Life has changed, almost overnight the whole world is unrecognisable. An initial urgent response was required, working swiftly with my colleagues in education and social care we created a plan, a strategy to ensure children's education continued, vulnerable children were going to be safe, hungry children would be fed, children with challenging behaviour would be supported and children of frontline workers were looked after.
Then the pace changed, systems had been implemented and the majority of us were confined to our homes, the challenge now moved to parenting, educating and working all simultaneously whilst also having one eye on the news. On top of this was the worry about how to keep my loved ones safe, both from physical and emotional harm.
I quickly acknowledged this level of emotional pressure was unhealthy and overwhelming, a second urgent response was required to ensure I was in good mental health to sustain myself and my family through this time of challenge.
Firstly I lowered my expectations on both myself and the children, we were not homeschooling we were just going to try and keep the basics ticking over, and keep physically and mentally fit.
Next, the news went off and I found with these changes in place, the pace of life slowed to fall into a new natural rhythm.
I adjusted to not seeing my much-loved partner, his children and his family, my own parents and my friends, accepting that this meant we would all have a better chance at staying healthy and it was just necessary to follow government guidelines. I reframed my view on this and decided to allow myself moments of sadness but on the whole to think positively of all the good times we have had and will have ahead of us. I've lost time with loved ones but I've gained the knowledge, even more deeply, that I love my partner, our families and friends, I am blessed to have them in my life and I am very loved.
I recognised the loss of connection though, I am so used to working as part of a team, I am used to grabbing a coffee with colleagues, to running nurture groups for children and parents, I am used to being part of a diverse, dynamic community, feeding off the energy of working with children and adults and I felt the loss of all this.
I have learnt that to be resilient and to overcome challenge we must problem solve as well as reframe our thinking. We cannot remain stagnant in negative feelings, we must look for changes that can be made to create a difference.
I needed a place for connection, I moved out of my comfort zone and I joined the Cobra club, a virtual business hub. What a difference it has made! I went from experiencing the loss of working with colleagues to finding new connections at The Cobra Club. I have met some amazing people, whom I never would have met in "real" life. The reason these connections are strong in such a short time frame is that we are all in the same boat, experiencing similar struggles, and in this adversity our bond is deep.
What has The Cobra club brought me alongside connection? It has opened my mind, broadened my knowledge, I am learning from each and every diverse member. In two weeks I know more about business than I have learnt over the last year! I have a deeper understanding of social media, human resources, finances, sales and marketing. I know what lead generation means, I know savings are losing money every year, I am soaking up knowledge like a sponge!
I now have a virtual space at a regular time each day, between 3-4 pm, where parents can drop in to have a chat about their challenges. I lost one way of working out in the community but in The Cobra Club, I have found a new work home.
I have felt empowered rethink my business, The Way to Well-being, I looked at new ways to connect to children to support well-being, Ted the dog has become the voice of our organisation and he has already brought reassurance and joy to children through his video messages. You can even order a personalised Ted Talk here;
or catch Ted on his very own You Tube channel; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQTZfNYoRyCOkAs4QTcM8vg
All in all, this time to me really is a case of lost and found, a time of adjustment and reframing, I'm settling into this new way of being. It would be lovely to see any of you at The Cobra Club.