Keep Your Gatherings Large in Thanks and Small in Size
There is no doubt that this is the time of year we love to gather with friends and family. However, with indoor activity increasing and flu season upon us, we cannot drop our guard on COVID-19. As you look at your fall and winter celebrations, consider these four things.
Check the Guest List
The safest option for gatherings this holiday season is to include only those that are in your household. If you decide to meet others, review the guest list to be sure it will be within the Safe Start guidelines for size. Consider the safety of anybody invited who is at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications. If anybody attending has a higher risk of transmission due to their routine activities (e.g. consistently around other people outside their household without distancing or wearing a mask) you should also include that when considering the risk.
Have the COVID Chat
If you need to turn down an invitation, make sure you are clear and honest that your answer is no. If you seem on the fence or offer excuses, people will suggest ways to help get you there or negotiate. Let them know that you care about them and want to see them, but you feel this is not a good time for you to join. Finally, if you have said no, you do not need to continue to justify your decision. Let them know you are truly sorry you can’t come, but you’ve made your decision and move on to something else. The Washington State Department of Health also has a great resource to help you with this tough conversation.
Whether we meet in person or not, it is still important to connect. Get creative!
- Prepare a meal for somebody who is having a hard time leaving their home because they are in the high-risk category.
- Choose a themed snack or treat and drop off samples to the judges or have a virtual award based on the food’s presentation.
- If it’s sunny out bundle up and have some hot drinks in the park where you can be sure to stay six feet apart.
Practice Gratitude Together
It can be easy to focus on the people and things we miss but remember at the center of most of our celebrations this time of year is gratitude. Gratitude does more than give you an instant good feeling. In studies, it shows an association with health benefits such as general well-being, less depression, and better sleep. Here are some practical ways to practice gratitude.
- Keep a group gratitude list leading up to your celebration.
- Write notes to people in your life about why you are grateful for them.
- Create a compilation video of what each person is grateful for to watch when you would normally gather.