Planning Accessible Holiday Activities During Coronavirus

By Adrian Johansen

The holiday season is right around the corner. Typically, that means getting together with family and friends and celebrating.

But, it's no secret that this year looks different. Thanks to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, holidays may have to be different for people all over the country. It's still important that everyone remains as safe as possible, which might mean spending the holidays apart. Things can be stressful this time of year under normal circumstances. But 2020 certainly takes the cake when it comes to throwing a wrench in holiday plans.

While the idea of not getting together with the people you love can be frustrating and sad, there are things you can do to stay connected in accessible ways. Making the most of the holidays during these uncertain times will help to ensure everyone is included, and everyone gets a chance to celebrate.

Accessible holidays

So, what can you do to plan accessible holiday activities this year? First, let's talk about why that's important, and why you should consider going more "remote" with your holiday season.

Safety as a Priority

coronavirus. If you've already been social distancing, wearing a mask and staying home as much as possible, the holidays should be no different.

Unfortunately, that's easier to think about than it is to act upon. Now, more than ever, mental health has proven to be just as important as physical health. Already, the CDC is suggesting that anxiety and depression are on the rise as a result of this pandemic. Isolation can cause a variety of health conditions, both mental and physical, including:

  • Depression
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Heart conditions
  • Weakened immune system

So, the holidays might seem more important than ever this year, as we're all craving more social interaction with the people we love. But, if you're worried about your health or getting together with members of your family who may be compromised, then following the rules and staying safe is more important. After all, you want everyone in your family to be around for the next holiday season.

Connecting Remotely

Thanks to technology, doing things remotely has become more popular than ever. Remote work was already on the rise even before the coronavirus hit. In 2015, nearly 4 million employees in the U.S. worked from home. Now, many people have switched to remote work out of necessity. Schools across the country have also adopted eLearning in order to keep students safe this year.

Thankfully, connecting remotely can go far beyond work and school. It's a great way to see your friends and family during the holidays without having to get out of the house. Everything from Zoom calls to one-on-one video chats can make you feel more in touch with the people you love. You can even get creative and schedule a group video chat at a certain day and time, and have everyone open gifts in front of each other.

Accessible holidays

Photo credit: Unsplash

If you're feeling a bit lonely or down about the holidays this year, consider using technology to your advantage. Listening to holiday music, watching movies or even checking out videos of the Rollettes can lift your spirits and get you in a seasonal mood!

Technology can't replace in-person contact. But, without communication tech, it would be even harder to stay in touch with people this season. It's important to be grateful for the "small victories" you can experience by being able to see someone's face, even if it's through a screen.

An Old-Fashioned Holiday

Even if you can't get together in-person with the people you love this holiday season, you can still get creative and enjoy it. Continue with some of your favorite traditions, including making foods you love, or inviting your friends or family to wear their best holiday garb (ugly sweaters, anyone?) on your Zoom call.

You could even take a step back in time this season if you're not able to spend time with your family. Sign up the people you love for a subscription box. There are endless options out there that range from hobbies to foods. Subscription boxes are a great way to show someone you know them and care about them, and they'll be reminded of it every month! It only takes a few clicks online to get someone subscribed! Creative ideas for subscription boxes include:

  • Wine
  • Fruit
  • Cookies
  • Shaving accessories
  • Beauty supplies
  • Sportswear
  • Books

If you want to add a more personal touch to your holiday gifts, consider sending out hand-written cards or letters. While sending an email might be easier and take less time, it's important for people to feel special this year. Letter writing is something you can do in the comfort and safety of your own home without having to brave any shopping crowds or go to shops that may not be easily accessible.

This year, your holiday celebrations may require a bit more planning and a lot more creativity. If you do plan on having people over, keep your group small, and make sure your home is safe and accessible for all guests. However you decide to celebrate, this year has taught us all not to take anything for granted. So, be grateful for every moment you get to spend with the people you love, even if it's virtual.

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