Mental wellbeing

Feeling Deflated? You’re Not Alone

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I feel as though I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. But, truth be told, I feel a bit defeated. Things were going really well before the virus outbreak. Work was picking up, networking was working for me. Then the schools closed and I found myself in a situation I thought I could control. “I’ve got this”, I said to myself, while rewriting my schedule.

It was all planned out. While my husband went out to work in a risky world, the kids and I would traipse down to the allotment each morning to monitor and maintain our crops, getting our daily exercise each day to stay active, sane and healthy.

Then we’d come back and start the day with school work, going through ‘til lunch with a break time in between for tea and snacks. The idea was we’d stop at lunchtime and chill out in the afternoon, until my husband returned from work when I’d then disappear upstairs to work so he could watch the kids.

Only, he got furloughed. Which was great from a safety point of view, but not great from a structural routine point of view. I tried a loose timetable with the kids for their schoolwork, with some Joe Wicks PE thrown in for good measure. It went down like a lead balloon. No-one wanted to work. Or read. Or write. Or do anything, really, other than watch TV or play electronic games.

By the time evening rolled around, I was too wrecked physically and emotionally to even contemplate getting any work done.

I felt despaired; here I was trying desperately to keep my family sane with some kind of normality ticking over. But any kind of control I’d had before with predictability and routine simply slipped through my fingers like the sand in an egg timer.

Last week, the global pandemic and all of its implications broke me. I’d seen people break down around me, while I kept it all together, so far unaffected. But there’s only so much pressure a person can take before they crack. It happened, and it ended with me locked in my bathroom in a flood of tears.

It took me a few days to realise the harsh truth; I can’t do everything. I can’t raise a young family with two headstrong girls and try to run a business during a global pandemic. I’m not even sure anyone can, truth be told.

Social media is full of people screaming of positivity and rising up out of a recession. Everyone seems intent on bigging it up; making those of us who don’t have such gumption feel inadequate and depressed at our own failings. But here’s the truth; these people may not have kids, and if they do, the chances are those kids will be older, and more capable of sorting themselves out.

The most frustrating thing for me as a woman and a mother is that I’ve gone back to earning either minimal income or nothing at all. It’s taken me over a month to produce one writing assignment.

I feel as though my independence has been ripped away like a rug pulled from under my feet; rendering me unstable and fretful. If there’s one thing I’ve always fiercely protected, it’s my independence. It’s why I’m always striving to make a better life for myself. And right now I feel trapped.

Not knowing what the future holds is a scary thought. Truth be told, I feel totally unprepared and a little bit scared. Our boiler is broken and our emergency fund is gone; I’m saving to build it up again just so we can be warm in the winter.

I desperately want to be able to make extra money but with the way things are at the moment, it’s really bloody hard. As soon as I try to focus on something, the kids turn feral. I’ve been getting up at dawn this week just to have time to focus on my latest writing assignment otherwise it’s an impossible feat.

So I’ve shifted my mindset for now, to Take Each Day As It Comes. It’s the only thing I can do and it’s the only way we can all stay sane (short of buying up some bricks and building an outhouse to relocate to in our tiny garden). So what if the kids don’t do their allocated tasks? So what if they’re spending too much time on their tablets? If it means peace and sanity, I’m all for it.

I’ll take each day as it comes and because of that mindset, I’ll get there in one piece. Because right now, survival is what matters. I hope if you feel in anyway the same, my words can bring you some relief and comfort.

We’re not superhuman and we need to stop striving to be. Good health and prosperity comes from taking care of yourself, not trying to run the world.

If you can’t make money, you can save resources. Money is an energy exchange. But if you haven’t got any energy to save, you won’t be able to replenish the well.

Be kind to yourself; don’t end up locked in the bathroom in floods of tears in order to face reality.

Just do what you can do, because that is enough.

About Author

Miss Penny Money is a personal finance blogger on a debt-free journey to financial independence, whilst juggling a writing career and bringing up a young family on a modest budget.

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