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Easter is a wonderful time of year for friends and family to gather and celebrate. Whether or not one celebrates the religious aspect of the holiday, everyone can agree that the joyful traditions of Easter egg hunting, egg dipping, Easter baskets, and delicious dinners with families and friends provide great memories for both children and adults.
But with this current pandemic, there is a sense of collective disappointment as this holiday approaches. The churches will be empty as those who attend are stuck watching the service online. Brunches at fancy restaurants are cancelled and organized Easter egg hunts for dozens of children are a memory of the past. Perhaps family dinners have to be changed, as older grandparents are cautious to get together in larger groups. So how do we handle this change, considering our health and the health of our families are the most important consideration? How can we make the holiday special and enjoyable, and not let our anxiety, depression, and disappointment overtake it? Here are just a few ideas.
1. Continue the traditions that you can. There’s still no reason that you can’t have a fantastic Easter egg hunt if you have children. So what if they can’t attend the one that’s usually organized for all of the neighborhood kids down the street? Make your Easter egg hunt bigger and better at your home this year if your finances allow it. You can put the eggs outside and inside to give it some variety. The kids won’t care as long as they have fun, which they will. It’s usually adults who put themselves under added pressure of making holidays “perfect,” which leads to unnecessary anxiety and depression.
2. If religious, watch services online in your Sunday best. Who says you can’t still dress up in your Easter Sunday clothes? If religious services are important to you, find one online this Sunday and stream it on your computer or hook it up to your television and watch it as a family. If you have kids, they will love to put on their fancy clothes and pretend that they are at church. It might not be the same as actually going to church, but it will still be a wonderful and fun experience for your family. Plus, you will get the same message from the service you would otherwise at church, in the comfort of your home. Bonus: Nobody cares if you put your feet up on the couch.
3. If family members can’t make dinner, do a Google Hangouts meeting. Google Hangouts is a great tool to connect with loved ones or work colleagues without worrying about those pesky germs. Currently, many services and meetings are being held on Google Hangouts around the country, connecting people everywhere. So why can’t you use Google Hangouts to check in with family members who otherwise can’t be with you on Easter because of COVID 19? You can even eat dinner together on Google Hangouts if you want and laugh and joke just like you usually do. It might be a little awkward, but so what? Laugh and make the best of it.
4. Lower your expectations. Holidays can be difficult for people with anxiety or depression because of our high expectations. We expect things to go perfectly; for dinner to be perfect, for our families to be perfect, and for everyone to get along perfectly. With the current pandemic, we have no choice but to lower our expectations and just go with the flow. Expecting less from holidays doesn’t make you negative, but it does set you up to have a better time and not to anticipate so much from the day. Then, anything good that happens (and it will), is an added bonus. Just try to relax and go with the flow.
5. Know that you’re not alone. It’s tough enough when a family member loses a job or we find out that our closest relative can’t make dinner because they don’t feel well. But when everyone is going through something together, such as COVID 19, it’s a relief to know that we are all trying to make the best of what we have this Easter. Everyone is trying to figure out how to celebrate the holiday when their finances may not be in the best shape, or their relatives can’t make dinner because they are sick. It isn’t just you who feels anxious this Easter Sunday. The rest of the world is right there with you.
A lot of people are wondering how this Easter Sunday will be with so much negativity going on in the world. Fortunately, a lot of that is up to us. Our perceptions have so much to do with how we experience life and hardships. If we go into Easter with a negative and fearful attitude, we will probably feel negative and unhappy with the holiday. If we try and make the best of the holiday and be grateful for what we do have, for the family we love and the friends we cherish, it can be a fantastic day just like any other Easter.
If you are still having a difficult time this Easter holiday, please feel free to reach out to Straight Talk Counseling Center. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you. Call 714-828-2000 or visit our website at www.straighttalkcounseling.org
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