Lockdown ramblings Part Six – It’s all about me!

Lockdown ramblings Part Six – It’s all about me!

A thought that has struck me today and has been simmering actually all through this lockdown period is this – it’s all up to me! What do I mean by that? In normal circumstances I rely a lot on other people for company, stimulation, comfort, entertainment and support. At the moment that’s not so possible. Of course, I am still speaking to people, reading, watching and engaging with the world around me but at the end of the day a lot of things are down to me.

That’s the same for us all. Hear me right – I’m not saying we shouldn’t reach out to others, get advice on decisions or just find comfort in other people.  What I am saying is we have a responsibility for our own well-being.

In adoption circles we talk often about self-care, actually so much so that I believe many of us tune out of those conversations. But it’s true, we need to be able to learn how to feed ourselves and how to build our own resilience.

I am a Christian, and don’t often talk about my faith on my blog, but I’ve been struck by just how important my faith is to me at the moment. It’s not an after-thought or something I stick on a form when it asks religion.  It’s a way of life for me. I think for all of us whether you have faith or not, this time is about going back to our basic values. What gets us up in the mornings? What gives us life? And when everything else we rely on is stripped away what remains?

I’ve also become aware as an adopter of how much we need other people. We strive and struggle on our own, for many years sometimes, and then when we do get the help we need (if we do) when it is not available like in lockdown we struggle even more.  We do need professionals and friends in our lives to help us through.  But I also have been reminded that we have a responsibility too.

A few years ago, I heard a lady talk at a conference about carrying our load. This stuck with me and I’ve talked about it before on my blog, I think. We all have a load to bear.  Some of that we asked for ourselves and other things are thrust upon us.  Of course, sometimes we carry things that aren’t ours to carry and actually make the load unbearable.  So how do we make sure our load is manageable?

At the moment some of that load may be on hold – like our jobs, seeing family members and looking after others, volunteering etc. That may put more weight on us, the worry of those things, but in terms of time we may find we have lots more time to ourselves at the moment. For others I know you may feel there’s no space and no time for yourself.

Either way, we have to find ways to feed ourselves, go back to the basics of health and managing our energy levels. Knowing ourselves is crucial too. I’m learning so much about myself at the moment and remembering things I had forgotten in the rush of normal life. For example,

  • I need space to function. I need the feeling of space and quiet sometimes. For me this is easier at the moment as long as I get out of bed early enough (not succeeding every day) before the kids get up. I know I need this and yet it’s only me that can make this happen. It’s down to me to do this!
  • I need stimulation of my mind. I get energy from being around others and bouncing ideas off each other. I’ve known this for some time now. At the moment I’m relying on books, videos and allowing my mind to wonder and come up with ideas myself. It’s down to me to do this!
  • I need to take my responsibilities seriously. This one is a harder one for me. Not only am I responsible for my own well-being but I have a part to play in my children’s also. Notice I said ‘a part to play’ – they are responsible too and as they get older that moves more on their shoulders, but I have to teach them how to do that. How to take responsibility for their own well-being just like I have to. It’s down to me to do this!

 

So, the common thread is – It’s down to me! I shy away from this sometimes as there is a balance – I see so many people, and have done it myself, who are drowning in guilt and shame under the weight of responsibilities. This time for me is a time to re-evaluate how much I rely on others instead of building my own resilience. I do believe we all need each other though and I will not stop reaching out to others, but first I will consider

What can I do to help myself?

Nicola Marshall
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