Celebrating the Holidays During COVID Restrictions

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Whether you’re missing out on quality face-time with loved ones or are having a socially distanced gathering, this holiday season is going to look and feel different. COVID-19 restrictions are going to complicate holiday travel, but it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. 

Many of us are dealing with loss this holiday season. We need the spirit of the season to uplift us more than ever, even if with CDC travel restrictions. Whether you are hosting among COVID-19 restrictions or are sitting out of the holiday travel for the first time ever, here’s how to handle the challenges this season.

How to Deal With COVID-19 Rules This Holiday Season

The holidays are one of the few constants in our lives. Traditions hold true; good ones like presents around the fire and bad ones like family members bickering over politics

Good or bad, you know what to expect around this time of year. That’s a comforting feeling, especially for someone who deals with anxiety. Now, you must learn to navigate the holidays with a whole new set of CDC travel restrictions and COVID-19 quarantine rules. 

The holidays are going to be challenging for those who are celebrating with their family or going to miss them this season. Here are some tips for both parties to enjoy their holidays as safely as possible. 

Tips for Hosting the Holidays Under COVID-19 Restrictions 

Hosting already brings about holiday stress. Now, holiday travel bans are making things a bit more complicated. Even more confusing, COVID-19 travel restrictions vary by state. So, here are some ways to manage hosting while adhering to holiday travel restrictions. 

Be Comfortable with Hosting 

While you want to see your loved ones, your own health is also important. If you are not comfortable with hosting this year, be honest with your guests.

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Before anyone comes into your home, make sure they understand COVID-19 travel restrictions by state. They should be aware of the COVID-19 quarantine rules anywhere they are traveling, as well. 

CDC holiday travel guidelines suggest people quarantine for five days (some even suggest up to 14 days) prior to leaving their county or state. They should also quarantine for five days when they get back and withdraw from public activities for a week. 

Suppose your friends or family are not practicing safe social distancing measures. In that case, you may have a conversation with them or choose to pass on them coming over this year. 

Also, talk to them about their symptoms five days leading up to the holiday travel. Losing a sense of smell and taste isn’t enough, nor is a fever. Muscle aches and dry, unproductive coughs are the better indicators. If your guests are experiencing these symptoms, please be cautious and protect yourself. . 

Having this conversation as early as possible can prevent any misunderstandings. Keep an open dialogue and an open mind. Your loved one will most likely reciprocate the mitigation steps. 

Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies 

Some of the most effective ways to stop the spread of this virus during indoor celebrations are keeping your hands and surfaces clean. This reality is precisely why my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) went into a tailspin when news of the novel coronavirus first broke.

In this case, I’m okay with stocking up on cleaning supplies. I know, for once, others are going to be using an abundance of these products. Usually, it’s just me. 

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of items called List N. These are disinfectants that are shown to kill SARS-CoV-2 on frequently used surfaces, such as light switches, countertops, and smart devices. Browse the items on the EPA-certified N List to see if your cleaning supplies are compliant. 

Of course, you can always stock up Lysol wipes, bleach cleaners, and hand sanitizers. If you use rubbing alcohol, make sure it’s over 70%. 

Increase Ventilation

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One of the most significant suggestions in the CDC holiday guidelines is to increase ventilation. One of the primary COVID-19 quarantine rules is to take activities outdoors. 

If you live in a warm area, try celebrating outside. With that said, a majority of the world is dealing with cooler temperatures these months. So, they should take precautions in ventilating their homes for proper airflow. 

For one, try to open as many windows as possible. Get fresh air circulating throughout the house, even if you have the heat running.

If you live in a house with an air conditioner unit, they should have a vent option. Air conditioners will suck out contaminated air and pump in fresh air from the outdoors without cooling it.  

Also, let the bathroom fan run all day while guests are over. The bathroom is a closed space that many frequent within seconds of each other. That’s where we go to blow our nose or to have a coughing fit. So, it’s a hot spot in your home for COVID infection.

If you have a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (EVR), be sure to use it. They help circulate stagnant air and replenish it with oxygen from the outdoors. 

An EVR is especially good for moisture control, which is excellent for reducing the risk of a disease that is spread through droplets, like COVID-19.

Air Purifiers

It might be too late to get an EVR or HVR system. A more immediate and cost-effective solution is to purchase an air purifier. 

Pick areas within the house where people will be gathering. Make sure it is equipped with an air purifier of some sort. Preferably, it should have a High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and/or carbon filter. 

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The HEPA filter takes care of dust particles and allergens, while the carbon filter gets rid of bacteria, viruses, and other toxins. These small-but-mighty devices can be useful all-year-round, even when COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past! 

Proton Pure is one of the best air purifiers for small spaces. It traps 99.97% of particulates, making the air cleaner for everybody breathing. This system is also portable. So, you can move it from room to room as guests migrate. 

For larger spaces, consider the Blue 211+. This discreet and quiet unit filters out 540 ft square feet of air every 12 minutes. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors to match your aesthetic!

In the event you can’t afford a new air purifier, no worries. There are a few little hacks you can do that will help decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 during the holidays. Consider purchasing an AllerTech Vent Guard. 

This simple solution goes right over your vent by fastening it with Velcro strips that are provided. An AllerTech Vent Guard catches potential contaminants in the air. If you have central air hookups, this can be an effective way to filter while venting, too. 

Other natural air purifiers include white candles. Make sure they are void of artificial scents. Fragrances in the candle can add to the pollution in the air. 

Lastly, diffuse some essential oils. Many plant-based compounds have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. 

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Some of the best essential oils to purify the air include:

  • Oregano Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Peppermint Oil

Just be sure to read about any ingredients you use when there are animals around. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can become toxic for your furbabies. Lavender oil is one of the few choices that can be helpful for purifying the air without harming your pet. 

Create a Safe Space for Yourself

Hosting is stressful enough. This responsibility alone is enough to warrant a little me-time during the holidays. With the added stress of COVID-19, it’s essential that you partake in some self-care rituals. 

First and foremost, make sure there is room for you to get away. Create a room in the house that no one else is allowed to enter. 

Lock yourself in there and partake in a guided meditation

Go for a walk outdoors and get some fresh air and sun. Take the dog with you. Do whatever you need to clear your thoughts and regain your mental well-being. 

Tranquility Labs’ Anxiety and Mood Support Pack

Head into the holidays with all the support you need, thanks to Tranquility Labs’ Anxiety and Mood Support Pack. This wellness bundle has everything you need to enter the holidays with a clear mind and deal with unexpected stress as it pops up. 

omega-3 fish oil

This savings bundle contains CogniDHA. This high-DHA fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help protect brain chemicals from inflammation.

Much of this inflammation is caused by dietary food choices with an abundance of omega-6s, including a Christmas prime rib or fried potato latkes. 

While CogniDHA will keep your brain sharp, Tranquilene will keep it relaxed throughout the festivities. Tranquilene is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that naturally lower cortisol levels. 

We achieve this lower stress because Tranquilene helps produce GABA and serotonin. It contains GABA and other proteins and vitamins necessary to promote the production of this inhibitory molecule. 

Tranquilene is enhanced by tryptophan and niacinamide. These two compounds are essential for serotonin production. 

Serotonin helps stabilize our moods. You will enter the holidays with a happier disposition. That way, we can handle the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions with mental clarity.

Tips for Coping Over Holiday COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Many are taking extra precautions by practicing shelter in place this holiday season. This change in tradition is going to make it hard for many people to cope. These issues will be especially amplified if you suffer from anxiety, as I do.

I am taking all the COVID-19 restrictions seriously and doing everything in my power to keep those in my household safe. So, we’re forgoing some of our holiday traditions and embarking on new ones. Here are some ways my family is dealing with holiday travel restrictions and making the best out of this season.

Don’t Hold in the Emotion

The holidays tend to be an emotional time of the year. These feelings are amplified by COVID-19 travel restrictions. If you aren’t able to spend quality time with the people you cherish the most, it’s okay to be upset. 

Let’s be honest. 2020 has been a real dumpster fire of a year. It’s okay to be upset, angry, confused, or all of the above. Suppressing those feelings only makes them bubble up even more. You’re going to enter 2021 in an even worse headspace if you don’t confront your emotions now. 

Feel them. Cry. Let it out. Then, roll with it. 

There are some things in this world that we can’t change. I’d like to think if any person had the ability to eradicate COVID-19, they would’ve done it by now. 

So, instead of throwing a pity party, we can learn to adapt. That means making the best out of this situation, including following some of these tips. 

Virtual Get-Togethers

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If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s how to be a techie. Even my aging mother is a Zoom master. She can share her screen faster than me!

You can still partake in holiday traditions with your loved ones. Now, you just have to celebrate from afar. However, you can still be together. 

Set up a time to do a virtual cook-along. Make your typical holiday dinner with all the fixings. Your mother-in-law can still let you know what you’re doing wrong, or you can share a favorite recipe with the next generation. The opportunities to make new, lasting connections are still endless!

Capturing these moments is easier than ever with Facebook Portal. This smart video system can track body movements. 

That way, grandpa can watch the kids open their presents or run around with the new toys they got. You can also gather around the piano while your aunt belts out the tunes you always sing along to.

Give Back

Many of us use family to define ourselves. It’s a beautiful gesture, but it’s a lot of pressure on them. Plus, it can be unhealthy for you. 

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Find value in your life by providing a service to others. Give back this holiday season and get involved with volunteering. 

If you are comfortable with interacting with others in public, try volunteering at a homeless shelter or animal rescue. 

You can also do good distantly. Organize or donate to a clothing drive. Contact local shelters and see what type of toiletries they might need and put together some gift bags.  

Contact a soup kitchen and see what foods they need. Get people to Venmo you monetary donations and place a shopping order to get delivered to a shelter. 

Also, consider adopting a rescue animal. Not only will you help save a life, but you might find the love and support you need for dealing with COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Drive-Bys and Socially Distant Visits 

This past graduation season, we got really good at decorating cards and hosting a parade. Bring the sense of community back this season by having holiday drive-bys. Instead of decking the halls, deck your cars with boughs of holly. 

Swing by your extended family and do a six-foot window visit. Stand outside and sing carols. 

Embrace the outdoors and set up a socially distant gathering. If it’s not too wet or too cold, repurpose your summer fire pit to toast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa in the wintertime. 

Otherwise, set up space heaters on the porch. Even if screens are surrounding the porch, you will have more ventilation than celebrating indoors. 

Reschedule with Small Gatherings

Sometimes the holidays feel a bit too rushed. 2020 holiday travel restrictions actually take some of that pressure off of us. Instead of being at multiple houses over a span of two days, spread your itinerary out. Celebrate for months to come!

Reschedule with your regulars so that you can see each other safely. Figure out a schedule where you can quarantine properly and see one another without putting others at risk. 

For this to happen safely, you might need to schedule weeks out. Don’t get bummed out about it. The winter is long, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real. Looking forward to plans can offset some of the negative emotions that arise from SAD. 

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Instead of house get-togethers, support small businesses. Not to knock your cleaning abilities, but restaurants are highly-trained to handle COVID-19 restrictions. 

Restaurants have sanitary procedures and proper social distancing protocols in place. You are less likely to “get comfortable” and break CDC guidelines if you’re in public. 

QuarantineChat

Really not feeling the holidays and this whole COVID thing? You’re not alone. There are many others that are feeling lost, aggravated, and depressed due to COVID-19 quarantine rules. Vent to those who are in the same boat as you on QuarantineChat.com

No one should feel lonely, especially during the holidays. QuarantineChat.com pairs people who are isolated at home with one another for casual and friendly conversations. 

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This chat service is completely free. It’s conducted through the DialUp app. So, your privacy is protected. 

All you need to do is log onto the app and wait for a few seconds. Then, a random person will get on the phone and start talking to you about anything. You can discuss the holidays, this virus, or whatever the weather is doing! 

What I love about this service is that you get phone calls at random. Your Caller ID will always say “QuarantineChat.” So, you can decide if it’s the right time for you to pick up and help someone else out. It’s a beautiful reminder that we’re not alone…during this holiday season or pandemic. 

Managing COVID-19 Holiday Travel Ban and Restriction Woes 

Please remember, whatever decisions you make, make them with your loved ones and community members in mind. 

Read the COVID-19 travel restrictions by state. Make sure to follow all COVID-19 quarantine rules to help prevent the spread of this coronavirus. 

The key here isn’t the COVID-19 restrictions. It’s the fact that we’re not doing this alone. We’re all adhering to the same CDC guidelines. So, don’t feel alone this season.

Find opportunities to adapt your traditions. Reschedule plans or take them to the virtual world. Create chances to connect so you can create lifelong memories. 

Heading into the holiday season with a gameplan is the best way not to get lost in loneliness due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Essential Takeaways:

  • Following COVID-19 travel guidelines by state is essential for stopping the spread of this virus
  • Know that you’re not alone, create virtual experiences to connect with those affected by holiday travel bans
  • Tend to your mental health to cope with COVID-19 travel restrictions through self-care, Tranquility Labs, and Quarantine chat

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