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Holiday Survival Guide: 7 Ways to Get Through the Season

This year, the holidays will be unlike any other. With COVID-19 cases increasing in Ontario, many of us have some potentially difficult decisions about how to spend our holidays this year. Who do we visit? How much risk should we take?

To manage the stress, hustle and bustle of the holidays, we’ve asked our therapists to share their tips on getting through the season. We hope you will find them helpful. If you use any of them, we would love to hear from you. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook. @lifeinharmony_vcc.

Practice Gratitude, Create a Routine

“Focusing on what I am grateful for. Often during the holidays, we get caught up in things that are not important rather than taking the time to reflect on what is important in our lives and what we value. Also, I find it helpful to maintain a healthy routine (ie. physical activity, healthy diet, and minimal alcohol consumption) - I know this is difficult during the holidays however trying to maintain a routine as best we can is helpful. “

Submitted by Teresa Caruso

Set Boundaries

“Maintaining emotional and physical boundaries with family members.”

Submitted by Stefanie Ferrante

Learn more about how to set boundaries at

Practice Self-Compassion

“Any self-compassion-based practice! Check in with yourself and honour your changing capacity for what you can hold and take on and how you feel, and give yourself what you need.”

Submitted by Helena Brown

Check out these five essential steps to increasing self-compassion at

Live Your Values

“Focus on living by your values every day. So much of life is beyond our control, but responding in each moment from our values is always within our control. Know the person you need to be in order to feel good about yourself, then be that person as much as you can. Ultimately that's the most important thing in life, and fortunately it's the only thing we can reliably control.”

Submitted by Dave Kydd

Find New and Old Ways to Connect with Loves Ones

“This year like none other, we are being challenged to celebrate in different ways and each of us will find the way best suited to our particular situation. While we would like this year’s holidays to be celebrated as normally as possible, I believe that we bring part of ourselves to every decision so if you are seeking to connect with family then use your creativity to find old and new ways.”

Submitted by Meri Chilelli

Take a Compliment

“Take a compliment; so often compliments feel awkward and are hard to accept. When we shrug off compliments, we don't allow ourselves to bask in the glow of having been noticed, and give the other person the chance to feel the warmth and kindness of noticing someone else. Acknowledge it. Enjoy it, even after, when you are alone.”

Submitted by Lisa Benrubi

Practice Self-Care

“The holidays can be an exhausting and stressful time. It is easy to get caught up in how much there is to do and just as easy to forget to look after yourself. Practice good self-care during this season. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, sip on a cup of tea or hot chocolate while enjoying a book or magazine, listen to music that calms you, enjoy a guided meditation. Do your best to recognize your achievements each day, forgive yourself if you are not able to do everything you intended to do that day, and don't forget to ask for help if you need it.”

Submitted by Rosemary Cianfarani


How will you be getting through the holidays? We want to hear YOUR tips. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook. @lifeinharmony_vcc.

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