Raise your hand if you’re getting cabin fever from all this physical and social distancing, on top of postponing your trips and getaways for several more months. I can’t be the only one. Am I right?!
Memorial Day, the “American holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military,” is less than a week away. We have to wonder, will we get back to “normal” soon?
We celebrate Memorial Day in many ways from barbecues to parades to fireworks. But, Memorial Day will be completely different this year.
Despite the chaotic, uncertain, and bewildering last several months, I have to admit that we still have something to be thankful for.
Since we can’t spend time with all of our people at a bbq or on a group trip, let’s have a great ass Memorial Day. Here’s how you can celebrate Memorial Day despite your coronavirus anxiety (or frustration).
Honor Black Lives
Let’s memorialize an additional group of people this year: Black lives lost due to white supremacy and police brutality. And, I don’t mean during Black History Month either.
You might be wondering if I’m crazy?
Or, if I should present this idea during such a challenging time?
Or, if I am taking away from Memorial Day’s original purpose?
I say: Black people have had to endure its share of tragedy, loss, and grief in US history. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re experiencing more of the same and getting treated as secondary humans. For example, read Rana Zoe Mungin’s story here.
Her name is one of many people at the hands of racial violence. I’m not here to preach, overly convince, or make you do anything that you don’t want to. My suggestion is to recognize Memorial Day as more than party time, but an actual day to remember lives lost and taken too soon.
Below is a list (although incomplete) of Black Lives gone too son. I’m celebrating Memorial Day in their name (credit to BlackPast.org).
In Memory of:
Add additional names to the list (and in the comments below) so we can recognize them this holiday.
Learn to cook Grandma’s traditional recipes
Do you know how to make your Grandmother’s buttermilk biscuits? Or any of her sacred dishes? If you had the opportunity to learn any of her recipes, what would it be?
Nikki Giovanni, during a community discussion with Girl Trek, reminded all of us the importance of family and food. If we had the chance to be in the kitchen cooking with our grandmother, we would learn as much as we could.
So, why can’t you do that for Memorial Day? You can recreate a dish that brought your family together. Spend time cooking with grandma (over the phone or virtually) or in her memory.
For my family, dressing is a well-loved dish made by my grandma (we call her Mama). Even though we aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas yet, there’s time and space to learn my grandma’s one-of-a-kind dressing.
What are you going to cook?
Prepare your mental health for indoor festivities
Don’t compare Memorial Day to last year. It’s not healthy to live in comparison. We’re surviving a pandemic that no one or nothing prepared us for.
Focus on the positives, the moments that you’re truly grateful for. What are they?
With less than a week away, dedicate ten minutes to giving thanks every morning. Whether it’s to yourself, your loved ones, someone special, the frontline healthcare workers, or whoever. Think about what you’re grateful for and use that to guide your day, week, and holidays during the COVID-19 crises.
Also, be present and in the moment. When you look back, what do you want to remember about this time?
Finally, don’t repress your feelings, let them be. While I’m suggesting to you that you focus on the positives and the present, don’t ignore how you feel. If you ignore your feelings, you’re only allowing them to fester, which can manifest in many ways. So, if you’re feeling disappointed, sad, angry, or whatever, let them pour out. Give yourself grace and the space to feel how you feel and take your time to address your feelings.
Feeling extra overwhelmed? Check out Travel, Health & Wellness COVID-19 Resources.
Use Your Imagination
Some of the best Memorial Day experiences aren’t always about where you are, but who you’re with and how it makes you feel. Maybe it’s Fun, Adventure, and Happiness that you feel during this holiday.
So, what could you do to make this year’s holiday fun, adventurous, or happy?
Get your friends and family involved, virtually or in-person, and celebrate Memorial Day in your own style. What is Memorial Day to you, anyway?
When we were kids, we imagined a world greater than what we live in today. Dream big and make it a reality as much as you can.
Many of us are working and living at home. We have to recognize, however, that we have a privilege to celebrate a holiday and not worry about basic living conditions.
We have a home. Many do not. We have food. Many cannot eat. We have life. Many lost theirs.
Road Tripping Tripping
If you gotta get out of the house and see something else besides the inside of your refrigerator or your bedroom walls, then road-tripping might be an option.
And, honestly, road-tripping has never been cheaper. Well, at least gas prices. In South Carolina, gas is less than $2. Gas prices in Kentucky dropped to less than $1. Do you know when the last time gas prices were that low? When I was in middle school!
“Road trips not only provide a safe way of transportation but allow you to choose a safer, less common destination.” (Popsugar)
So where might you go? To an unexpected destination or a local spot that can serve as this year’s Memorial Day festivities (while maintaining safe physical distance from others).