This holiday is like nothing ever experienced before by a larger percentage of the current human population. Nevertheless, we can recalibrate, retreat, relax, refresh, and be real with whatsoever is going on with us this season.

This is not a time to pretend or keep up appearances- it is already so stressful as it is. This year has been many things to many people. No one has the manual on how individual responses to 2020 should have been. What matters is that we are here– it took a lot to be here, and I salute every one of us for that.

No one has the right to make us feel inadequate or any other type of way that negatively impacts our mental health and wellbeing for achieving or not achieving our personal goals for the year.

We (especially in comparison to those around us) are not being fair to ourselves anytime we build up disempowering thoughts that leave us worse and not better off. One thing we must try to do in this season is to cut ourselves some slack.

It is okay not to be okay.

It is okay to be okay.

The goal of any action or inaction should be towards attaining optimal health.

Our happiness and joy matters! We matter; hedonic adaptation has shown us that we are never too far off our “baseline” whether in a positive or negative state, while our thoughts can exaggerate how we are expecting to feel (immediately or for a certain length of time), and this affects our ability to accept our current state in the search for what we think will make us feel better as the case might be. In the words of John Lennon, Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

In this season, we must become the most intentional we have ever been with what matters most to us. Intentional with how we do things, interpret the world within and around us, and how all these revolve and reflect in the society.

One beautiful feature of holidays is that it brings us closer to one another. Due to the pandemic, many of us might not be able to spend physical time with family and friends in the ways that we would have wanted; however, thanks to technology, we can still have that sense of closeness.

Whether you are physically or digitally spending time with those you care about, here are Five Tips on how to be present, and maintain your digital wellness for the season.
  • You Matter First: No, this is not selfish, without you being in the picture, you cannot help those that you want to help. Create boundaries that work on your terms, and ensure you are operating within your control and are self-aware all through the process. It is okay to say no if it does not align with you or your mental health. Do things within your value structure because you want to and not because you want to impress others. Before you can help anyone, you must first help yourself.
  • Quality over Quantity: Let your impact be felt, do not just add to the numbers. Spend time with people doing what they love and not just the things that you love. Be intentional and deliberate about ensuring that your attention is on whatever you set to achieve or accomplish. “Quality” leaves behind a lasting memory, while “quantity” leaves behind stats. “Quality” ensures you are savoring the moment, while “quantity” just wants to be included at the moment.
  • Have Alternatives: Things and times have changed. Adapt alternatives instead of wallowing in things that cannot currently be. If you do not have a big budget for what you had in mind, make a smaller budget; if you can not afford to budget, do a no-budget activity. I recognize this is not as simple as I am writing it, but what other alternative is there that protects your mental health and wellbeing? Let’s remember to cut our coats according to our sizes. The list is endless- figure out what needs an alternative, and make it happen- If you cannot meet physically, use a virtual platform, cannot call, send a text, etcetera.
  • No Gadget Hangout: If in this season you are able to spend physical time with friends and family, then it is an exciting opportunity to leverage on things that do not require technology to make the most of your time with them and or yourself even. The No Gadget Hangout is a guideline created by Doing Healthy Africa to build intentional bounding without digital distractions.
  • Support Structures: No one should be alone, especially when they do not want to. I realize that COVID-19 has made it a reality, nonetheless. This season, there are many online safe spaces, and people we can all join and talk to in order to maintain our sanity. We individually know our value structures- let us take the step to find those groups, people, and platforms that align with what we hope to achieve and celebrate this holiday with them. One such platform I can recommend is the Daily Haloha App– An alternative, non-judgmental, and anonymous social media that only takes about 2 minutes to explore daily.

In the words of Dolly Parton, Find out who you are and do it on purpose.