Vicki Psarias - be kind to to yourself in testing times
PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 July 2020
Meet our columnist, author and social media sensation Windsor-based ‘Honest Mum’ Vicki Psarias
Life continues to feel strange in lockdown. I write this column a month before it’s published and we’re now nine weeks in isolation as a country with some days feeling bearable and even positive, as if we’ve found our groove with homeschool/daily life despite the repetition, and other days feel starkly bleak and claustrophobic. The covidcoaster indeed.
I referred to myself as Cinderella to a friend today because my Groundhog Days here in Windsor revolve around a schedule of cooking, cleaning, homeschooling and entertaining (Dobble anyone?), then after all of that, I start my work day at 9pm when the kids finally fall asleep, often signing off at 2am.
I’m sorry to sound whiny, I really am grateful for my job and feel lucky to still have one during this pandemic but as my blog name suggests, I like to be honest, and this time is tricky for all of us. I received a fair few Instagram DMs asking me how I’m ‘doing it all’ and the reality is, I’m struggling too, I have down days and homeschool inset days, and I’ve learnt I just have to be kind to myself, it’s the only way.
The mental load we’re carrying is both heavy and on-going as we try to meet the needs of our kids and relatives as best we can, which in our children’s case, means making the decision as to whether they should return to school or not.
For those of us who have the choice and have been asked to make it (my children’s years are not on that list), it’s important to take time to consider your own individual situation and do what feels right for you.
When it comes to the tougher days, I’ve run away for a few hours for a socially distanced G&T on the Long Walk with friends, or I’ve taken a stroll along the river solo (without the soul-burning endless requests from my kids (“No you cannot have ANOTHER snack”), or simply watching something thrilling on Netflix (I’m currently enthralled by Ibiza-based murder mystery White Lines).
I’ve also become one of those clichéd people who has seemingly ‘found’ themselves in lockdown. I’ve reconnected with my former passion of painting after many years. I’ve previously exhibited and sold my art but I lost my confidence as the years of abdication wore on, and it took a global pandemic for me to finally pick up a paintbrush again.
I’m so happy I have! I’ve also logged onto Duo Lingo (a free app) to improve my previously fairly decent French and Greek reading and writing skills, and I’ve even embarked on writing a novel. It’s amazing what can be done when you’re not commuting all over the country. Five minutes on a language app here and 500 words writing a novel there and a lot can be achieved.
I haven’t put pressure on myself, I’ve simply felt free to try new things without expectation and I’ve leaned on creativity as I always do to help me emotionally. Please don’t worry if you’re not motivated right now, there’s no right way of ‘doing’ lockdown.
Get Vicki’s book at amazon.co.uk/Mumboss-Honest-Guide-Surviving-Thriving/dp/0349416699;
and in all good book shops;
This month I have...
Online family members club, Vesta, offers you and your family everything from fitness and mindfulness advice to meal plans and childcare tips.
I’m loving storage solutions by Wilko right now. I’ve arranged my hair and skincare products in these cotton rope grey baskets and feel better for it.
If I was pregnant I’d be wearing this Aska Maternity Movement bracelet, which keeps track of your baby’s movement. askamaternitymovementbracelet.com