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Be kind...to yourself!

When lockdown came into effect I slept on it and came out fighting.


Ding, ding! Round One: I quickly set to transferring my speaking career online. I registered for a Zoom course, I fired out all kinds of social media posts about starting lots of projects. I wrote and planned and…ran out of steam and that was all before coffee on day one.


Ding ding! Round Two: I spent hours browsing social media and in between hearing that COVID-19 was this and COVID-19 was that, I saw some of my contemporaries firing off new ideas, webinars, blogs, vlogs and offers which made me feel completely inadequate.

Ding ding! Round Three: I was beginning to get a little punch drunk. I waved my wife and daughter off to work at their respective schools and my son to his supermarket job stacking shelves, made myself a coffee and cried.

Having swung and missed so often in the first couple of rounds, I was feeling useless. I was house bound and not sure how I could put things right. I felt guilty at suddenly not being able to bring in a wage or even work out how? I felt a greater sense of guilt that, as a former educator and Head, I was seeing my family fight on the frontline and doing nothing of the same value myself.


Ding ding! Round Four: By now, I was very nearly ready to throw in the towel. I was trying to get to grips with the abstract of time and uncertainty. I was beginning to plan and replan, working out the variables and how long I could go without earning. I was driving myself crazy.

Ding ding! Round Five: Whether it was the smelling salts or the fact that the first contest had got to the final round, for the first time, I had rested well in my corner and started to feel something different, a sense of inner calm.

As I moved back to the middle of the ring I realised that I could only deal with the here and now. I didn’t need to ‘prove’ anything and wouldn’t win by firing off as many shots as I could or try to punch as hard as everyone else seems to be.

So having survived my first fight...just…

I’m training differently now. Preparing differently for what comes next.

I am just going to be me.

I am going to reach out to the people I know and work with, offer what I always try to: myself. I will help where I can, take opportunities as and when they arise. I will celebrate my authenticity, integrity and insight where I can.

I will provide for my frontline family by being there for them, by keeping our home clean, by cooking food to keep them nourished, by hugging and supporting them as I know I can.

I am not giving up or standing still.

I have loved speaking with people, recording videos and doing a little writing. I am not going to worry about the size of my next opponent. I am just going to do what it takes to be the best me I can be for right now and trust that I am the same me that has fought and won before and will do again.

Be kind to yourself. You can only do the best you can.

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3 Comments


Yumi Vega
Yumi Vega
Feb 10, 2023

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Carol Bridgeman
Carol Bridgeman
Apr 03, 2020

Such a wonderful description of how you are experiencing things right now

. It will resonate with so many people. It is good to step back and listen to our inner voice, that voice will prepare us. If we observe our thoughts we can prepare, if we follow the story of our painful thoughts we can get lost. Thank you for your frank post Richard, stay safe.

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