As a global pandemic is now in full effect, impacting our lives in unimaginable ways, it's normal to feel anything but normal. How does one find normalcy when everything is so far from that?
As mothers, we are the 'glue' that often holds the family together. So when the glue starts to melt, so too does the family unit. How can we ensure we keep the family unit strong during this very unknowing time, and keep ourselves sane?
Today I crossed paths with another mother I know who was trying to juggle an angry boss with her three younger children. She clearly looked distraught and desperately in need of a hug - which wasn't possible. What was possible though, was sharing some inspiring words of wisdom.
Earlier in the day I had watched a video from a marketing leader I follow and highly respect. The advice was about business but the concepts apply equally to family and home life.
The first piece of advice he gave was to not panic. It's normal to try and operate in a state of fear and panic in a crisis but this is not the best approach. A clear mind will make clear decisions. If you're still in an anxious state, don't make decisions. Sit and wait until you are thinking more clearly, be it hours, days or weeks.
The second thing which really resonated with me was to only focus on the next seven days. This applies to business, to family income, to home schooling and beyond. Don't stress about the future until you need to. It's easy to do and we all have wild imaginations at times of distress. Put a clear plan in place for the next seven days and make sure you execute it. Write it down and hold yourself accountable. You can do the same next week, the following and the following after that. Baby steps mean clear decision making and no impulse-driven behaviours.
Thirdly, he urged us to make our health a priority. Mental health, physical health and spiritual health. Take time out to move your body, eat properly, meditate and sleep well. Take care of you and you will be able to take care of others. You will remain the 'glue' in your family.
Finally, he advised to be positive and manifest positivity. Face the inevitable with joy. You really have two choices: you can be negative and focus on the doom and gloom, or you focus on the positives around you. Stop for a minute and look around. You may notice a butterfly, your children laughing, peacefulness in your quiet surrounds, or even reflect on a kind gesture gone unnoticed. Last night, after feeling quite stressed all day, my kids made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my face. It was like they just 'knew'. Beauty surrounds us all, just pause and observe.
There is a saying that it is far greater to enjoy what you have, than what you want. Use this intensity and time to appreciate what you already have in your life.
A few other practical tips:
1. Do isolate yourself and your family: Let's all make a collective small sacrifice and do something for the greater good. The pandemic will pass.
2. Opt for online shopping over physical: Let's minimise our risk of transfer and keep the economy moving at the same time.
3. Support your elderly and immune-suppressed neighbours: Offer to shop for your elderly or high-risk neighbours to avoid them being exposed. Leave groceries and essentials at their front door and reassure them you're close by if they need anything.