Same Storm, Different Boat

Keeping afloat during lockdown

Making cupcakes in the kitchen with your foster child

Some of you may have seen the tweet by author Damian Barr relating to the coronavirus pandemic that has been shared on social media across the world: – “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar”. This could relate to finance, physical health, mental/emotional health, or a combination of all three. With all that is happening, it is more important than ever to practice self-care and if your children see that you are doing this, they will be more likely to able to learn how to do this for themselves.

There is a lot being written about self-care at this time but I am going to focus on three areas:-

1. Acknowledging loss

Whether you have experienced a bereavement, became unwell and haven’t fully recovered, lost a job, had a long-awaited holiday cancelled, been delayed in your adoption process (though we are trying to keep things moving), or are missing your friends and family, this is likely to result in feelings of loss and grief. Even the loss of what we know as normal life with the freedoms this entailed, is something we are all still processing, as well as living with the uncertainty of when (and if) life will return to how it was.

It’s important to take some time out to acknowledge this, even if it is a few minutes in the garden with a cup of tea or a walk in the park where you can have the time and space to reflect.

2. Don’t compare

It’s so hard at the moment not to compare ourselves with others –the parent at school who seems to be able to create elaborate castles out of cardboard or the person who has completed every Joe Wick’s PE session since it started and is now super -fit. Or, maybe it’s seeing people who are working at the front line and wanting to be involved, to feel more useful, when actually we all have a role to play. Don’t feel under pressure to do more than you are currently doing – whatever you can do is enough.  Celebrate the small achievements…….just as you would when your children take small steps towards their recovery from trauma.

3. Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself in whatever way you can. Whatever makes you feel better, happier, safer, energised (if that is what you need), or more relaxed, find some time to do it! Even a short time spent on something we enjoy can lead to positive feelings and a sense of being recharged. Mindfulness is a very powerful tool that can be used to help you feel grounded and calmer. The following apps have mindfulness ideas for both children and adults.

I also recommend the Adoption UK website’s dedicated Coronavirus page which has links to lots of resources under the headings Home Learning and Nurturing, Managing Anxiety and Self-Care.

We are here to offer you support if you are struggling so do not hesitate to get in touch.