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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

December has arrived with lights and Christmas songs on repeat. Inflatables and trees seem to be up in record numbers, maybe the idea is that if we show enough season’s spirit it will make up for a really hard, colorless year. Our thought is, whatever helps you through 2020 (within reason of course), you should do it, extra lights, more inflatables, baking everyday in December, go for it! There are a lot of things we will miss, parties, dinners, gift exchanges, cookie exchanges, but if this year has taught us anything it is this, going out and not following the medical community’s warnings is just plain foolishness. This year has called on us to be unselfish, to put others' needs and health ahead of our own desires for entertainment, It has been a big ask apparently, as the numbers of those with COVID continually climb ever upward.

We have to do the best we are capable of. This is our sacred human responsibility. -Albert Einstein

Last week was Thanksgiving, we had to ask ourselves, is a meal worth the risk of getting infected or infecting others? Of course it is hard, most things worth doing are hard. Making good choices is hard, but necessary. So this holiday season, like most of 2020, will require sacrifices. It will require you to stay in, to not participate in large gatherings, to keep celebrations small and to hold them outside, to wear masks, to keep those you love safe and protected. Gifts are secondary this year, the greatest gift we can give is to make sure those around us are healthy and protected.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. -Helen Keller

The holidays in all their glory can also be a very isolating and depressing time for some of us, pandemic or not, so let’s address that as well. The weather can be cold and dreary, we may be alone by choice or separated by distance. Our support network might be worn thin by therapists and counselors who wish to take a much needed holiday break, hospitals and emergency rooms are something we wish to avoid at all costs due to COVID, so that crosses out our desire to use them for emergency mental health interventions. Our backups and our emergency backups are crossed off, so what can we do to prepare?

**Make sure your prescriptions and emergency prescriptions are filled now. Call your doctors, talk to the nurse lines, do what you need to in order to make sure you have your meds.
**Sign up for a meditation or calming app.
**Look into online therapy as a means to get you through the holidays if your regular therapist is off or maybe gift yourself regular therapy if you have been putting off finding a therapist.
**Since massages and spas are not really on our safe list this year, it is a good time to buy yourself some items to bring the spa safely home. Massagers, bath salts, bath bombs, a fluffy robe, good wine or yummy tea along with a scatter proof mug or wine glass are all amazing items to buy yourself or add to your wish list this season.
**Exercise apps that help you exercise indoors along with a few weights and a mat can be very helpful for both your mental and physical health.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou

Happy December all!

-Team SG

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