This is how to celebrate holidays safely and maintain your mental health: WECHU

Windsor, you. –

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is giving advice on how to spread goodwill and encouragement this holiday season, not COVID-19.

The health unit says it is still essential to celebrate safely by following public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in the community.

WECHU’s recommendations for staying safe this holiday season:

Host a virtual holiday party Celebrate with friends and family near and far if you can’t celebrate in person or choose not to celebrate. Virtual gatherings are the safest way to celebrate.

If you plan to host or attend gatherings, plan for smaller groups and limit the number of gatherings you host or attend – don’t exceed the indoor gatherings limit of 10 people and limit the number of people you’re in close contact with.

take the vaccine Get your first, second, or third dose as soon as possible.

Assess your risk Individuals at high risk for more severe outcomes associated with COVID-19, such as the elderly, and those with medical conditions should limit contacts and engage only in low-risk activities during holidays, such as virtual gatherings.

Make sure everyone completes a self-assessment of COVID-19 symptoms – don’t join in-person celebrations if you are unwell. It’s okay to decline the invitation if you develop any symptoms, and to ask your guests to stay home if they develop any symptoms.

Ask about vaccination status Limit your gatherings to those who have been fully vaccinated.

Physical distancing and concealment If you are congregating with members of several households who have not been vaccinated, have been partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown, you should keep physical distances and wear a face covering.

Wash your hands often and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer Keeping hands clean, especially when handling foods or drinks.

Serve cooked meals Plan to serve cooked meals to guests and avoid buffet-style dining with shared utensils.

Maintain mental health

While protecting our community from COVID-19 is of utmost importance, WECHU says residents should not forget the pandemic’s impact on mental health.

Holidays are a time to celebrate but they can also be a stressful experience for many people.

Tips from WECHU:

  • Consider taking a break from social media, picking up a book, or watching a movie to give your brain a break from social scrolling and the news cycle.
  • Prioritize rest and relaxation time.
  • This includes getting enough sleep and making time in your schedule for physical activity.
  • Spend the evenings and enjoy your time with those in your home.
  • Decorate your home, watch movies, make hot chocolate, celebrate old traditions and create new ones.
  • Remember that help is available. Reach out if you feel you need some extra support now or anytime of the year.

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