This week (18 – 24 May 2020) marks Mental Health Awareness week, and the theme is kindness. It seems kind of apt doesn’t it, timing wise.
Here in the Wales we’re just coming up to week 9 of lockdown. I don’t know about you but our time in lockdown has been very up and down. One day everything is going fine, maybe the boys have only interrupted one meeting, haven’t fought that much and we’ve reached the end of the day shattered but feeling like we’ve achieved something. Other days the day starts with shouting and tears (it could be any one of us) and by 10am you’re counting down to bed time.
Juggling children, school work, work, requests for snacks has certainly given new emphasis to the ability to multi task. Being at home means being more available to the boys, or at least that’s how they see it, which means it’s harder to focus on the task at hand, especially if that’s work related.
But here’s the important thing. This is not a competition. Some days will be better than others.
It may seem that others may have it worse but that doesn’t invalidate any difficult feelings we may be experiencing. We each have as much right to be struggling as the next person. At the moment lots of things are overwhelming, stressful and it can feel very lonely. These feelings are all legitimate.
I’ve had rough days and gone on social media and seen parents sharing everything they’ve managed to achieve with their children, crafting, baking, school work completed. It’s left me feeling deflated and like a bit of a failure. Here’s the thing. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Those pictures may not reflect the arguments over getting flour all over the kitchen floor, glue stuck all over the table or the fight to get their child to write one sentence.
Everyone’s lock down is different but that doesn’t mean that we can’t all pull together to support each other along the way and ease the burden that we might be feeling.
We need to be kind to each other, but equally as importantly we need to be kind to ourselves. We need to give ourselves a break and remember that we’re in exceptional times.
So how can we be kind to ourselves when it’s hard to find the time to do it? It’ll look different to all of us. May be it’s something small, five minutes hidden away from the kids to drink a cup of tea or eat that chocolate bar that’s been calling. Maybe it’s getting some fresh air. Maybe it’s calling the day a write of and starting again tomorrow. What ever being kind to yourself looks like to you I hope you manage to look after yourself.