‘How are you getting on?’
Suddenly it’s a loaded question that no one actually knows how to answer. Mostly because we seem to be falling into two distinct lockdown camps — I’m calling them thrivers and survivors — and none of us really want to admit which one we belong to.
I’ve had a few people confess to me that, actually, they’re really quite enjoying lockdown. But they tell me in a whisper, as if feeling genuinely okay during a global crisis is as shameful as admitting that you agree with Piers Morgan or that you’re hoarding 32 packs of toilet roll.
But the truth is, plenty of people are thriving right now. And that’s okay.
In the moments that you’re able to forget the sadness and worry going on in the background, there’s a lot to love about lockdown.
Anyone who usually spends an hour in traffic on their way to work suddenly has time to revive long-forgotten hobbies, or to find new interests. As a nation we’ve never spent so much time trying new recipes, knitting, learning a new language, or working out with Joe Wicks! Clearer skies mean asthmatics can breathe again — as can introverts, self-confessed shy people, and those with social anxiety, thanks to a calmer social schedule.
We’re learning to love the little things; to appreciate time spent on the balcony or in the garden with a book, to enjoy a weekend without a million different shops to visit, and to feel genuine gratitude for the simple things in life.
So my message to the thrivers among you? Enjoy it!
You may never again have this pause; this stillness and time to reflect on your priorities, to nourish your soul, and to rediscover the things that bring you joy is an absolute gift. Please don’t waste it because of misplaced guilt or shame.
Remember that your ability to find the beauty even in the midst of tragedy is a beacon for those who are struggling; it’s a wonderful reminder that there’s still happiness and hope to be found all around us if we know where to look.
And, oh boy, do we need that because so many of us are merely surviving right now.
When asked how you’re getting on, you hesitate because you know that if you try to articulate anything more than, ‘okay, thanks’, you risk opening the emotional floodgates.
The truth is, for many of you, lockdown is hard.
Even those who initially relished the thought of a few weeks of spending more time at home with the kids, are starting to struggle. Idyllic pictures of happily measuring cupcake ingredients with your little people, or the family gathered around the kitchen table for some homeschooling or board game fun has been replaced by a reality of emotional kids who don’t want to revise their times tables, are sick of Monopoly, and who are just plain sad that they can’t see their friends, play outside, or see their grandparents.
And hey, did anybody realise just how much a kid can eat in a single day? Yikes!
So, yes, you’re struggling right now — and there’s absolutely no shame in it. But do you know why I’ve called the people in this camp survivors? Because, as hard as it is right now, as much as it feels like you’re clinging on to sanity with what’s left of your fingernails, I want you to remember that you will get through this.
How? By taking care of yourself.
I know that, as a busy parent, taking care of yourself was tricky enough pre-lockdown so right now it feels impossible. But remember the Mimosa philosophy? Looking after yourself doesn’t have to be about grand gestures or complicated treatments.
The best self-care has always been about the little things.
So have a think about how you can work tiny moments of self-care into your day? How can you turn your house, your room, or even your mind into your own private sanctuary, even if only for a few moments?
It might be a case of getting up 10 minutes before the rest of the family to savour your breakfast in peace, or starting homeschooling a little later to give yourself time to do some breathing exercises or stretches before you launch into your day.
If your kids are old enough to be left alone, it’s 100% acceptable (even recommended!) to tell them you’re going to bed for an hour in the afternoon to read your book, paint your nails, or to meditate. They’ll be happy watching another movie and in the grand scheme of things a little extra screen time is a fair price to pay for your continued sanity!
And when you’re trying to juggle a diary full of Zoom calls, work deadlines, homeschool activities, and chores, please don’t forget to schedule a little time just for yourself.
Boundaries are harder to create right now, but they’re just as important as ever.
Remember: you may be isolating but you’re not alone.
If you’re really struggling to find any time for yourself, consider reaching out to others for help.
If your partner is around, make sure they’re pulling their weight too. Or you can even rope in the odd online babysitter — I’ve heard wonderful stories of kids getting together with their grandparents over Zoom and playing board games, reading stories, or even baking together online!
And don’t forget, that even though the salon is closed, we’re still here for you too with the Mimosa online Sanctuary which is dedicated to helping you find moments of beauty, joy, and peace in everyday life. Whether you’d like a distance skin consultation, ideas for how to make beautiful movement a part of your daily routine, or want to know how to create the perfect sanctuary in your own home, you’ll find everything you need to know to help you through isolation.
Hats off to all of the thrivers out there — you’re incredible — but please know that if you’re sitting firmly in the survivor camp right now, you’re no less incredible.
This is unchartered territory for everyone and there’s no right or wrong way to ‘do lockdown’. There’s no right or wrong way to feel as you try to create a new version of ‘normal’. And there’s no wrong answer when someone asks, ‘how are you getting on?’ so don’t be afraid to tell the truth, whether you’re thriving or simply surviving.
Taking care of yourself is certainly more challenging than usual, but it isn’t impossible — and reaching out to each other when we need help is the first step through this.
Ready to welcome a little more serenity, joy, and beauty into your lockdown life? We can’t wait to welcome you to our online haven, the Mimosa Online Sanctuary.