Wellbeing tips for the lockdown period

It’s important to look after both your physical and mental wellbeing generally but especially now we are in this lock down period. There is so much ‘noise’ on social media it can all feel a bit too much.

Everything can feel overwhelming or out of ‘whack’, our routines have changed, some may be busier, some may be slower. Whatever your days look like, it’s important to look after YOU and fill your cup.

If we constantly give out to others but don’t take care of our own wellbeing we begin to burn out or feel resentment.

Spa days, long country walks and coffee dates with friends are all off the menu at the moment, which actually helps to strip it back to what self-care actually is. It is the small acts of putting yourself first, showing yourself kindness and giving your body and mind what it needs.

We are all unique and have different needs. Take a moment to write a list of things that help you to feel relaxed, make you happy or fill your cup. I’ve listed a few suggestions below that you may find helpful too!

 

Worship/Prayer/Meditation – Connecting your heart back to God’s and spending time in his presence fills you up spiritually and brings your focus from a worldly view back to a heavenly one.

 

Exercise – Believe me exercise is never top of my list but since I have been doing 15mins with my girls each morning it has really given me a boost. Getting the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing will benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Healthy Eating – Comfort eating is hard to battle when you are stuck inside but creating healthy meals and having fruit for a snack can make a huge difference to your energy levels.

 

Pamper – Have a bath, paint your nails, get dressed. Do something that makes you feel loved, and beautiful.

 

Water – Our bodies are made up mostly of water so we need to make sure we stay hydrated and drinking lots will also help to flush out any nasties and keep our minds and skin fresh.

 

Sunshine – Oh how a bit of sunshine makes a difference! Although we are at home we fortunately still have the opportunity to get out for a short walk, see nature and get our bodies moving. Even if you are staying at home long term, open a window or sit in the garden to get a dose of vit D.

 

Connection – Connection is key. Reach out to the safe people in your life, keep communication lines open.

 

Affirmations – Speak life over yourself and create a positive mindset.

 

Journalling – Write it all out! Everything that is in your head, get it down on paper!!

 

To Do – Writing a short to do list each day with simple things like eat breakfast, Put a wash on, ring mum etc can help you have a focus and also feel like you’ve achieved something when all the days seem to be rolling into one.

This list is by no means exhaustive, do what makes you feel good. Carve out time for yourself each day whether that’s 5 minutes or 2 hours, it will make a difference. One of my favourite Disney quotes is from the new live action Cinderella movie – Have courage and be kind – It sums up life at the moment beautifully. Keep taking those small courageous steps and be kind to yourself and others in the process. You’ve got this!

It doesn’t make sense and thats ok

In this time where words seem hard to bring together in a format that makes sense. I am instead allowing the unjumbling of the past to happen. I am aware that it is happening but I am also not fully aware of what IS happening. It’s a weird state of flux. Yet in the fluidity of emotions and thoughts that seem hard to grasp I feel a bubble of peace that speaks ‘it’s ok’.

 

It’s ok not to know.

It’s ok to slow down.

It’s ok to just be.

It’s ok to feel all the feels.

It’s ok.

 

I find myself instead coming back to the question – God what are YOU doing?

This time in lockdown has stripped everything else away. The perfectionism, the busyness, the whirlwind of ‘life’ are no longer priority and we have been left reflecting on what has been and what will be.

I feel like I’m being drawn closer to God’s heart, I can hear the beat and the song loudly again. As I rest in him my heartbeat begins to sync with his and everything starts to make more sense. Not because I have the answers but because I no longer need them. I have everything I need right there; peace that goes beyond understanding, a peace that defies circumstances.

It’s time to stop striving and to start re calibrating.

A shift is happening both in circumstances and in mindsets, what were priorities no longer are. Our hearts cry out in worship and prayer. People who have never prayed are lifting their eyes and their voices in hope.

Hope is our war cry in this uncertainty. Gratitude is our weapon. Peace is our reward.

 

A Dear Heart Letter from Emma Cottam, Isabella and Us

Dear Heart,
The past two years have been incredibly tough but somehow you’ve survived through all the pain and ache. You’ve come out of the other side stronger than ever with more love to give to those who make your life full.
Over 18 months ago you found yourself in the depths of PND, struggling to bond with your baby and living each day in a grey cloud. You felt empty, numb and alone but you made the decision to fight, so that you could be the mum you wanted to be to your little girl.
And after getting the help you so needed, the bond slowly grew, you worked on those things that triggered you, you took time for yourself. But most importantly you took it slow, knowing that with each day the sunlight was starting to break through the dark grey clouds.
And now as your baby turns two you can look back and know that although the times have been incredibly difficult and at times you weren’t sure if you would make it through, you did. You made it through, and you made it through much stronger than you ever could of imagined.
You’ve found yourself surrounded by genuine people who love you for you, they support you, cheer you on and know that on the bad days they can pick you up with a simple ‘I’m here’. You’ve come so far and you have so much love to give!
Remember that through all the bad months there are many more good months to come!
So keep going, keep pushing and know that you are wanted, needed and that you are doing some good with what happened to you.
Love Mind
Emma Cottam
Founder of Isabella and Us.
Editor of Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums
Host of Positive Wellbeing Podcast for Mums
You can find more about Emma and Isabella and Us at www.isabellaandus.com and also on instagram.

A journey out of darkness

Hopelessness floods my heart…

I feel the pull like a powerful magnet pulling me in, although it’s far off I feel it’s strength. I have learnt to become more aware of that sensation because if I don’t put blocks in place to cut off the force pulling me in at this point, it sucks me in too fast.

Without the blocks of gratitude and worship I find myself spiralling downwards no longer having the strength to turn around and say no to the darkness. I grapple to hold onto something, anything, but it’s harder to see the darker it gets and before I know it I’m lost in the bleak nothingness. I’m starting to lose a sense of who I am and where I am and what I’m even here for.

I notice the occasional flicker of light which I run towards, sometimes I catch it and sometimes I don’t. I feel nothing. No longer wanting to be here but also not wanting to leave, I’m losing the strength to peel back the darkness or to chase the light anymore. I’m stuck. Hopelessness floods my heart and as each day goes by I die a little inside.

I can’t escape…

Hands are thrusting through the darkness, they reach around and try to grab me. I reach back and sometimes catch hold. I feel myself being pulled upwards, feeling lighter as I go but then they let go or I lose my grip and I’m alone again. Sometimes I’m high enough and strong enough to pull myself away from that unending downward pull, I  can make out handholds on the wall. Sometimes I’m too tired to try and I slowly start to sink back down into the abyss.

This is not how I want to live my life but I don’t feel I have a choice, I can’t escape as much as I try, I feel alone and misunderstood. People try to fix me and explain away my feelings but it hurts all the more.

Hope is revived…

There is only one person who has been strong enough to join me in the darkness, his name is Jesus. He sits with me, expecting nothing, but being everything. His love and patience gives me the strength I need to stand. He says nothing but he gives me a foothold to start climbing. He knows I can’t process words yet, I just need to feel loved.

The loneliness slowly begins to fade. I climb alongside my companion who blocks the magnetic pull. My strength grows and he begins to whisper truth to my heart. Hope is revived and I begin to see colour again. As the feelings come back, I feel overwhelmed by emotion but he never leaves through the tears, anger and frustration he doesn’t reject me. He holds me and allows me to feel, in a safe space, there is no judgement in his arms. I feel myself being lifted higher and higher out of the pit of despair and I have my fight back, my determination not to be sucked back down.

I have been rescued.