Celebrating when in isolation

Well – what a month we have had so far!  We have dealt with massive flooding and restrictions on our travel as a result.  Commiserations to those who are still having to deal with the aftermath of the terrible scenes we have witnessed.  Now we have the dreaded Coronavirus – Covid 19 – in case you’re unaware.  This is going to be dictating our movements for many months it seems, and we have no idea of the outcome.  We are being told to self isolate and  wash our hands, whilst keeping our distance from everyone to avoid spreading a virus which we know so little about and may inadvertently be carrying.

What therefore I hear you ask do we have to celebrate?  Weddings are being cancelled, large gatherings discouraged, pubs being advised to close, sporting fixtures being postponed the list goes on. We should be out there celebrating

  • St Patrick’s Day ( and night) – 17th March
  • The Spring Equinox – 20th March
  • Mother’s Day – 22nd March
  • Clocks going forward and the  start of British Summer Time (haha) – 29th March

So how can we do this if we are all self isolating in our homes, not going out or meeting anyone?  Here are some ideas

  • Enjoy family meals together – cooking and devising them together, then eating as a family.  Who knows the weather may even let us eat outside soon …
  • Plan the day as a family building in activity fun time, balanced with quiet individual space.
  • Think of creative ways to be together in a confined space – board games, cards, read to each other, plan days out for later in the year when you can get out, grow things either in a garden or in pots inside – try growing salad crops and then eating them. Paint, sing, dance, talk to one another and tell jokes – release your imagination and don’t just sit in front of a screen all the time.
  • Do jigsaws, write stories and poetry – enjoy each others company.
  • Celebrate that you are a family with a roof over your head, access to clean water and food and more importantly you are helping to keep yourselves and your neighbours healthy.
  • Keep in touch with other family members, not only on the phone, Facetime or Skype, but also making cards or writing letters.
  • Give each other space too – there are times when others may want to be on their own – respect that.
  • Think of ways to help others – remember your neighbour may be on their own and lonely – keep in touch.
  • Remember we are human beings -we are immensely resourceful, have vast imaginations if they are exercised and celebration is not always about dressing up, eating and drinking.  Celebration is about recognising and honouring the situations in which we find ourselves, making the best of them and trying to find the most satisfying, inclusive and memorable ways to enjoy ourselves.

So here are some suggestions for the dates above

St Patrick’s Day – have a green day – wear green, eat green food, find out why green is an important colour for the day.  Listen to Irish music, try doing some Irish dancing.

The Spring Equinox – go into the garden or outside, watch the sunrise and sunset, try a circle dance or some drumming.  Look for spring flowers, make a daisy chain, listen to the birds.  Eat fresh spring greens and make plans for the summer.

Mother’s Day – remember your mum. Make breakfast in bed and offer to cook her favourite meal.  Make her a card – this may be treasured more than a shop bought offering, especially if it shows what she means to you.  If they live away from you get in touch and send them your love.  Have a family meal – all sitting around the table with no distractions except chat and banter.

Start of BST – weather permitting go outside and sit in the garden or even do some gardening together – include your children.  Clean off any outdoor furniture and toys – prepare them for the long sunny days ahead!  Plan exciting activities for the family to do in the summer – holidays and days out during the summer break.

Although it feels the odds are stacked against us at the moment with increasingly harsh ‘ advice’ and guidelines coming from the establishment, a bleak summer ahead, panic buying and empty shop shelves there are alternative ways of viewing things.  The way we approach life will have to temporarily – or perhaps permanently – need to change.  But as a species we will survive, we will muddle through or we will have fun, relearn lost skills and joys and in the future look back on these times as ‘the good old days’ or the golden times.  Don’t underestimate your ability to enjoy things in a naturally simple and meaningful way.