By: Dani Kessel
[Note: I wrote this post over a few days’ time. Each day’s writing is indicated by an ellipsis.]
Quarantine has got me feeling really down.
I am stuck in a small one-bedroom apartment. My husband still has to go to work, so I am alone most of the time. I can’t go out anywhere. I am at higher risk for catching COVID-19 because of my pre-existing health conditions. I can’t afford to risk things like going to see friends. I really only go out to the grocery store, and even then I have panic attacks. I even get anxiety anytime I take the dog for a walk. This has been a really rough time for my mental health.
I’m trying to mitigate the symptoms though. So, I did something to cheer myself up a little.
I put back up my Christmas tree!
Christmas has always been an extremely comforting time for me. When I was young, basically, the only time that my family didn’t fight was at Christmas. No matter what was going on, we’d put our issues aside to celebrate together. We’d decorate the tree together. We’d build gingerbread houses, watch Christmas movies, and sing carols. It’s one of the most cherished times of my childhood. That’s part of the reason I still celebrate it despite also recognizing and loving Yule and Saturnalia.
. . .
Just seeing the sparkling white lights on my tree when I walk into the living room puts a small smile on my face. I look outside to see fluffy mounds of snow. I spent the past few days singing I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Winter Wonderland. I really would like to make cookies and drink eggnog sometime this week.
. . .
Today, I’m wearing a fuzzy-brimmed, plaid Santa hat with Mickey Mouse ears.
It snowed again last night. Once I’m done with work, I’m highly considering putting on boots, going outside, and building a miniature snowman. This will probably hurt, but it’d still be fun. (The cold has hurt my back ever since my surgery.) Tonight, I could even put on my Rudolph hat and watch the old claymation Christmas movies. I have them all on DVD!
Maybe this all seems silly, but it makes this whole quarantine more bearable. It makes me feel like things are okay. This Christmas in April is exactly what I needed to shift my perspective. Yeah, it can’t take away my mental struggles or anxiety attacks, but it gives me something to fight through all of this shit for.
I hope you enjoyed reading this reflection on my daily life this week. If you do, share the Christmas in April joy with others.
Tell me, what are you doing to make quarantine more enjoyable? Have you done anything fun like this? Share your stories in the comments section below!