Adjust, Reset and Renew
Hands up if you are on an emotional rollercoaster. I have had dips of defensiveness and plenty of moments of fear and anger. Anxiety is running through me like lettering in a stick of rock. Lists of ideas for things to do in my home are not always constructive. This isn't the moment for me, at least, to learn how to macrame or learn mandarin and I don't enjoy the feeling of 'not good enough' that this can engender in me. However, I am going to work for and on myself in other ways. This is life in the ESA EVANS encampment this week...
Taking it one day at a time
I've filled the fridge and planned out my meals, but when it comes to work, exercise and staying in, I'm taking this day by day. This especially applies to my headspace. Within the course of one day, I can feel a high from meeting my exercise goals or hearing my children getting along together, and then crash into a fear of financial meltdown. Every day, I take a moment to feel how I feel. Think about how I'm thinking. Only then do I make a plan for my day. And then I exercise, because that's a constant in my day.
In this new world of social distancing, I've discovered that I can work out at home. As a die-hard fan of the gym and classes, I had always though that I could only workout with other people.
Darebees has been a revelation. I like to print out a selected worksheet, crank up so music and get to it. These are straightforward, well-presented, CHALLENGING workouts.
I've had people recommending Yoga with Adrienne to me for years. Now I have had the time to discover why - she's very good and enjoyable to work with.
The boys in my life are getting in on the exercise experience too. One is going out running and both of them have stepped up for PE with Joe.
Riding the sushi train
I have a secret window that lets me see the kindness and compassion that lots of you already have for the people in your lives. When people buy a gift for a friend on the ESA EVANS website, I see the messages you send to each other (I write them on to postcards to include with the gift wrapped jewellery). You have such kind words for each other. This is really important to me because in this new world, the uncertainties and constraints are messing with my brain chemistry. I have found it difficult to process my feelings and have sometimes reacted defensively to every day discussions. I'm quicker to take offence and far more likely to be thoughtless and self-centred. As much as I understand why I'm doing this, it's okay for me not to like it. The first and most important thing is to be kind to myself. So I'm taking the sushi train...
I think about my powerful, negative emotions as if they are sushi on a conveyor belt.
I wouldn't want to be hasty or greedy with this kind of spendy, carefully constructed food. Instead, I would be picky about which sushi to choose. It's the same with my emotions - I'll select the feeling or worry that I need to unpick and resolve. (I can also choose to the warm, happy thoughts and really relish and enjoy those too.)
When I eat sushi in real life, I savour the colours, the flavour, the textures. I take my time to consider how it works as a piece and in its separate parts. It's the same idea with that overwhelming emotion. What was going on? Where did it come from? What else is connected to this feeling?
There's no perfect end to this process. So tomorrow, I'll pick another thought or emotional experience and travel with that one as far as it will take me.
Here's a link to an animated explanation of theSushi Train Metaphorby Dr Russ Harris.
Watching Better Things
Literally. Find it on BBC iPlayer.
Better Things is a US comedy drama about a single mum, Sam Fox, bringing up three daughters in Los Angeles. It's not a spoiler to say that Sam Fox is a hero for our generation (words I never expected to type in 2020).
Looking after relationships
From doomscrolling to constant WhatsApp conversations, I have occasionally confused screen time with actually speaking to the people who matter.
I'm taking a moment now, at the start of the lockdown, to think about who I need and want to stay in touch with and how I'll do it.
I'm putting together a playlist with one very important person - with the intention that it will be a soundtrack to a road trip. It feels good to daydream about this kind of future.
Some people I have to see on screen and there are others that I love to exchange emails with. Some very lucky people even receive gifts from me!
Talking of gifts...ESA EVANS Online Shop
Missing the party?
Whatever events have been cancelled, you can still send a gift. Lots of products are on sale - this can be an affordable way to find the right gift for your favourite people. Gift wrap and postcard with your special message included.
Still Missing the Party?
Tilted by Christina and the Queens.
The track and the dance is featured in the last episode of Better Things, season two. Learn the moves yourself and you could emerge from lockdown as TikTok famous. We've all got to have goals, haven't we?