By: Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA
The world has changed quite a bit since we last connected, especially for those of us who reside in Ontario. In the last few weeks, many of us have experienced a combination of confusion (in keeping up with all of the different changes to the government’s pandemic response), grief, disappointment, and a plethora of other emotions.
In previous years, the hustle and bustle of the holidays brought on stress because of everything that needed to be done for work parties, family dinners, and gift preparations, but, while the holidays were often very hectic, they were still a time to be close to loved ones. However this year is going to look very different from what many of us are used to.
On November 3, 2020, the Ford government introduced a colour-tiered system that places regions in different sector-specific zones. But, the province's new colour-coded system to classify each of Ontario’s public health units is causing more confusion than clarity for many. Shortly after this new framework was released, on November 14, 2020, certain regions within Ontario, namely Toronto and Peel Region, were classified as being in the Red Zone (Control & Stringent Measures) for at least 28 days. Some restrictions under this framework include:
Soon after, on November 20, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced that Toronto and Peel Region [were] moving into "lockdown" effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday (November 23, 2020). Some of the restrictions under the Grey - Lockdown level include: No indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household. With an exception for individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
Given that the holidays are right around the corner, this is devastating for those living in and who have family members that reside in these regions. It begs the question, what will Christmas 2020 look like this year (for those who celebrate)? While my family and I don’t observe Christmas in the traditional sense, we did take the opportunity to visit extended family and spend time with them; however, this year, that won’t be a reality for us.
Here are a few things that you can do this year to navigate the upcoming holiday season:
Yes, this year has been ROUGH (an understatement for some people as the loss has been immense). If you’re reading this, please receive this as a gentle and loving reminder that there is still space for gratitude. Starting with your life. You have your health, you are breathing, and your eyes opened today. Consider that a gift because that means you have been given another opportunity to engage in the good that you desire to see in this world, effect change, and be present with and for your loved ones. Anything else (a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food to eat, etc. are additional blessings).
Focus on what you do have.
I KNOW that nothing can replace the physical embrace of your loved ones, but thanks to technology, we are able to connect with them in other ways. What can you do to connect with your loved ones in a way that is meaningful to both you and them? Maybe you can use this as an opportunity to create a new familial seasonal ritual.
Take care of yourself.
Last, but not least, remember to take good care of yourself. Honour your limits. Set appropriate boundaries. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings; whatever it is that is coming up for you - the good, bad, and the ugly. Release them accordingly. Rest when necessary, unapologetically.
Stay Safe + Be Well Mamas!
Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA
Certified Transformational Coach | Certified Essential Oil Specialist |
Certified ARōMATOUCH Practitioner | 200 YTT , Wholesome Mind Health Coaching