Being kind to myself

By Alana Chinhara – Good Night Sleep Consultant

I never got around to making the lists that everyone has been making during lockdown.  From what I have seen (in my 10 minutes a day on social media), people have goals of clearing away old clothes, spring cleaning every nook and cranny of their homes, knitting quilts for the kids, re- imagining their gardens, learning to cook like gourmet chefs, the lists and the proof of executions are endless…….. My only contribution is wondering where people even find the time to make a list let alone get it done.

I am NOT the person who is resting during the lockdown with limitless amounts of minutes to do stuff. If anything I am so busy that I often have meetings during my meals, whilst homeschooling a 7 year old (who I have discovered is going onto 18years old) and filling the very deep emotional cup of an energized toddler who cannot believe that her mummy is home all day long every day. On the downside – this little toddler also cannot understand why my time is not 100% devoted to her when she can see me right there…. Being 3, not understanding that outside of mummying, mom has a full time job (that has become even more demanding with the lockdown: her passion and love, which is being a Good Night consultant) …all mixed in with baking with my daughters, doing ready-set-dance routines, cooking yummy mummy meals and being an emotional support for my husband who is going through the most as he heads up a business during the lockdown.

Super mom! Woop woop…. right? Wrong! It was in week 4 of lockdown, with the introduction of homeschooling into an already Type A scheduled life, that the crash began. And I would not have even noticed that I was crashing had it not been for me not being able to chew my supper one night thanks to jaw or tooth pain…honestly couldn’t tell the difference…. (even though later I realized it was an earache) added was a headache to boot and discomfort down my neck and shoulders…. I headed into bed early (and still hungry) and failed to settle. My husband came in and asked what had happened, as this was not the me he knew. I was almost in tears as I told him about the discomfort I was feeling, and after some googling (on his part), he gave me a ‘medical’ neck and shoulder massage. As I screamed in pain, I wondered how I had gotten here….

That is the night I learnt to be kind to myself.  My over-achieving traits had run me right down and my body was way ahead of my mind in showing me. With great difficulty I learnt to slow it all down (I even started to move in sloth motion…. which if you know me is damn well near to impossible). I learned to let it go… if homeschooling went badly, or if my toddler failed to get through her toddler box activity for the day. I learned to treat myself to a massage/pedicure/manicure every weekend. I learned to have that bottle of wine…. why not?! I learned to lie in on the weekend till mid-morning. I learned to laugh at myself. I learned to stop when I have had enough. I learned to NOT do any work at night. I learned to exercise and look after myself. And I learned to not feel bad for not having written a Covid to-do checklist.

Yes, everything is still very tightly scheduled and works in tight timeframes, but I have learned to be kind to myself within those time frames.  If I am kind to myself, it allows me to be kind to those I love that have to operate on my schedules … But above all, it allows me to truly appreciate the blessings of this time in lockdown.

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