An anonymous share from a fellow mom about her tricks to help cope with lockdown in 2021!
Mom, wife, sister, friend, employee, student, homemaker, teacher and caregiver all at the same time all equally demanding attention. 2020 had been exhausting for women and a few men too. After reflecting on the year, I did some thinking on what worked and what didn’t work in trying to manage the up’s and down’s.
Here are some of the things I will be doing this year, which have served me and my family well.
Learning to let go..
Instead of trying to be the perfect mother by tracking how much t.v. my kids watch, what the family eats and how clean the house is, I have learnt to be more forgiving and less rigid. I still beat myself up about a messy kitchen or shoes lying everywhere, but letting go means I spend less energy stressing about it and more energy to focus on the things I can get through. This cut my down my stress making me kinder to my kids.
Let go of waste
Through cutting down what we have in the house that we done use, toys, clothes, and random odds and ends, I have less and less to tidy up. This has made the house more pleasant as well as see the kids imaginations grow with having less toys. I have also opted for smarter organizing in the house.
I love learning alongside my kids so science experiments are great for all of us – and they are so simple surprisingly fast and easy to do, making them the perfect option when I’m taking a quick tea break from work. This way I get to spend time with my kids, let them learn and we have plenty of giggles. The James Dayson Foundation has created challenge cards for kids of all ages that were fun, inexpensive and importantly they don’t take much time!
Talking about feelings
Talking to my kids about the coronavirus, what is happening and how it affects them has given them the space to ask questions on the anxieties they face. As a school goer, the disruption to her schooling led to anxiety and by talking about our feelings, she managed to express her (strange) fears about the virus and we have worked to reduce her fears. Though talking about our feelings, we have learnt from one another and have been able to lean on each other for support.
Have dinner together
It sounds simple, but trying to cook after a long days of work, homeschool, cleaning, and exhaustion meant that some dinners would only take place 20 minutes before bedtime! Yet without fail, we sit together and have time to connect.
Some of the best conversations take place around the dinner table.
Mindfulness in Salaah (prayers)
I am learning to use my Salah as a time of mindfulness, a break from the busy-ness and to find some stillness. By immersing myself in my Salah, I find that this gives me a break in the day to be present Allah and to acknowledge without judgement if the day is going well, stressful or just ok. Irrespective it’s a time for regrouping my energy and focus.
Practicing mindfulness “on the go”
This helped me to be more present in my tasks, be it work, play, cleaning or connecting with my husband. So rather than having my mind running on 100 things, I can focus on doing one thing well… well most of the time, I still need a lot of practice, but when I do get it right, the results have been so richly rewarding!
I am choosing to start each day with gratitude is one part of the process of trying to live a life of gratitude. We all know that benefits of gratefulness, and that it takes effort. My biggest lesson in gratefulness is that it does not equate to acceptance – rather it has taught me that fighting – be it for justice or your dreams – is a critical part of grateful living.
Leverage the past as a resource
A guide for the present is by learning to stop rumination. Rumination is the act of thinking about the same thoughts over and over and over again. When we think about the past, good or bad, the emotions of that event build up in us and this heightens anxiety. Rumination is part of what makes us human, yet it can be dangerous. I have learnt to notice when I am ruminating without feeling bad about it through mindfulness practice and to then focus my energy on the present. Rather than trying to change what happened in the past, I’m trying to focus on how to learn from it.
Planning meals, activities and shopping trips weekly helps me cope better. It relieve the pressure on us to think of what to eat, cook or what to occupy the children with. Building in a routine (that we break every so often without judgement) helps us to cope with the day to day grind.
Having honest conversations
The phrase, don’t bring your home into work, has been shattered. I have learnt that it is not unprofessional to speak up about my needs from work to balance and juggle things. We are all human, so approach topics with empathy and understanding and standing up for myself has been good for me and the company I work for. Not only do people respect my boundaries, but I am more productive.
Letting go of judgement
With billions of people in the world, there can never be only way of doing things. We all have our own quirks, ways of working and our own beliefs on what is important in life. Suspending judgement and seeing people as they are in their own truth is something I am trying to practice daily. It has allowed me to enjoy my relationships with those I love as I respect their way of doing things and not force my opinion. Celebrating our differences for me, makes life richer and more interesting.
I hope a few items I have spoken about will help you in your 2021 journey to cope with lockdown better. We are all in this together so still connect to those around you and have a blessed year!
Love Anonymous xoxo