How to Get Out of Pandemic Blues and Into the Holiday Spirit

We can all admit that not everyone is really in the holiday spirit this year.

It's challenging to get into the holidays when we're in a pandemic. Most of us are unable to see our friends or extended family members. We've altered our favorite holiday traditions to fit the current situation. It isn't easy to be as excited as Buddy the Elf when we're all feeling like the Grinch, but don't lose hope!

The holiday spirit is still here, but we just need to dig a little deeper to find it. Break out your favorite holiday treats and turn up the holiday songs because we're about to give you the 10 best tips for how to get into the holiday spirit!

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1. Holiday Movies

Nothing gets us in the mood like watching our favorite holiday movies. You can turn on White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, The Grinch (any version), Home Alone, The Polar Express or Miracle on 34th Street. If you celebrate Chanukah, you could watch Full-Court Miracle, An American Tail, Fiddler on the Roof or Hitched for the Holidays. It's always fun to watch them with your family, especially if it's a family tradition. Streaming services like Netflix and Disney + even have group options so you can stream a movie in different locations with your friends. It might not be the same as having a movie night with the girls, but it's still a way to stay connected to your friends and enjoy a holiday activity together.

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2. Holiday Candles

Certain scents can bring us back to a memory or fill us with a specific emotion. When you smell fresh cut grass, it might remind you of summer. When you smell lavender, it might relax you and help you fall asleep. Holiday candles have a double impact of reminding us of past holidays and lifting our spirits. Check out these winter-themed candles that will fill your house with holiday cheer.

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3. Make A Winter Playlist

From classics like "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to new bops like Mariah Carrey's "Oh Santa" featuring Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, holiday music will get you in the spirit. Put together a winter playlist with your favorite music honoring Christmas or Chanukah or just holiday cheer.

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4. Give Yourself A Break from Scrolling

We are all on our phones more because of the pandemic and we want to feel connected to the world. Social media can be a great way to stay connected, but it can be tough to find your holiday joy when all you see is bad news. You don't have to ignore your phone entirely and it's important to stay up-to-date on current events, but schedule breaks for yourself. Put down your phone and find another activity to do, like decorating your house or going for walks.

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5. Holiday Snacks

We could write an entire article about all the fantastic holiday treats and eats. You have sugar cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate gelt, sugar plums, potato latkes, spiced nuts, peppermint bark, fudge and challah. Food has deeply personal ties and connects us to our different traditions. It's a sweet way to perk up your spirits and pull you into a warm and fuzzy holiday mood.

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6. Take Time Off

We know holidays can be a busy time of year. However, it's essential to find time to rest and relax over the winter break. The holidays should be a time to be with your family and connect with loved ones. It's a period of time to reflect on what's important in life and think about the new year to come.

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7. Holiday Drinks

Pour some holiday cheer into a cup with your favorite holiday drink! Hot cocoa, gingerbread lattes, eggnog, cranberry punch, apple cider or peppermint tea are great options.

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8. Virtual Holiday Party

Everyone is pretty much over Zoom parties by now, but spending time with friends and safely celebrating is an excellent way to tap into the holiday spirit. You can set up a secret Santa gift exchange and open all your presents over zoom. You can play holiday music while eating your favorite holiday treats. The best part of the holidays is the community feeling, so find ways to reach out to your friends. Bonus points if you make it an ugly Christmas sweater-themed party.

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9. Decorate Your House or Room

If your entire family is celebrating a holiday, you can decorate the house together. Putting lights outside, decorating the Christmas tree, filling your home with holly or lighting candles creates a holiday ambiance. You can also decorate your room if you want a personal winter wonderland to escape.

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10. Do Something Charitable

As we know from every single Christmas movie, the true meaning of the holiday times is love. This has been a stressful year for all of us, but one of the best ways to fill yourself with hope is by helping someone else. Now, we might not be able to do regular charitable events that include going outside, but there are so many other ways to help. You can donate online or volunteer virtually. You can also help around the house or reach out to a friend that's been down and help lift them. Giving love and helping other people is the most meaningful way to feel connected to the holiday spirit.

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Making some holiday treats to cheer yourself up and get into the spirit? Check out what your favorite holiday dessert says about you!