Autumn made way for winter. And now summer would lead to the rainy season.  The days are warmer, the nights are shorter and COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue.

Marking the special occasions during the pandemic ; for many of us, this time of the year is a time for finding joy in the planning and celebrating of various festivals and celebrations that bring families and friends together. With varying levels of lockdown restrictions in places across the world, we have seen that the celebrations have been very different to those in years gone by.

For some of us, the formal parts of religious festivals changed – with places of worship operating to different rules. For others, the informal gatherings and family traditions that accompany times of celebration were affected.

We know that many people have been under the highest lockdown restrictions for Diwali last year affecting people who wish to celebrate Navratri, Pongal Ganesh Chaturthi, Christmas and New Year.

Coping with the disappointment that you may not be able to mark an occasion in the usual way, particularly events which have special meaning, can be challenging. You may feel a range of emotions akin to grief and sadness, which is completely understandable. Accepting the reality of our situation without holding on to the hope that maybe things will return to ‘normal’ in time, can help. If you can reduce the gap between your expectations of the ‘perfect holiday’ and the reality of what’s possible, you can plan how to balance safety and celebration.

We will have to be more creative in how we join in the festivities. Sagar International School, the top public school in Bhopal encouraged students to enhance their creative side and make way for new ideas about celebrating the festival at home. So that , in years to come, talking about how we celebrated in 2020 may well become one of our most cherished memories – precisely because we were asked to strip back and focus on the meaning.

While it’s natural to want to be with your loved ones in person, ensuring they are as protected as possible from coronavirus may be the greatest gift one could give during this time.

We can speak to our family and friends now to decide on alternative ways that you can mark a holiday. We all hope that by the time the occasions arrive that there will be some way of coming together, but the fact is that we don’t know. Making a loose plan is a good idea – but be prepared for it to change as well.

Perhaps we can decide to gather via online video link to eat a meal together or play party games. Sagar International School, the best CBSE school in bhopal ensured to celebrate all the festivals by connecting virtually and made outstanding efforts to make the best of it.

One could also choose to support a charitable organisation together, raise money or get involved in helping others in our community, subject to the rules in our area. This can create a sense of belonging and purpose, reducing feelings of isolation. Sagar International School, the best play school in Bhopal makes sure to inculcate the essential morals of life in the students right from the beginning of their education.

Being kind and focusing on the good you can do can be a real boost to your mental wellbeing. Kindness matters, particularly now when people may be feeling the effect of lockdown restrictions more acutely. Even something simple like sending flowers or a letter about everything you like about the person and how grateful you are for them could really make a difference to someone’s day. Taking the time to do a good turn for someone else can also reduce stress, improve our mood and increase happiness, talking to people can lighten the load. Likewise, if we notice that someone we care about is showing signs of distress, we can ask them how they are feeling and what they need.

It’s good to keep in mind that while preparing a celebration can be a happy and exciting time for many, some people can feel under a lot of pressure to create the perfect experience for their loved ones. This can cause increased stress, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy which may be heightened this year with the additional barriers in place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the extra demands of the season, try to balance your sense of obligation against your need for self-care. The teachers at Sagar International School, the best private school of Bhopal maintain a very friendly and trustable environment at the school. The students share quite a unique bond with their teachers where kids can share all their joys and sorrows with their teachers. Perhaps the teachers make their best efforts to bring optimism and cheerfulness and eliminate all the pessimistic thoughts.

Going for a walk, doing something you enjoy or mindfulness techniques like yoga, meditation or breathing exercises can help. Sagar International School, the best school in Kolar teaches the importance of performing physical activities like exercises regularly and also ensured to keep the students offline as well as online through virtual PT classes.

How to celebrate during the restrictions:

  • Focus on kindness – try to divert your attention away from what you can’t have and instead focus on what kind things you can do for others and for yourself.
  • Be there for each other – try to have conversations with family and friends about how you’re feeling, listen to how others are coping and act with empathy and understanding.
  • Take time to be grateful – appreciate the joyful little moments. Reflecting on all you have to be grateful for can really lift your mood.
  • Celebrating with children – why not start a ‘living history’ scrapbooking project to commemorate how you celebrated in 2020? Explain that in years to come this will be an important document of how we lived. Similarly, older children and adults may want to journal their thoughts and feelings at this time. Additionally, this may be a time your children usually get together with cousins or their friends. You could try to keep them connected through video calls, so they feel included.
  • Do something different – this year you could let someone you know that you’re thinking of them with a heartfelt, handwritten note. If you can’t buy stamps or get to the post office, you could always send a digital card through social media or email.
  • Maintain traditions – you could try to stick to the traditions that you have in place. Whether it’s making a particular meal, or decorating your home on a certain day, by maintaining these traditions you can create a sense of normality.
  • Stick to the rules – if you’re feeling under pressure from friends or family to break the rules, remember why we are in lockdown. It is for the safety of everyone, including ourselves, to stick to government guidelines. By following the rules, we all contribute to a healthier society. Keep up to date with guidelines in your area. Think for the welfare of you family, friends, city and your country.

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