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Give yourself grace

For the past month, dreaming has become an essential good. To escape the four walls, try and see over the fence into future plans. It has to be done slowly, and with a soft gaze. Because who am I kidding? All plans evaporated. My love for looking forward to things is put to the test. I’m still making lists, to try and make dreams a bit more tangible. Not quite something I can touch, but I can read them over and over until they take on a more suitable shape.

In between dreams, there have been highs and lows. Definitely more lows than usual and I’ve been blaming the full moon, my period, myself, others, all of it. But what I seemed to have forgotten was this: we are living in the weirdest time! Forced to be locked up inside, with no clue of when things will return to ‘normal’ again. When we can hold or even see our loved ones again in real life. When we can stop relying on our phones to connect to friends and watching the world through a tiny screen.

On top of that: the winter blues is real. I’m lucky to catch a few glimpses of sunlight in between sleep and night shift, which is not enough for a body thriving in sunshine. So yep, I’ve been behaving like a grumpy cat for more than the usual couple of days a month when my hormones take me (and everyone around me) on a trip to hell and back.

And I’m not the only one. Living with six roomies, working in a busy packhouse, hardly any time alone. That’s a lot of built up energies in small spaces, about to burst. Door slamming, yelling, miscommunicating, crying, swearing, we’ve been there and it's hard. It's hard to be so hard on ourselves and each other. I have to remind myself that this is a strange situation we find ourselves in, and we all deal with it in different ways.

Right at the start of lockdown, as I was feeling panic at the thought of being stuck by myself on the South Island, a dear friend wrote me to ‘give yourself heaps of grace and allow yourself time to simply breathe’. I needed to hear that and I still need to hear it. This is not an easy time for self love, while we all need it more than ever.

We are facing sides of ourselves we might never have met before, and which might only come out when we are forced to stay at home for months on end. And that’s okay. We can’t hug our loved ones, it’s freakin hard! So let’s treat ourselves more gently, with lots of grace. And realise others are going through this as well, and we are all trying to deal with it. Some days are smooth sailing, basking in sweet sunshine, enjoying the little things and feeling good. Others are definitely not.

So indulge! In that what makes you feel happy, makes your heart sing and your life sweet. It’s time for self love, baby! Run a hot bath, get all dressed up, cook a fab meal, clean the house, take a sunset stroll, do whatever puts a smile on your face. Different things work for different people, but I noticed adding chocolate to any of these activities works wonders for me. :)

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