Home for the Holidays

I’m not sure about anybody else, but the phrase “home for the holiday’s” has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020!

Let’s face it folks, 2020 cannot come to an end fast enough! The last 25 years of 2020 have crawled by like a dang snail. Many of you have been working from home. We Mandt Faculty have gotten to see inside hundreds of your homes thanks to our virtual recertification process that was developed in the wake of this global pandemic. It’s been a learning curve for all of us and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this together. I just watched our Vice President, Mike Pence, receive his COVID-19 vaccination so change, it’s a comin’!

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day tends to be a stressful time for a great many people. Combine that with the complete dumpster fire known as 2020 and we’ve got a recipe for disaster. So, let’s try to de-stress a bit, Mandt-style:

Set some boundaries. In Chapter 1 we talk about setting boundaries with people we serve (that whole, “are you my friend” question we get asked sometimes), but setting boundaries in general is a good idea in your life, and especially now. It’s easy to feel like you have to be in a hundred different places, all at the same time. What a perfect time to just tell folks, “sorry, we’re not traveling” or, “no crowds for me this year.” Don’t overextend yourself.

Avoid conflict. This is an entire chapter (#3) from Mandt! If you are going to be seeing people you might dread some of the interactions based on past history. Well, get prepared for those! If you have the forethought to recognize that Uncle So-and-so can be a real jerk about our religious differences, play that out (productively) in your head. Recognize how those words will make you feel. What are some positive responses you could provide? Or, how will you redirect the conversation to something less volatile? Or, who can you ask to run interference?

Affirm your feelings and choose your behavior. This nugget is spread throughout our training. We say it all the time, but it bears repeating. You can only control yourself. Period. Full stop. End of discussion. So, keeping that in mind, affirm how you feel but then make conscientious decisions about how you will use your own behavior.

And finally, make connections. I know that historically you’ve probably made those connections in person, sitting around a dining table enjoying great food and spirited conversation. This year might be a little bit different. But different does not equate to bad. Perhaps the connections this year will be via your computer, or your phone. Maybe this will be the year that you actually send out the Christmas cards. But don’t forget to reach out to those you hold dear to your heart. In whatever way that might be in 2020. We all just have to keep moving forward, as safely as we possibly can.

Just a quick reminder that the whole of Mandt will be closed during the week of 28 December, 2020 – 01 January, 2021. We are so looking forward to working with you in 2021 and we will be back to our emails bright and early on Monday, 04 January, 2021. Thanks so much for all you do in support of others and we look forward to our continued partnership.

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor

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