You write this letter on Easter weekend, during a pandemic – Covid 19.
The phrase ‘life is a rollercoaster’ (Ronan Keating I’m looking at you) has never stood truer. What a time? So much unprecented uncertainty and life as you know it has been flipped upside down. You are a bit of a History fanatic (especially British), and you keep reminding yourself there has been nothing like this in peacetime.
You’re not a medic, or a retail professional or a key worker. So, when you experience waves of sadness, of despair, or panic you feel pretty guilty, give yourself a shake and count your blessings that you are safe at home and not actually on the front line. You can’t thank our hero’s enough and have been out clapping every week. (You’ve always been amazed by the NHS and have openly called Doctors and Nurses Gods to their faces each time they have saved your Dad from skin cancer and heart attacks. )
As someone recently reminded you, you are however a human being with emotions (hormones) and it’s OK not to be OK right now. When you do cry, it’s not just for you it’s genuinely for everyone, it’s for the world.
You have noticed that it seems to come in waves. You sometimes wake up in the night and forget, then it soon comes back, that utter feeling of anxiety of panic. The tightening of the chest and the sick to the core feeling in your stomach. I think most will be in agreement that it’s not realistic to be happy all the time, especially right now. For you there are times when you are in the house where you almost feel normal, baking and playing Lego, getting the summer wardrobe out of storage. Almost like there isn’t a pandemic out there. Yet other times the News reports and reality of it all (tape over the children’s playground for one) becomes all consuming and overwhelming. You take a second to just breathe. You remember that you’re not alone, and it’s normal to feel this way. For the past 6 months you have been undergoing CBT but nothing prepared anyone for this. It’s like something from a horror film. Did Stephen King write 2020? Wildfires, storms now a biblical pandemic?
You shared one of your favourite quotes ‘Be Kind’ on Instagram stories again last week. Simply because it’s more important than ever. Truth is, empathy and acceptance come hand in hand. When you find people taking things out on you remember the latter and stay strong.
At some point there comes a time when you realise you simply have to see the positives and have hope?! This is surely a reminder to make every day count.
Gentle Reminder: Whilst we are all ‘in this together’ everyone’s situation is different. As always, you can only speak from your experience, straight from the heart.
In order to be kinder to yourself you’ve finally written that permission slip – to reinforce the idea that all of your opinions and feelings matter.
You are often lost for words on social media. Suddenly pretty dresses and make up don’t seem to matter the same. You want to boost morale and embrace all that’s positive but you also don’t want to add fuel to the fire or scaremonger. You are not the news. You can go from sobbing into your bar of chocolate to cracking jokes about yourself in 5 minutes. You’re Liverpudlian. It’s what you lot have always done. You wear your heart on your sleeve and will be the first to take the mickey out of yourself.
Here is your permission to:
- Drink cold water and make sure you stay hydrated. A headache doesn’t do anyone any favours.
- Miss those you love. Connect via WhatsApp or Skype.
- Find welcome distractions. Sorting your wardrobe out, reading or sticking some false tan on.
- Write it down. Exhale and let it all out. Journaling is more relevant now than ever.
- Cook yourself a nice healthy meal.
- Indulge in a little Easter Chocolate
- Limit News/Media consumption
- Mute unhelpful whatsapp groups/social media accounts.
- Go for a short walk (whilst maintaining social distancing), do some skipping or a Joe Wickes workout
- Make future plans – because we will get through this.
Take Care and stay safe.
Until next time,