The Zone, Vol 36: Celebrating Holidays in a Pandemic

by The ParaDocs

December 4, 2020

The Zone Weekly with paraDocs

Struggling with the reality of more holidays celebrated during a pandemic?

In Volume 36 of this guest series, psychotherapist, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, and nutritionist, Dr. Helen Battisti, help us to reflect, plan, and celebrate the rest of the holiday season safely and healthfully. 

For over 10 years, they have worked closely with us on aging concerns and have presented many webinars and in-person workshops. Their newsletter, The Zone, is a weekly mental health and nutrition tip sheet during times of change.

As we continue to navigate through the Holiday Season, it may be time to pause and reflect on the process that you used to get to this point.  Looking back, we may want to take the best of the process and carry it forward to continue our journey through the Holidays.  For the purpose of our discussion, we define Holiday Season as lasting from mid-October through mid-January.

The Holidays are frequently filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions, ranging from joy to sorrow.  In addition, compounded by the continually evolving news as it relates to the Covid-19 Pandemic, reflection of our process may be even more significant this year because of our possible beliefs that so much is out of our control.  While our attempts to control events is mostly wasted effort, trying to control them can also be utterly exhausting and unfulfilling.  On the other hand, reflection on the process that we have chosen can highlight the strengths we may want to draw on for the remainder of the season and beyond.

An example of how we might learn from our process is by realizing that our celebration with food, while being the nourishment for our bodies, it also is the vehicle for the nourishment for our hearts and souls.  In past years we have been able to commune together around our festive foods in close gatherings.  This year, while we still may have a need to commune together, the vehicle that we use may be tailgating or virtual.  So, in reflecting, we can see that although our process may have needed to be changed this year, we still found ways to come together to share with loved ones.

Key Takeaways
  • Now is the time to look back and see how we got here.
  • Food is more than the sum total of its nutrients.
  • Change is never done.
Best Practices
  • Make brainstorming new ideas on how to celebrate a fun activity with loved ones.
  • Continue to fold-in festive foods.
  • Be open to different ways of doing things.
Things to Limit
  • Being a Grinch.
  • Reflecting on the past and staying too long.
  • Allowing your regrets to replace your dreams.

In  summary, our beliefs about the Holiday Season may be changing this year and continuing to learn from our past and bringing the best forward can offer us new insights to embrace.

Quote of the Week

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strengths.  However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Ann Landers

About the author 

The ParaDocs

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P. and Chief Academic Officer and, Dr. Helen E. Battisti, PhD, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

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