For people who struggle with anxiety, the holidays can be an even more stressful time. Be kind to yourself, keep to a routine when you can, do something that makes you feel good, get lots of rest, work some, play some, strike a balance, wash your hands, social distance, drink water.

During the winter holiday season, we often try to have “special touches” for family members. This year, we will definitely be curtailing kissing under the mistletoe and other traditions. Our “special touch” will not be the physical kind but will however be given from the heart.

For some, this year is an opportunity to make some homemade items. The special touch of wrapping a present with a brown paper bag, decorating it with markers, putting your own personal stamp and handmade bow on it. 

plainly wrapped present

One idea is to wrap a present you could call the “COVID quilted wrap.” To disguise this present until December 25th, use up all your old scraps of wrapping paper to create a beautiful collage-covered parcel. While Christmas wrap is considered an “essential item” in stores, it will not be essential to rewrap items already covered in brown bags. Remember, do not judge a book by its cover. This is the year to get creative in giving and to definitely appreciate what we have to give and what we get.

shelley present

At this time in past years, we would wearily be going from store to store after circling the parking lot, and circling and circling and one more time for good luck, to find that parking spot. Do you miss that? This year we can spend our shopping time on projects closer to the heart. This can be the year of new traditions and savouring past traditions.

And again, be kind to yourself. 

 From the staff at ADAM, have a safe and happy holiday season.

— Shelley Henry is a peer support worker at ADAM. Don't tell her grandchildren, but they're getting handmade quilts for Christmas!