In 3 months our brains have been overwhelmed by information, change management panic and an emotional rollercoaster now coined the corona coaster! 8 weeks of 24-7 mummy tags takes its toll, my mind awash
Weeks into a pandemic and generally survival mode has been quite efficient. Balancing home schooling, an increased workload and a collapse in social & tactile experiences has, on the whole, been achievable.
I didn’t set my expectations high, so this has helped. The children do the bare minimum schoolwork and then self manage their amusement in the afternoon, away from my dining room office. I refused to make packed lunches the whole time they were in school, but now merrily create them each day to guarantee grab and go food is available so I can continue to work! My attitude to levels of schooling has definitely rubbed off as they are living lockdown life with gay abandon, and in my opinion so they should. Although the pandemic is a marathon and not a sprint, it will become a snapshot in history and a small moment in our lives.
At first zoom saved my life! Dramatic I know, but I have always thrived on human connection, doused myself in oxytocin by hugging as much as possible and loved looking into people’s eyes to reach their souls. So zoom rooms have become the alternative connection, in which I initially thrived. However as the weeks move along, they began to leave a little hollowness. I am hedonistic, give me fun, fizz and laughter and I want more & more. So when the 40 minutes of zoom comes to an abrupt end, the warmth of the party mode goes straight away; a weird feeling.
In addition, the whole of my work-life became online screen time; recording more videos, joining videos and ‘live’ this and ‘live’ that on social media platforms. Your brain is overloaded with data and noise; exhausted!
So several weeks into lockdown on the corona coaster of emotion I reached the pinnacle of the ride and dropped at high speed into a vat of overwhelm, anxiety and emotion. The drop came without warning. From nowhere I lost control and couldn’t put the breaks on, or get into reverse. Any therapist will tell me there is actually no such thing as control anyway, but I think that humans function in a belief system of control to manage their every day, despite the fact that any of that can be altered by anything at any time!
The day arrived of loss of all reasoning, emotional control and the ability to find a positive place. Fortunately for me this lasted 36 hours. I have so much respect for those that have to battle with the extremes of their mental health day in day out. A glimpse was exhausting!
I can attribute the relative flash in the pan of a mini breakdown to the people I am very fortunate to have in my life. My husband just listened, let every tear roll, every word float, whether it made sense or not and tried to help me rationalise. Aware that he had had hours of this, I slipped off to bed and let him sleep and leave for work whilst I quietly continued to sob. I couldn’t get out of bed that morning, so unlike me, I felt like I wanted to give up, I didn’t understand this overwhelm and I had not been able to reach the happy places that I normally seek warmth in.
I always hope that people have ‘their people’. You know the people that you trust implicitly, can show the rawest of emotion to and be laughing with 5 minutes later! I am truly blessed that I have THAT friend amongst ‘my people’. The friend that immediately recognises something is wrong, who then (additionally & importantly) stops to listen and I mean really listen. On this occasion, I bared my soul, my inner most thoughts, my feelings, with so much honesty that if she was in any doubt about how much love and trust I had in our friendship, there would be no more doubt! Such friends are rare and very precious, look after them!
So 36 hours later I awoke and it felt like the morning after the night before. I’d been intoxicated in emotion and loss of control, shown vulnerabilities and exposed my inner most thoughts.
I question whether this is actually freedom; there are theories that exposure of vulnerability leads to more experiences of joy contributing to the whole self existence.
Or have I relinquished my strength and control of self?
I’d got that awkwardness & shame (like when you’ve drunk too much and said too much!). Standing back within 48 hours, I recognised that with that comes the restoration of mind & emotion, ability to move on, a return to positivity, the ability to feel like I’m taking back some control. More than anything, appreciation and gratitude for the special people in my life, for the life I have been given and the life I am yet to lead.
It is how I feel this morning, I’ve got that awkwardness & shame (like when you’ve drunk too much and said too much!), although with that comes the restoration, moving on, return to positivity, taking back some control.
True to the default me, I comforted myself with 2 tea cakes and some cheese & crackers, which well and truly negated the calorie deficit built with the 3 exercise classes completed just before! The food demons are never far away, feeding emotion & fuelling cortisol with more sugar. The difference is that as My Time for Change has become my life style, I know having awoken that morning that it would be natural for me to go back to the foods that look after my health, protect my gut, my mind and essentially my wellbeing. I could dwell, I could self sabotage and delve back into the past of repeated cycles of eat, beat and repeat! Hating myself for eating too much, but eating too much to mask the emotion. But no, not now! Additionally My Time For Change feeds you with motivation, inspiration and a community that ensures you never feel isolated; a health hub that keeps your wellbeing topped up.
In conclusion, don’t be afraid of feeling vulnerable. Be kind to yourself, we are experiencing so many intangible things, on top of the anxieties & emotional shifts we were feeling prior to the pandemic! Allow emotion to flow, reach out and find your community. My Time for Change can offer that place of wellbeing, of positivity, community and health advice. It has proven in the last few weeks to be the lifeline for many women, including me!
My Time for Change programmes are available every month. Join the community of like minded women and be motivated & inspired every day to help you work on the best version of you and your wellbeing.
Contact Emma; [email protected] or 07971 596529