I am, like many of you, sitting in my house for day number — well, who knows — of COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Rain is sliding down my windows as my children scream in the background, the restlessness rattling in their tiny bodies. Target app open, I add Easter items to my drive-up order, feeling all the emotions as I think on what our Easter is going to look like this year.
These times, whatever you call them (unprecedented, scary, unfamiliar, vulnerable), can and do feel very overwhelming. As a nation, this will be our first major holiday while under various levels of quarantine. Looking out my window, everything seems as it should, my vegetable garden is full of seedlings bursting with potential, my grass is overgrown from the abundance of sun and rain, and the little bird who made her home on my porch cozily sits on her eggs. Outwardly, my world is exploding with new life. Inwardly though, the heaviness of our reality sits tight in my belly. So many are facing unfathomable loss: loss of jobs, businesses they had dreamed of, future plans and milestone celebrations, health, and even life. The contrast is staggering.
Seasons of loss and suffering come in different forms and layers and affect us as we live our lives. Easter, whatever your reason for celebrating it, is a reminder of new life and hope. From bunnies to tiny chicks cracking out of eggs, flowers blooming, and church pews filled with loved ones, life bursts from Easter’s seams.
Times like these, ones in which we feel out of control, have the power to transform us. What feels like breaking may actually be exactly what is needed to move forward and to grow. Times like these cause us to step back and re-evaluate what really matters.
So mama, take a moment in the midst of what may feel like a tumbling crash of chaos, and inventory what’s still standing.
Here are a few tips for self-care as you celebrate Easter:
- Take some “me” time. A moment to reflect and breathe. Self-care in a time of isolation may look less like a mani/pedi and more like a moment of silence, a journal entry, or a truthful text message or phone call about your feelings to a trusted friend.
- Put relationships first. That old adage about finding out who your true friends are in the midst of hardship rings true. However, it’s more than that. This Easter, as you worry about the eggs and creating the magic of it, crouch down and look into the eyes of your little ones, send that Marco Polo to your college friend, and sit on the back porch with your partner late into the night. Invest in the “constants” and let this forced slow-down refocus your attention on the people in your life and the silver lining that springtime is hopeful because it is literally busting wide with newness. What new things are blooming in your home this season? Is your middle child glowing a bit from the extra time and attention? Is the time together leading to needed conversations between you and your spouse? Are your kids becoming friends? Make a list of good changes you see happening in your little sphere of the world.
- Create a rhythm of thankfulness. Make it a point when your mind begins to swim with anxiety, fear, and anger to turn your thoughts to thankfulness (your favorite coffee creamer in a grocery order, your daughter understanding her math homework, your baby smiling at you for that middle-of-the-night feeding). Celebrate the little wins. Set out a notepad and pen and every day write down what brings you joy, right now, in that moment. You will be amazed at how your outlook evolves!
- As always, offer grace. What you are doing is hard. Learning to homeschool, work from home, juggle your emotions while entertaining children 24/7, it’s not an easy task. It’s okay if you don’t stick to your schedule or your child missed that assignment. Your husband walked by in his boxers during your Zoom meeting? Laugh it off! We are all in uncharted waters, and grace must abound in order for us to flourish. You’re doing a great job!
Happy Easter from Fort Worth Moms!