With Mother’s Day around the corner, my thoughts have been going back to 2020 and how I kept myself positive through my pregnancy.
In the past few days, I’ve been asked this question by a few expectant mothers: How did I keep my wits about, with so many things apparently seeming out of control?
- The pandemic
- Pregnancy stress, hormones and tiredness
- Going to doctor appointments alone
- Having a baby in a new country
- Not having our parents here for the delivery… etc..
I really wanted to write on this subject, because it just might be something you are looking for.. Even if you aren’t pregnant. Maybe you just want to know, how is everyone surviving this never ending lockdown? How do you keep yourself happy and content, when all hell is seemingly breaking loose?
Two things that worked for me: “Focus on only the positive” & “Find your zen”
Let me assure you, I did not have it easy. But you know what, thinking about just what wasn't going right would have sunk me deeper into this quagmire of self pity. And I was having none of that!
Maybe it was sheer willpower or maybe it was the fact that I had another person growing inside me, and I was responsible for both of us being happy and positive → I chose to only look at the bright side.
Prior to May, it was certainly weird to go for doctor appointments alone but we made a game of it. I actually planned a “gender reveal” treasure hunt at home for my husband and we tried to find little joys as we navigated this journey as a couple. The full impact of the pandemic did not hit me till I was laid off in May 2020.I was devastated, it was a shock because it was sudden and it shook my confidence in my abilities as much as the people I worked for.
I think what haunted me most was : what will I do with my time now? I vividly remember how I felt and the way I sobbed that day (May 10). I also clearly remember how helpless my husband felt, not knowing what would console me.
I have a weird way of handling grief, I take a nap.
99% of the time, it works and I find a solution to whatever I am grappling with. I am thankful this situation was not in the 1%, because by early evening that day, I knew what had to be done to feel good again and to regain control over not life, but my emotions. I decided to get my shit together!
I told myself, a job loss cannot be the end of the world, especially at this moment in history that had united the whole globe, as we struggled to come to terms with what we were dealing with.
I consciously made a shift in mindset. I brought out my pretty handmade paper journals and wrote down: what do I still have in my life, that I am grateful for?
- First and foremost, I was healthy and so was my baby. I could now enjoy my pregnancy without any work related stress. I could notice every kick and every hiccup! How wonderful is that opportunity!
- Secondly, I still had my talents, which no one could take away from me. I had my pens, my paints, my imagination!
It took a global pandemic for me to take the plunge into “art” and start an Etsy shop and suddenly, support came from everywhere! My first sale was to an ex-boss, someone who has silently always had my back, and his encouragement meant the world to me! It gave me the courage to pursue this journey and make something meaningful out of it! :)
Throughout 2020, I got back in touch with my friends and family, and actively asked for support and motivation when I needed it. Remember,
I made myself look at the bright side, even when things seemed grey. But at those times when I felt low, I also let that feeling dwell for a while because that was my connection to reality as well. I just knew that I couldn't let that “low” feeling overwhelm me and take over my mind completely.
My “mind” was my savior, and so can yours be.
Keep a gratitude journal, it is NOT overrated.
I have had one since I was 19! It is more like a scrapbook now, with little notes, letters and even plane tickets stuck on sheets.. But you know, it makes me feel good about myself and everything I have in my life.About who I am, how I think, what I do and whom I associate with. That is all you need to survive,not just this pandemic but whatever life throws your way.
I read this somewhere:
Find your strength, Be your own saviour.
But don't hesitate to ask for help if you are struggling on your own. We all need community and a sense of belonging, as much as we need positive thinking.