches people could take to this festive season. You could write it off completely – as finances and circumstances will make it difficult to manage any meaningful celebration.
You might continue as usual, or bigger than usual, making a special effort to blast away difficulties the sorrows of the year and celebrate all that has been achieved.
For New York-based best-selling author Gretchen Rubin, making plans is fraught. But her mindset is admirable:
“For myself, as I face the unknown future, I’m trying not to exhaust myself by worrying about plans before I have the necessary information. I’m reminding myself to be flexible
I’m also reminding myself to be grateful.”
Writer Dierdre Macken reflected on how unique this summer is to all others in recent memory – and to cherish it.
“Remind the family that this [is] a very special holiday when Australians stayed in their own country without tourists, without many expectations, without much virus but with the generosity of friends or family.”
The mindset you foster during this season will be crucial in supporting your mental health, and the mental health of those around you.
The festive season can be great: fostering family connections, giving and receiving gifts, enjoying family traditions. All these elements of celebration are good for our mental health.
But for many, there are strains on our situations and relationships like never before. The usually difficult Christmas season is all the more bleak considering the weight of the year behind us.
This infographic shows some ways you can protect your mental health.
Remember to seek help if you experience distress or any decline in your mental health over this period. You can speak to someone you trust or contact:
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 https://beyondblue.org.au
By now, we feel like we’ve heard it all a million times: wash your hands, stay 1.5m apart, stay at home if you feel unwell, get tested if you have symptoms.
Although it’s tempting to take these measures for granted, Australia has proved to the world that sensible measures can make a huge impact. So, take a deep breath and keep on following the recommendations of the pandemic experts.
With COVID restrictions coming and going like flies on a summer BBQ, it can be really tricky to keep track of what’s allowed and what’s not.
The Australian Government has helpfully curated all the state and territory restrictions.
Here’s how it works. Say you live in Victoria and want to see if you can go and visit your Aunty in Western Australia. Clicking the link above:
This festive and holiday season may feel different to all those preceding it. But there’s hope in sight. Australians have managed to contain much of the spread of the coronavirus. And on the horizon is the hope of an effective vaccine (or two, or three) coming in 2021.
Well done, all. Have a safe and happy festive season.