If the grind of lockdown life is wearing your down, you’re not alone. Read on for practical
tips to help you mine your grit and grace. Let’s be honest, this current lockdown chapter
comes hot on the heels of months of uncertainty and impingement, so it’s no wonder we’re
feeling frazzled and full up. But there are things we can do to help us keep putting one foot
in front of the other, so let’s take a gentle look together.
1. Keep pacing yourself
Our energy reserves and daily demands of life are constantly changing, so give yourself permission to make adjustments as we move through this current lockdown period. What worked for you in the first few weeks might not be sustainable or maybe you just need a little variety, so keep refining your daily flow.
We can’t muscle our way through forever, so if you feel your patience, optimism or
pep fading, that is very normal. We just need to make some tweaks so we can keep
giving and keep going. It might be asking for extensions on work deadlines,
connecting in different ways with people to honour our energy levels or allowing
ourselves to drop a ball, or ten!
2. Renew your family contracts
Sit down with your family and talk about what is important to you all, the kinds of values and priorities you have and the agreements that you promise each other. It can be anything from a family mission statement or something practical like mapping out tasks that we each take responsibility for.
Checking in regularly with this conversation helps us feel purposeful, that the load is shared and also recognises that sometimes we need to switch things up to keep things feeling fresh. You might like to choose a different value each week, looking for ways to bring it to daily life and giving positive feedback to your kids (and yourself!) when you see them making a helpful contribution.
3. Keep talking
This is a tough time and we all need a safe place to give voice. Bottling things up is a recipe for becoming Scary Mummy. Think about the people on your team who can provide the kind of support that you need. If you need a kind ear, reach out to the person who loves offering that. If you need someone to brainstorm with, choose that friend.
We all need other people and in being honest about our feelings with our friends we invite them to be honest with us too, deepening our bonds. You can let off steam with some sweary journaling and relish throwing it away when you’re done or try some lion breaths for instant relief.
4. Keep nourishing you
Remember your ‘energy bank basics’ – sleep/rest/breathing, movement, nutrition, hydration, time in Nature and social connection. Just as a car needs petrol to go, we need these basics to function. Be honest with yourself about your downtime choices, knowing the difference between crutches and genuine self-care. Crutches help you cope in the moment but tend to make tomorrow harder, self-care helps you now and it nurtures your future self. The Nourish App will give you many life-giving alternatives to the crutches that we know don’t help us in the long run and right now we need our staying power like never before. Remember, the natural resurgence of energy that comes with Spring is just around the corner, so hang in there!
5. Forgive yourself
A common theme right now is feeling like we are failing at everything, but it’s just not possible to mother like we aren’t working or teach our children at home as they would be at school, or provide the novelty and social stimulation of being surrounded by peers. If you’re a new parent, the squeeze of living through a global pandemic has added an extreme burden to what is already a challenging life transition, so go gently on yourself. Please adjust your expectations of what you will get through in a day and the standard to which you achieve it.
I offer you this simple mantra:
I am just one human being.
We don’t have the energy, resources or skills of a dozen people, just one, so forgive, forgive, forgive. And remember it won’t be like this forever.
About the author
Suzy Reading is a mother of two, a Chartered Psychologist, Yoga Teacher, Best Selling Author and Wellbeing Coach. She is also a core member of the Nourish Contributing & Founding Team. Suzy specialises in maternal well-being, helping mums manage their emotions, energetic bank balance and the unique stresses of motherhood. Suzy has written three books – The Self-Care Revolution: Smart Habits & Simple Practices to Allow You to Flourish, The Little Book of Self-care: 30 Practices to Soothe the Body, Mind and Soul, and Stand Tall Like a Mountain: Mindfulness and Self-Care for Children and Parents. On the Nourish app, you will find over 50 nourishing tools (incl. 27 short videos) from Suzy, ranging from mindfulness and self-compassion basics, to breathing exercises, to dynamic yoga sequences, to mind based coaching activities. Suzy specialises in helping us find those micro moments to dot through our day. Download the Nourish App to have content from Suzy and the rest of the team at your fingertips!