5 acts of Kindness to yourself in this strange new world

If you are anything like me, the past month or so has had us all reeling. The world that we knew, took for granted and loved has been changed and we don’t know how long this is all going to go for. There are economic losses (Rob and I have both lost A LOT of work we rely on) the girls are no longer schooling AT school, so we have had to become teachers and have patience for stuff we might not be great at, quickly. Plans have changed: parties cancelled, trips cancelled, seeing friends and family cancelled. There is huge worry about the loss of life all around the world, the worry of health care workers putting their lives at risk, the worry of the silent spread of this virus, the overload of fear driven (rightly so at times) media coverage, people not doing what they should, not being able to get basic supplies we once took for granted. Plus we are still coming to grips with the death of Rob’s Dad just 3 months ago.

It’s been a lot you guys. A LOT.

As someone who thrives in routine and rhythm it’s been entirely unsettling to have pretty much every aspect of our lives turned upside down. And while we are in a very great place to be isolated, a beautiful and supportive community, technology better than ever to keep us connected, it’s still shit and you are allowed to feel shit about it all. It’s shit, it just is.

I have many days where I am ok with things. I quickly try and adapt to us all living at home together, the 5 of us with five needs all working together through the day. There’s teaching that I want to be good at (but I’m not) there’s jobs I have had to ask for help with (which I am not good at). There’s thankfully still work for me which has me running around for. There is SO MUCH FOOD eating and the planning and prep and low level anxiety about all of this is very real and constantly pulsating under every thought I have. And then there are days like yesterday when I felt angry and sad (I cried a lot) and I allowed myself to be in it for a little while, because it’s OK to feel like this, it’s expected to feel like this.

We are all grieving things and losses and changes that have been thrust upon us. I said on Instagram a few weeks ago that I have found this process to be a lot like death in some ways. You wake up and for a moment, you forget about everything that has happened, and then. BAM. You remember, and you reach for your phone to see how Italy or Spain, New York is doing and on you go. You can be sad about the life we don’t have anymore, be frustrated that some people don’t seem to understand, or even care as they go about their own lives. It’s hard and there’s no right or wrong in any of it. Maybe that’s why people are getting frustrated with each other: for those in the thick of worry and loss and uncertaintly they just see people picnicing in going about their business without a change and they don’t understand how they can’t see how awful and big this thing is. Maybe?

I saw a great thing online yesterday (Kirsten & Co Insta I think) saying something like how we are not all in the same storm, or the same boat in this. For some this is a breather and a sprinkling – a time to reconnect with their families it’s almost peaceful. For others, it’s disruptive and scary, life changing and unknown. It’s confusing because it’s not wrong to enjoy a sprinkle in a storm – but remember how big this is for others. Laugh at a meme, but get your knees to help a friend. Isn’t that great?

I thought I would share some things that are making me feel better when everything else seems to go to shit (much like it is in the world right now). These might not all work as the SCALE of what we are dealing with is much bigger than PMS, or when you feel a little low for no real reason, but I did a few yesterday and have done some over the past few weeks and they have helped me, so it might help you too.

1. Treat yourself like a child

I know I go on about this a bit and have done in lots of posts before BUT! Hear me out! A lot of us here are Mums. We encourage and love and are patient and kind to our children every day and yet are still hard on ourselves even when things are REALLY HARD right now. Think of the way you speak to yourself, cut yourself some slack, lower the expectations, put yourself to bed early or let yourself have a nap if it’s all too much. Make comfort food and eat it even if it means it’s white bread when you aren’t meant to be eating carbs.

2. Treat yourself like a guest in your home

Because we can’t have any visitors at our house at the moment, why not treat yourselves to a fancy dinner or platter like you would if you had people over? Get dressed properly – hell, whack some make up on. Pop the music on and turn the TV off and put your phones down for a few hours. Are you missing going out for breakfast at your fave cafe? Make a fancy pants breakfast just for you – and eat at a proper table and everything. You deserve to eat someone other than your kids crusts every now and then.

3. Set aside time just for you

Every morning during the school term I set my alarm for 5.10am. It’s become a habit that is something I actually enjoy doing on (and annoyingly seem to wake up at that time anyway whether it’s the school term or weekend). The time alone gives me the start of the day on MY terms. I can power through 90 mins of work and emails, finance and buying for the shop without interruption. It’s my focus and my passion being fuelled and it helps me jump up out of bed every morning. Maybe you could do the same and exercise or do meditation – maybe something through the day that fuels things just for YOU. It makes such a difference to your headspace putting yourself first especially at a time like this when you are doing so much for so many others. Think of that oxygen mask friends in an emergency – put it on yourself first so you can help others.

4. Get outside

We are allowed an hour of exercise a day I think and I have to say that our girls have all been relishing this time together. It gets us out of the house, out of our heads, our frustrations and it allows us all to have a chat about things: big or small. For Maggie in particular (being 4) it’s been a chance for her to talk about the big ups and downs and about this bloody virus – kids have such big worries about all this too if you just give them the space to talk about it. And I find it helps me to talk about it with them too. These have been my favourite parts of the groundhog momentum we are in right now.

5. Nourish yourself inside and out

There’s no doubts that right now I am a short order cook for lots of people in our house but I have to say, I have been really enjoying the process. It’s like cooking when we are up at the farm – I love to do it because it’s a chance for me to show my love to my family. While there has been lots of baking, cooking beautiful and nourishing meals for the family has been comforting for me. You might find that too? I have definitely been more on the side of I NEED this treat or this cocktail because: stress, but also finding a balance with good stuff. My focus during the holidays is to spend more time reading and watching rather than working and scrolling. I need some down time and I need to feed my mind with good stuff. I need to have baths, do scrubs and masks. It’s on the list!

We are in tough times, mentally, physically with our days and homes filled with people, routines turned upside down and stress levels at an all time high. There have been financial worries, emotional fears as we watch so many helpless people all over the world fight this virus. In all this we have to look after ourselves, be kind to ourselves, lower expectations, look after our minds and our spirits as we navigate these waters we have never been in before. Remember to look at the people on the front line, the helpers and share their stories of courage with your kids. We will get through this, be kind to others, be generous with time and heart and patience as everyone is in a different boat in different parts of this storm together.

I hope you know what a good job you are doing with it all. I always look for signs of encouragement from my family (which I often don’t get understandably), so let me tell you that I see your efforts and your worries. I see you keeping it all together for the family. I feel you losing it (we are all losing it, believe me) anything and everything you are feeling right now: happiness, loneliness, sadness, worry, unexpected joy, contentment, fear) we are all feeling those things together, the whole world over. Be kind to yourself, look after yourself. Well done friends. Sending lots of love from my home and heart, to yours.

How are YOU?
It’s hard, and it’s shit and we are ALLOWED to feel all that too.
Got any tips for managing this all too?


  1. Alicia Mackay says

    I’ve always found peace in your blogs Beth! Thank you for this. I’m seeing it as a time to take advantage of knocking a few things of my master to do list around the house. No deadline to finish it but ample time to get creative with it. xx

  2. Well said Beth. We’re in it for the long haul. It will change us. We need to be kind and patient – mostly with ourselves.

  3. So so true. My husband is a nurse & I’m a teacher so the last few weeks have been intense. My girls were in the handful of children going to school in the last week of term (qld) as we tried to prepare for the Unknown of next term. These first few days of our ‘holidays’ have been slow but good, making sure we get outside each day. I know my 2 are missing play dates & all the usual holiday stuff we do like movies, art galleries etc but so far they’re making the best of it. Not knowing how long this will last is the hardest part for me, I’m a routine person & it helps keep my anxiety in check. I did just buy myself a crochet kit as that’s something I’ve always wanted to learn! Every time I think about local businesses I want to cry for all the pain that this is causing. Thanks for your posts xx

  4. I was doing ok when we were still schooling, but this week being on school hols has been harder. Less structure and I start to wonder why even bother getting out of bed (which is no good for the mental health). Not helped by the fact that one of my kids is really unwell (and still is 5 days later) and the doc will only do teleconferences as she has a 40 degree fever. How did she even get sick when we haven’t seen anyone in weeks?!
    I think the fact that this could potentially last a really long time is what is getting to me most. I’m not sad for me, but I’m so disappointed for the stuff my kids are missing out on. One child had some truly amazing things lined up this year and will most likely miss them and may not get the chance again.
    On the positive, it’s precious time we are having together. We are ordinarily so busy, that my husband being here for us all to have lunch together each day is amazing. My kids have been laughing together so much and I feel closer as a family. For me it’s taking pause to notice that.
    We’ve also had so many friends, families, teachers, neighbours do so many acts of kindness to brighten our days (a letter, hot cross buns left at the front door, surprise gifts) that I’ve been reminded how lucky we are. My boy said yesterday “Why is everyone being so nice?”

    So after all that rambling, I think I’m surviving by just taking each day one at time, and focusing on the good and trying to do something good for someone else each day.

  5. Thank you, beautifully written. So warm and undemanding, like a perfect cup of tea. I’ve seen lots of things lately where I SHOULD be bettering myself at this time. Thank you for making my morning a little brighter.

  6. Beth, your words are always magic. What a strange time it’s been in my place. With some things going on like normal (work and thankfully so) and some things not, with friends being immediately impacted with complete job losses and others still up in the air about what their work is going to look like. I’m thankful that I’ve got 2 kid a out of 3 that being at home and being able to have more couch time doesn’t bother them. 3rd child whos not too far from 4 years old seems to now be settling into this new routine. Sometimes I’m missing our “old” life, sometimes I’m loving this new way of being. I know I desperately miss my friends and family (but not much of a person who likes to video chat!).

  7. Beth, thank you for your words and I always love a “good catch up” on Instagram too. So much to be grateful for but it is pretty tough, isn’t it. I’m almost six weeks through a 12 week stint in a moon boot with crutches and finding it hard to not be able to resort to full caring control mode while everything else seems a bit out of control beyond the walls of our home. I can see all the things I’d like to be doing but struggling to do them. No driving, no helping my parents or friends and no going out for walks to clear the mind but trying to stay positive. I know there are much bigger worries. My kids helped me to make your mini quiches the other day, which are a favourite and I even hung a load of washing in the sunshine with a lot of help too – it’s the little things right now. All the very best xx

  8. Thank you Beth! Your words are like a big hug. Take care xx Neen

  9. So much up & down. Lately I feel as though I’m constantly on the verge of tears even though I don’t feel sad at that moment. Maybe it’s just the underlying sadness & stress that’s my constant companion? Maybe I’m getting my periods? It doesn’t seem fair that we still have to be hormonal in top of this pandemic shit does it?

    I’m leaning into things that comfort me – food, getting outdoors & watching & reading things that are familiar to me. It helps.

    Hang in there Beth xx

  10. Brilliant Beth. What we all need to hear! Take care ❤️❤️

  11. My hubby is a Psychologist currently with work indefinitely postponed. We are primarily a one income family as I do relief teaching which is not currently an income source.
    So to keep our mental health we are filming Q and A conversations on Coronavirus sessions of looking after our Mental Health. Ep 1: Looking after our men, Ep 2: Nourishing yourself, Ep 3: looking after your physical self. This has been our focus for the last two weeks. We dress up a tad and I interview him for practical strategies we can impart to our FB and IG friendship group.
    Next episode will be onPreserving our energy in our bubble. So many friends have PM and DM with the value and help his strategies have strengthened for them.
    Added bonus is we love doing it too 💕
    In this time we look into ourselves for the gifts we have and how we can help others. This is our way

  12. Thanks Beth, lovely post. One thought I keep coming back to that helps me through the extremely stressful and full-on days with 3 kids at home and trying to finish my degree…. “at least we’re not sick”. I feel for so many around the world that are really in the thick of this – grieving loved ones and experiencing the virus first-hand.. terrifying. I was berating myself over the past couple of days about being too shouty with my kids (I was trying a couple of AFD’s which may have exacerbated it) but you do have to be a bit easier on yourself in times like this. It’s bloody stressful.

  13. Oh gosh Beth, like someone else said, I have found peace in your blog.
    Yes it made me cry which was probably building up anyway, but I thank you for sharing this. I can relate on so many levels. You are a bloody good woman. Take care x

  14. It’s really just all a bit shit. Take care.
    Cheers Kate

  15. Siobhain says

    Thank you Beth. You’re up with the program that’s for sure. Definitely on the same page. Drowning in a sea of anxiety and extreme busy-ness as I work 40+ hrs a week from home, home school and keep the home routine ticking over. While trying to avoid torso blow-out and alcoholism, HAHA. Keep smiling and keep on keeping on. You’re a gem.

  16. Hi Beth

    Thank you, I needed this today. Our family has been hit hard by this virus but we are getting through it with much love from our family and friends. Wishing good health to you and your family.

  17. Thanks so much Beth for insights and kindness. I REALLY need positive reinforcement for what I do and have figured out that its fine to ask for it. I sometimes literally say to my family “I need you to tell me Im very clever for cooking a healthy dinner/tidying a cupboard/ figuring out something complicated on the schools website”. My husband then looks at me and says thank you in a clear way, no sarcasm. The kids arent quite as convincing but they try and it makes me feel better and reduces the smell of burning martyr. I do also sometimes say to them that the smell of burning is getting pungent in our house or that the Little Red Hen is getting lunch (or whatever job Im doing) if I feel like I am the only one contributing or Im not being acknowledged. It gets a laugh and gets them to help too.

    • We all need it for all we do and unfortunately it’s one of the problems with our job as a Mum – it’s thankless! Take care and be kind x

  18. Thank you. I’ve taken that first image about treating yourself as a child and I’ll print it and hang it in my bathroom.

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