By Lauren Rubin –
Quarantine hasn’t been easy on any of us. This disruption of daily life and denial of many freedoms we’re accustomed to can be hard to wrap our minds around. No matter what you’re feeling, know that it is valid and that it deserves to be acknowledged.
No grief is trivial.
Feeling grief over missing your favorite candlelit Sunday yoga class is just as real as grief over not being able to physically hug a grandparent or parent who is most vulnerable to this disease. Even harder to emotionally process are the major life events that have been cancelled or put on hold: weddings, graduations, birthdays, and the like. In fact, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the Sun signs who may be spending their birthdays in isolation and feeling grief over trying to find a new way—or even a reason at all—to celebrate.
As David Kessler, the world’s leading expert on grief puts it,
“Emotions need motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through. One unfortunate byproduct of the self-help movement is we’re the first generation to have feelings about our feelings. We tell ourselves things like, I feel sad, but I shouldn’t feel that; other people have it worse. We can — we should — stop at the first feeling. I feel sad. Let me go for five minutes to feel sad. Your work is to feel your sadness and fear and anger whether or not someone else is feeling something.”
So according to Kessler, for any birthday-havers in the next few months, the first step is to acknowledge your grief.
Yes, that discomfort you’re feeling is grief.
Birthdays are special—especially for those of us who love astrology. Your zodiac sign’s “season” is often an exciting time of year to slip into. Nearly everyone enjoys doing something to mark the occasion, whether that’s splurging on an incredible meal, throwing a party, or taking a birthday trip. But during this global pandemic, most of those plans are no longer viable options. The reality is that for many people with birthdays coming up, this can feel like a huge bummer.
So acknowledge that grief, no matter how superficial it might seem. Your feelings of loss are real. Give yourself time—5 minutes, a whole day, whatever you need—to feel those feelings fully. “Sometimes we try not to feel what we’re feeling because we [think]… if I feel sad and let that in, it’ll never go away. The gang of bad feelings will overrun me. The truth is that a feeling moves through us. We feel it and it goes and then we go to the next feeling,” Kessler shares. “Let yourself feel the grief and keep going.”
Just because your plans might be derailed doesn’t mean there isn’t cause—and opportunity—for celebration.
While the plans you had in mind for your birthday might need to be adjusted, there’s no need to stay in a permanent state of sulking or just “skip” your birthday this year. There are still ways to make your special day sparkle, all while staying safe at home. Below are a few suggestions based on your Sun sign that prove there’s still a way to celebrate that’s authentic to you.
You love attention—and I love that for you!—so today is not your day to censor yourself. Feel free to livestream blowing out your birthday candles or post a thirst trap to your Instagram. Even if dinner consists of eating boxed mac ‘n cheese on the sofa, make sure to use the fancy silverware, serve with champagne, and wear that birthday outfit I know you already bought. No sweats allowed at your stay-at-home birthday soiree!
Don’t skimp on your birthday meal this year. In fact, make it a four-course, at-home affair. Start with an artfully arranged cheese plate, move into a salad, and dine on your absolute favorite entrée. (If you’re still able to order takeout and feel comfortable doing so, order from that fancy restaurant knowing that you’re supporting small businesses and the economy at large.) And lest we forget the cake! Scour the internet for a dessert recipe you’ve been dying to try, or snag something from a local bakery that’s utterly drool-worthy. If you want to get yourself a gift, this acupressure mat turns basic TV-watching during quarantine into a luxe and health-supportive activity.
You probably have more friends than there are days in the year, and each of them feel a special connection to you. Hop on Zoom to host a party (from your respective homes, of course) and have the cocktails and conversation free flowing. Seeing so many people’s faces at once—up to 100 on Zoom!—will remind you of how much you’re loved. And your guests certainly won’t complain if you decide to play trivia or truth or dare during your digital party to spice things up.
If you’re celebrating your birthday in isolation, tag Dooz in the festivities on Instagram. Better still, share this article with an Aries, Taurus, or Gemini friend. From the whole Dooz team, we wish you a very happy (and oh-so-healthy) birthday!
– By Lauren Rubin
Cover image by Melissa Alt Cakes