December 30, 2020
Happy New Year (Almost)!
You’ve made it through a super tough year, and with the holiday season quickly coming to a close, it’s tempting to attend a party or two. However, now is not the time to let our guards down. After all, who wants to deal with sick spouses or kids during the last few hours of 2020?
Just because we can’t party like it’s 1999, as Prince once said, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. Here are some ways you can have fun and keep your family safe this year and well into the next.
Encourage Virtual Parties Over In-Person Parties
No one is super stoked about having to miss out on New Year’s Eve parties. Who doesn’t love an excellent bubbly drink and a rousing rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight? The allure of watching the ball drop in NYC from the comfort of our couches dampened once we grew up and started attending parties with our friends. This year, we’ll have to figure out a new way to ring in the new year.
Creating Zoom parties is a great way to let kids and adults alike see their loved ones without potentially getting others sick. Encourage Zoom participants to dress up, bring snacks and drinks to their Zoom meeting, and play some virtual games until the clock strikes twelve.
Make Good Hygiene Practices Normal
Practicing good hygiene during the holidays is also an essential part of keeping the family safe. Encourage kids to wash their hands after opening up their presents, before digging into Christmas dinner, and throughout your New Year’s festivities. Chances are, after this year, acceptable hygiene practices have already been set in stone. But if they haven’t, there’s no time like now!
Encourage Spring Cleaning Year-Round
The whole house needs a good clean after the holidays. Between the extra cooking and baking, a continuous stream of presents, and the excess amount of stuff we all end up with right before the new year, there’s more than enough to be done around the house. Cleaning and sanitizing should still be a priority, even if your family has decided to do a socially-distanced holiday celebration. Consider sanitizing your surfaces more often, giving the bathroom a once-over, and teaching children how to do laundry to lessen the load on you and your spouse!
Many of us are hopeful that life will return to normal this year. However, we will likely have to wear masks and remain socially distant for a while longer. Going outside will be an important way for us to reach out to people we haven’t seen in a bit while remaining safe during the year. One traditional outdoor trip you might take is a trip to see the bluebonnets at Brushy Creek Park when they bloom in early April. This can make for a perfect photo opportunity, as well. If your little one is celebrating their first birthday or another milestone, this is also a great time to utilize the outdoors.
Remember Mental Health
There’s been quite a lot of talk about physical health over the past year. Unfortunately, mental health has also been a global health issue. It’s expected that this winter will be extra tough on everyone’s mental health, so it’s essential to include it in the greater conversation surrounding well-being. Eating a nutritious diet, moving your body and getting outside, and seeking therapy if needed are all perfect ways to attend to your mental well-being.
Treating yourself can also be extremely beneficial to mental health, especially during pregnancy, when your hormones naturally fluctuate. Maternity photographers (folks like me to take professional pregnancy photos) do everything they can to make the mom-to-be feel special, which can be a huge pick-me-up.
If you’re not expecting a new family member this year, all parents can treat themselves to the same sort of pampering that takes place during a maternity shoot. All you need are the ingredients for a facial, a manicure set, and a nice outfit to get dressed up in to do this at home. Parents likely even have their own little manicurists and hairdressers who would love to help with their beautification process.
Support Local Businesses In Austin & The Surrounding Areas
Small businesses have struggled over the past year, but they’ve also been fantastic about working together to keep their community safe. Whether it’s been going above and beyond to ensure your shipped items get to your door safely or sanitizing and upholding safety precautions, local businesses have been the backbone of Austin and the surrounding area.
My photography business, Hello Photography, has also changed how it takes photos during 2020 (you can read a little more about it here). However, I am still committed to bringing your family the best portraits and photo sessions while maintaining your safety. Shopping locally typically means shopping somewhere where safety standards are upheld — so do yourself and small businesses a favor this year by working locally when possible.