Stop, Drop, and Roll

| Caitlin Kline Lindsey, LCSW

When I originally thought of the subject of this blog, it was only in regards to preparing for the holidays during COVID. As I thought more about it, it occurred to me that the pandemic is not the only major monkey wrench in this year’s holiday planning—we have the election. As if the holidays needed more stress and conflict, let’s add a pandemic and the most polarizing election season to date. What a ball of fire dipped in gasoline and thrown into a California wildfire!

I can already look in my crystal ball and foresee the holidays bringing up “I can’t believe that they are going to stay with grandma and expose her!” , “They are so overreacting! Are they really not going to come visit for Thanksgiving?!”, “I can only imagine who he voted for and I simply can’t look him in the eye.” In sticking with the fire metaphor, I wanted to encourage folks to follow an already established rule of thumb for managing HOT situations- Stop, Drop, and Roll. To break it down:


Take inventory of your own biases, judgments, personal situation, beliefs about the virus, beliefs about the political needs of the country, fear, and so on. 


Let go of any need to control others’ decisions, opinions, and accept that you are only in control of yourself. You may choose to abstain from a family gathering due to fear of conflict or safety or kindly make requests to make others aware of what could make the event more comfortable and try not to judge the  


Roll with it and accept the circumstances that you find yourself in rather than fighting reality. Maybe try to get creative- maybe everyone in the family can get tested and quarantine until the family gathering, or decide to celebrate the holiday at a different time when everyone can feel safer and truly enjoy it—Thanksgiving in April!

We are all going to have to practice an extra amount of patience, tolerance and flexibility in the upcoming months. I hope that however you and your loved ones decide to celebrate is meaningful and fulfilling!

Today's the day to make a change.