Crazy. Unprecedented. Strange. Extreme. Sad. Worrying. Topsy-Turvy. All good words to describe this global pandemic we're living through. It's a time of social distancing, lockdowns, quarantines, money worries, social worries.. and all of it is leading to an emotional rollercoaster like no other.
I've certainly been up and down since the crisis hit. I've cried buckets, danced crazily in my living room, snapped at my family while also hugging them over and over. I've felt sad, tense, anxious, upbeat, optimistic, flat, blobby, frustrated... any emotion, you name it, I've probably experienced it. As have many others as you'll discover if you read our Sober Lockdown Stories.
But despite all this emotional unheaval I've been able to keep an eye on on my self-care. Despite some less-than-healthy coping mechanisms (*cough* sugar binging *cough*) I have been able to keep up with little actions that are kind and nourishing. And for every one of these I do, it sends a little message that I'm looking after me.
It's so vital we do this.
That lovely cup of tea you go to the effort of making with real tea leaves.
That deep bath you run and lower yourself gently into.
That highly recommended podcast you line up and listen to.
That messy, cluttered corner of your house that you clear up and sort out.
That long FaceTime you have with your friend in another city.
That novel beside your bed that you pick up for the first time in months.
That creamy smoothie you make with berries found in the back of the freezer.
That online interaction you have with another sober warrior - offering support and being supported in return.
That fancy olive oil you grab as you're racing around the supermarket (after having waited an hour in the line to get in there).
That extra half hour you take on your daily (local) walk.
That hour spent lying on your bed after telling the family you're going for some 'time out'.
That jigsaw puzzle you set up and chip away at.
That garden bed you spend time clearing of weeds while listening to music in your headphones.
That multi-vitamin you take every morning.
These are all little self-care actions. Make sure you notice that. These are all small movements of kindness towards ourselves that we should celebrate.
I often think that the key with self-care is to actively recognise when we're doing it. Don't underestimate those small kind actions we make towards ourselves and don't let them go unnoticed. All those kind little decisions and choices towards ourselves that we make every day - they aren't little. They're crucial and they're powerful. They add up and they matter. Each one alone might only make 1% of difference, but together they amount to much more. And I'll take any improvement I can at a time when I'm also feeling a bunch of tricky, gritty emotions (and maybe also doing some other things that aren't the best).
So, take the little actions, do the little things, make the kind decisions and most of all - remember to notice when you're doing it and actively think when you do, "This is for me. This is for me because I'm living through a global pandemic and I'm worth looking after."
That active thought process will increase your positive feelings and add another layer of impact. And like I say, we need all the positivity we can get right now.
Mrs D xxx