Trying to find my rainbow (or how I am surviving right now)
My husband and daughter, who typically see the world with a slightly less rosy lens than I do, often accuse me of being “all cupcakes and rainbows”. For anyone who has seen the film Trolls then I am the Poppy to their Branch.
But, you may remember that towards the end of that film, when the Trolls are trapped - about to be eaten - and Princess Poppy cannot think of a way to save her clan, even her outlook and mindset becomes grey.
Right now, with all that is going on in the world, I feel a lot like Poppy in the saucepan.
· I’m worried about money
· I’m worried about how long this will last
· I am missing seeing my family and friends
· I’m worried about our parents, who are in the at-risk age category, and my sister having to put her own and her family’s health on the line as an NHS midwife
· I am upset about the news
· I am feeling guilty that my children can tell I’m worried and upset.
If I let it, that can all feel quite overwhelming. And so, I am really drawing on my resilience skills to not let it overwhelm me. In particular the things I am working hard on right now are:
Showing self-compassion - accepting how I feel as perfectly normal right now and allowing myself a good cry when I need to.
Practising gratitude – reminding myself that despite the bad things, there are things I am grateful for (i.e. I do still have some income, I have my husband and children’s company, we live somewhere with outside space, I am not afraid in my home environment, we have enough money right now for what we need).
Self-care – resisting the temptation to just work all the hours under the sun, to try to find new opportunities and keep my existing clients on side, and taking proper breaks. Going for walks in the woods with the dog. Taking long baths. Reading. Cuddling my kids and the cats!
Concentrating my energy on what I can control – calling the bank to arrange a mortgage payment holiday, making sure I follow the lockdown/social distancing advice so I am not adding to the problem, eating well, keeping as active as possible, video-calling friends and family, limiting how much news I read.
Challenging my mindset – reminding myself that this will not last forever, reminding myself that not all is bad in my world, reminding myself that it’s not just me – everyone is going through adversity right now, reminding myself that it’s ok for my kids to see me upset – as long as I talk to them about it so it doesn’t add to their worries.
Thinking about the future – reflecting on what we can learn from this – what elements of my old life do I want back and what elements is this a good nudge to change, talking about what we’d like to do when life gets more normal (go to the beach, have a big family BBQ for all the missed March/April birthdays).
*** Trolls spoiler alert ***
And I remind myself – the Trolls survived! Their good deed in the past meant a friend put herself in danger to save them. I believe in that kind of karma, so I am also doing all I can to be fair, kind and supportive of others. If you need help or just to talk, I’ll always be here – and if you have any other tips for getting through this, I’m all ears!