Self care during a pandemic.

If, like me, you’re really struggling mentally and emotionally during this pandemic and especially if you’re in lockdown, chances are you could benefit from some self care.

When the Covid19 virus started making headlines back at the beginning of the year it felt scary for me. I read as much as I could about it, and with each passing week it got closer to home.

Around ten days ago my brain/thoughts had just had enough. I already socially distance myself anyway so that wasn’t a real hardship for me. But then the UK went into lockdown.

As a person who spends a lot of time at home I really thought this would be a breeze for me. A couple of days in and I started to struggle. I don’t know what it was about the enforced staying at home, it just suddenly started making me feel so very claustrophobic.

This is when I had suddenly decided I’d had enough of the endless news cycles churning out everything and anything Coronavirus related. Social media channels were just as bad too. Everyone had something to say and everyone was an expert, it was driving me nuts.

Enough was enough for me. Now I limit my time on social media (I was doing this mostly anyway) and the browsing of news is very limited too. Instead, I have been focusing on self care and trying to be as kind and gentle to myself as possible.

When I was writing this post I felt called to draw an Oracle Card. The card is from The Sacred Self-Care Oracle deck by Jill Pyle. The Card I drew is Music.

Choose music that resonates with you and holds a positive vibration.
Music always has the power to move me one way or another, and I think at a time like this music can really help aid relaxation. Music allows us to forget our troubles, even if it’s only for a while. It has fantastic healing abilities and is such a feel good past time.

Whether you’re into rock or pop music, or whether it’s classical or easy listening, now is a good time to crank up the music and set your worries aside for awhile.
I also found this info sheet online when I was browsing for some self care ideas and activities. I think Dominee has provided a fantastic resource here to help with those gnawing negative thoughts.

Choosing how to feel.

Today I chose this card from Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back oracle deck. Lately I’ve felt pretty low and I’d normally try and rise above it all and focus on how to change it to a positive feeling. But that hasn’t been working out so well. This card has allowed me to honour the low mood that
has enveloped me for the past few weeks. I am learning that we need to feel the negative as well as the positive.

The Promises We Make Ourselves.

At this time of the year many of us have made a commitment to change something. We call them resolutions, New Year Resolutions. Similar words in keeping with resolution are decision, aim, declaration, purpose, perseverance, intention. Words we should remember when we struggle with these promises we have made.

Whatever we have promised ourselves that we will change we will have done so with good intentions. However, many of us start to lose focus after a couple of weeks. We lose the motivation that inspired us around the Holiday season. We become angry with ourselves and the promise we made starts to feel like a burden.

I made a promise to myself that I would simply love myself more. After all of the turmoil I had gone through in the past few years I decided it was an easy enough thing for me to do. Nothing too taxing, nothing that would make me feel like I was being hard on myself.

Love myself more.

For me, loving myself more means:

Being kind to myself.

Practising Self-Care.

Setting boundaries.

Not pushing myself too hard.

Seems easy enough, right? For the first week of January it was easy to be kind and gentle with myself. It was easy to make sure nobody was encroaching on my boundaries. By the second week I was struggling with a virus and it was all I could do to just function, self-care and self-love slipped down my list of priorities as I struggled to get through each day. I felt like a failure. How could I have failed at something so simple?

Last week once the effects of the virus had gone and I was starting to feel more human, I got to thinking about resolutions, my promise to myself, and what it all means to me. I began the year with the intention to love myself completely and that included not being too hard on myself. Yet here I was being hard on myself. Beating myself up for failing at something as easy as loving myself.

Feeling so much better had given me clarity and allowed me to see that when I was ill I was giving myself self-care and self-love. By just doing what I needed to each day and not over taxing myself, that was an act of self-love and self-care.

When we make promises to ourselves at the beginning of each new year we need to remember that life will always throw curve balls our way. Rather than giving up we should thank life/the universe for whatever lesson it was teaching us at the time and recommit to the promise we made ourselves. Losing our way also gives us a chance to tweak the promise, because life isn’t static and neither should we be.

Happy To Be Me.

Regular readers of this blog will recall I have struggled with PTSD for many, many years. I started therapy late 2018 and by February 2019 we had established I hadn’t dealt with the threat that was made on my life August 23rd 1987.

It took a while for that to settle within me, the fact that I hadn’t just been raped, he’d held a knife to my throat and told me he’d kill me. The trauma of that had me stuck.

By going through with the reliving therapy I became unstuck and was able to deal with the emotions. I also discovered why I hated my face being touched – his hair had brushed against my face when he had been dragging me down the riverbank.

In June of last year an incident at my granddaughter’s school caused me to have a relapse with the PTSD. So it was back to see the therapist once more.

Dealing with everything has taught me that the feminine aspect of myself was severely wounded. Dressing in baggy clothes allowed me to feel less of a woman and therefore less of a target to rapists. Being hyper vigilant allowed me to always be aware of who was around me at all times. Keeping people at arms length allowed me to be in control. These feelings are fairly normal for someone who has been viscously attacked in such a violent way.

In recent weeks I began to realise I was actually happy. It was one of the weirdest feelings I’ve ever experienced. All of my adult life has been spent in some sort of emotional turmoil, but that has all changed. The weird wasn’t because I’ve never experienced happy, naturally I have, but this was a feeling that had been growing inside of me, gaining momentum every day and wasn’t fleeting.

Recovering from deep rooted trauma is no easy task, but it is possible. My story is mine alone and my words are not intended to diminish anyone else’s pain and suffering.

I am happy to be me.

Monday Musings – 23/12/2019.

Sometimes the best advice we can give is to simply enjoy the moment.

From my hearth to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate that particular holiday, I hope you have a lovely day whatever you are doing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄🎁 🎅🏻

Monday Musings – 09/12/2019.

That time of year is coming around again – Christmas, Yule, the holidays, whatever you want to call it. It’s a really magical time of the year, but it’s also a very stressful time of the year for many of us too.

The pressure many of us feel to have everything just perfect, from the gifts to the food and drink, to making sure the entire family has an amazing day, these pressures leave us feeling stressed out and unable to see a way beyond the madness.

Making lists can really help here. Lists allow us to have each task laid out in black and white and once ticked off we can feel enormous pleasure in achieving something. It also allows us to break everything down into more manageable chunks and can take some of the pressure off.

And of course some things we just cannot control so just breathe and let go.

Monday Musings – 02/12/2019

If you’re anything like me you’ll be fantastic at giving advice to others, solving their problems, and generally being the support they need.

But what about yourself?

Again, if you’re anything like me you won’t be so good at being that same caring person for yourself. For whatever reason we find it difficult to prioritise ourselves and often run on empty, which in turn is very detrimental to not only our health, but our emotional wellbeing also.

If all you can manage is five minutes a day, every day, then that’s a start. Five minutes turns into ten minutes, ten minutes turns into twenty minutes, and so on and so forth.

Make yourself a priority, you really do deserve it.