There is no doubt that for many, 2020 has been a monster of a year so far. I was chatting to a great friend on the phone earlier and he reminded me that it’s important we take it one day at a time. Over the past month, I have experienced a mixture of emotions. I have felt incredibly thankful to be at home with my family, feeling much more like myself. I have now been home longer than I was in hospital. Reflecting on the time in hospital, although the ‘ill me’ was furious to be there, I now feel so thankful for all it taught me and for all the amazing care I had. It was also great to be able to get patients smiling and laughing, singing and dancing (that side of me didn’t go completely and thankfully it is still in there). In many ways it was harder for my family and friends who had to often watch a stranger inside the body of a person they love. The tease then became the occasional glimmer of myself coming back.
At least I was on super strong medication to numb that pain. Those closest to me simply had to brace themselves and get through it, whilst my pain and confusion was partly numbed with medication. I wish I could have taken their pain away. Now all that trauma feels like old news, compared to what so many are going through. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling right now. I want to encourage you to keep talking and sharing. There is no shame in feeling fragile, confused, scared and anxious.
It is essential that we use the tools that work to slow our mind down. Personally, isolation and covid 19 aside, there have been a few days I have felt really depressed and anxious. But those feelings are based on the thoughts that come as I reflect over the illness. I wish I could take back some of the things that the stranger in my mind said and did. But I can’t. When I start to sink deep into the pit, I practise self compassion. Tune into this chat I recently had with one of the UK’s most saught after therapists, Paul Gilbert OBE, the founder of the compassionate based therapy. We give some top tips for the mojo.
I have been feeling a huge benefit from simple forms of mindfulness. If you have kids, the more we slow down and drop the pressure, the more we appreciate how magic these little people really are. I asked my 5 year old what he wanted to add to the food shopping list and he said:
‘Pretty flowers for you Mummy’.
I melted. Yesterday, he brushed my hair for half an hour (as we had the time). He told me I looked beautiful and that he would do it every day if I wanted. I have also had some lovely moments each day with Bonnie, our 7 year old, who has some great chat and a lovely nature. As we were walking last night she said:
‘Mummy, I am proud of you because you help people sort things out’.
It is so important to focus on the small things when it comes to raising kids. I am so thankful for chats each and every day. I have also been enjoying a bit of mindful cooking (Bonnie gets involved sometimes), snuggles and singing and dancing of course top the list. We have also been laughing a lot on the trampoline, tig with two young kids is a great workout. As for the times the kids have tantrums or feel hungry and need food RIGHT AWAY, well that is a different story. When I was in mania and unable to deal with my emotions as normal, the medical professionals advised my family to stay calm and not react. Reacting to a manic human can be dangerous. It’s the same when it comes to reacting to a child in the throws of a tantrum. There are moments that our little people are learning to deal with their emotions as they grow. What they are getting worked up over may seem crazy, but staying calm is key to prevent things from getting worse. Each day will bring new challenges but it will also bring new found moments of joy. I am all in on the joy. Tucking them up, all cosy at night is something I never ever take for granted.
For your wellbeing, I want to encourage you to take time each and every day to be thankful for the small things. Earlier I walked around our garden, looking at the flowers and the bushes and trees we planted in 2013 and 2014. It’s great to see growth, despite the storms they have been through, from thick snow, to torrential wind and rain. They stand tall and look so beautiful. Life is beautiful, I have appreciated every single sunset since lockdown and star and planet gazing has reached a whole new level. I am loving the slow pace, more than I could have imagined. I feel content. As for the storms, they can really hurt but they make us stronger. I am truly so thankful to have my health, family and friends, faith and a home to enjoy and people to cherish. I am also thankful to each and every person who messages me with support. It blows my mind to see how many people land here on this blog from around the globe each and every day. I wish you so much mojo, daily moments of joy and good vibes. Remember, take things one day at a time. Mojo x