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Making Memories and Maintaining Mental Health this Holiday Season

With the holidays fast approaching some families are making different arrangements this year to physically distance ourselves from having large family gatherings. We have been in various states of isolation since March. If you are unable to spend the holiday season with your family this year, it’s important to remember we can remain socially connected while maintaining a safe physical distance.

These times are stressful, but we can still work to make memories and cherish traditions with our loved ones. It can be devasting to have to be separated from loved ones this holiday season. It’s easy to focus on what we can’t do right now. However, we are still able to make memories this holiday season and stay connected. Here are some tips to help you stay connected:

Make your traditions as close to normal as possible. Keep up with as many traditions as you can. If your aunt usually makes or picks up the pies, see if she can drop one off on your doorstep. If you usually watch the parade with your grandparents, invite them to join you in watching it at their own homes and set up a video chat with them.

Have a meal remotely. Although video calls are not the same as being in person with someone this is a great way to spend a holiday with friends or loved ones. If you are cancelling your Friendsgiving this year, see if your friends want to do a Friendsgiving via Zoom. You can even send recipe ideas to your friends, so you are eating the same menu!

Be helpful to others. This is a great way to feel connected to others. Show your grandparents or older family members how they can stay connected if they are unsure how to. Walk them through how to send photos through text, or set up Zoom, etc.

Express gratitude. Giving gratitude is one way to boost your mental health. It can be associated with greater happiness, improve your health, and help build strong relationships.

It can be hard to be separated from family during the holidays. Whatever your plans are this holiday season it’s important to remember although we may be physically distancing this year, we can still stay socially connected. This year will certainly be a memorable one, and perhaps new traditions will be created out of it!


Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.