Being alive is such a gift

How much the world has changed over the past few months, how online we have become – we have all had to adapt to this new way of living. Even though lockdown has eased, it’s not the same as it was and although a lot of businesses have opened up again, the world is still very much online whilst we figure out our next move to feel more freedom and get back to our “old” lives in a way that keeps us safe, the new “normal”.

There are many positives in all of this as the stigma of “flexible working”, especially for parents, will soon become a thing of the past. Saying that, nothing can replace the close contact we once had with friends and extended family. No online or face time call can replace the hugs and kisses we all used to take for granted – the value of touch and any kind of close contact is real.

We can however still find a way to connect with real people online which does help to fill the gap, but it is a strange world we are living in at the moment. A couple of weekends ago, I took part in an online mindfulness retreat as part of an 8 week course I am doing with Mindfulness UK, and I didn’t even have to leave my bedroom. The experience was wonderful though I was distracted and a bit unsettled at the start of it as I was trying to create a quiet space for myself fairly early on a Saturday morning, which isn’t an easy task. Eventually however, I did relax into it all and it was exactly what I needed. Plus it coincided by pure chance with a last minute overnight break that same afternoon only booked a couple of days beforehand, which really allowed me to process all my thoughts as it had been a difficult week. This also allowed me to really pay attention to how my body was feeling in starting to come out of the other side in all of this, and show some compassion towards myself. It has been such a challenging few months to say the least, and it’s taken a toll on everyone around me too.

It’s just how it is, and we have to just do what we can to work with it as it is without trying to change a single thing. Just accepting it, embracing it and loving yourself through it all. What other choice do we have? We can either take control and make the best of it, or we end up in a downward spiral and feeling bad in ourselves, and this makes it hard to cope and enjoy life in the best way possible.

Lockdown has been such a struggle for myself and for many families all over the world to get to grips with a/ working out how to look after myself amongst all the stress and chaos around me, and b/ how to manage looking after everyone and everything else. All I know is that I just cannot cope with having to look after anyone or anything else if I don’t make myself a priority every single day, and create that time to do things that help to recharge, relax and energise me. I’m not perfect by any means and some days are harder than others, but I have to make my physical and mental wellbeing a priority in everything I choose to do every day of my life, every minute of every day.

Sometimes we get things wrong, but the key thing is to get back on the right track, to realise that there is a better, more positive way of managing the situation should it arise again, and maybe next time, we can plan our day a bit differently to reduce any stress or anxiety. Maybe you are just doing too much? See what you can cut out of your schedule and create more space for yourself.

Creating space is key. There are so many things during the day that could trigger any form of anxiety or stress, and by becoming aware of what all these triggers are, it really does make it easier to learn how best to reduce it, manage your life, and live feeling more peace, happiness and calm within.

Some things of course are completely out of our control but we have more control over our lives than we think. Feel, do feel, acknowledge it all, then nourish yourself with self-love and get back to feeling good again, even if it is for a short period, then go back and look after yourself some more. It can sometimes only take a matter of minutes of self-care if we bring our awareness to these moments, take action and make the positive intention to feel good.

Emotions during the day can fluctuate so much, we can sometimes get so caught up in the negative energy of those around you, not just in your home but everywhere, which can really heighten your anxiety, your fatigue, and your ability to cope with the everyday tasks and responsibilities. It is so important to find that time to switch off our minds and tune into how our body is feeling, focusing on sometimes just small areas of the body at a time that need more attention, really experiencing a connection between what is going on in your mind with how your body is feeling in the moment. We get so caught up in the stress and hectic nature of our everyday lives that we forget to stop and think about our everyday habits and the way we behave towards ourselves, or maybe you don’t even know this connection doesn’t even exist…The only way to establish this connection is to stop and pay attention to each of your everyday activities bit by bit over time,  and removing any distractions around you as best as you can. As a mum, this is such a difficult thing, but where there is a will, there is definitely a way… There is always a workaround solution if we are willing to make that commitment to ourselves, to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be!

Inspire others, be the change… Go and be your amazing self ❤️