Pandemic precautions increase feelings of isolation

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The safest way to celebrate Christmas is to just spend it with people in your immediate household and virtually with others.

Shari Botwin, LCSW and author of Thriving After Trauma says, "If you were to do a survey and ask people, 'Do you think the holidays are difficult,' nine out of ten would say, 'It's one of the hardest times of the year for me.'"

She says many are missing lost loved ones or feeling lonely and when you add pandemic precautions in, it feels like a double whammy.

It's also a time when people can relapse with addiction or eating disorders. With so many people isolated, she encourages everyone to look out for each other, connect with people who are alone. If people are within driving distance, you can drop off food.

"One thing I always say is 'Make sure you put a note in there,' put pictures, write about different memories you have of Christmas from last year and write about the things you look forward to doing next year, so really just hang in there and remember this is for right now but this is not going to be forever," Botwin said.

And on the flip side, she says if you're isolated on the holidays, reach out to friends and family, call or facetime. Do something so you feel connected and again, recognize it won't always be like this.
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