The holidays are fraught this year. We miss our families and we want to see them. Here are some things you can do to stay on the sane side of family gatherings during a global pandemic.
- Know your boundaries: We all have different situations and different levels of fear and concern, and that is OK. The most important thing is that you know what's right for you and your family.
- Have a conversation: If you're planning to get together with someone, a light, "Hey, so what are the COVID rules at your house?" is a great way to start the conversation.
- Give options: Maybe you are comfortable having someone over to your home, but don't make assumptions about how the other party feels. If you want to get together, give others some options and see if you can find a scenario that works for most people.
- Be honest: Minimizing the spread of COVID is about managing your level of risk. We all deserve to have a clear picture of the risks we are taking, so let others know if you have been traveling, attending large gatherings, or engaging in other high risk activities.
- Ask directly: Alternately, now is not the time to be shy about asking your friends or family what they have been up to, and how much of a risk you are taking by being around them.
- Get tested: If you are hoping to visit family and have enough lead time, getting tested is a great way to stay safe and put everyone's minds at ease.
- Send gifts: Unfortunately, many of us will have to make the decision to not see our families in person this holiday season. But we should still do what we can to show our love and support, and to let others know that we are thinking of them.
- Go outside: In some climates, the possibility of entertaining outdoors is quickly seeming like a non-possibility. But this year, we may have to put our discomfort on the back burner and prioritize getting to see each other safely.
- Don't confront others: Social media likes to go wild with videos of people arguing in grocery stores for not wearing masks and similar COVID controversies. But most of us are not going to behave that way and even if we did, we're unlikely to change someone else's mind with that strategy. It's natural to feel anger if you're wearing a mask and someone else isn't. But keep your opinions to yourself and just get out of the store.
- Share your feelings: It's grim to think about saying "I love you" because you might not get a chance to do it again. But the truth is that even if we weren't in a pandemic, we really don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Don't miss an opportunity to tell someone--friends or family--that you care about them, and be generous with the love and kindness this holiday season.
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