January is traditionally the time for setting new goals and intentions for the year ahead. Normally I spend quite a lot of time focusing on this, refining my ideas and getting down onto paper exactly what I want to achieve. This year things were a little different – there was quite a lot on my mind and before I knew it, half of January had already gone. I did manage to write a Happy New Year post on my blog though, where I talk about our plans for 2021, including our wedding and honeymoon!
The most significant moment.
January was a long month, as it always is. We had a lot of ups and downs, but I think the most significant event to hit me was the passing of my Grandpa. It wasn’t sudden, but that didn’t make the news any less heart breaking, or any easier to digest. The hardest part of all of it is that I didn’t get a chance to see him before he passed because, just before our very first lockdown, he moved down to Cornwall to live with my Aunt and Uncle. It was all for the best – they were there to wait on him hand and foot and be a source of comfort during his deterioration – however there’s nothing quite like knowing someone’s nearing the end and not being able…or allowed…to visit. Thank you, COVID 19 for that one!
January bought lots of painting and drawing.
Lockdown has been rough and, on the day my Grandpa passed, I decided to draw and paint something. I have no idea why, it just felt as though it would keep my mind busy and give me something to focus on. I put pencil to paper (and then paint to paper) and went with the flow. I painted a moon gazing hare silhouetted against a full moon, which my Mister later framed for me. Since then, I have been drawing or painting nearly every day. A long time ago, as part of a gifted collaboration, I received some watercolour paints the play with. I was about to have Oscar and didn’t have much time to practice – it wasn’t until last summer that I picked up the set again. I’m so glad I did! I have really enjoyed watching my progress and painting often. I find that it’s great therapy and helps me feel good about myself when I see improvements.
Mental health throughout January.
As a result of the impending doom that we all knew was coming in January, the month was especially difficult. There were some hard mental health days, combined with the pressures and struggles of home schooling, it felt as if my own bed time couldn’t come fast enough. I already struggle with GAD and depression and I knew that this feeling of wanting to hide in bed was a common (but no less debilitating) symptom of depression. However, life goes on for the rest of us, and having to sign into Luke’s Google Classroom every morning was almost a blessing as it made me get up and get dressed, rather than waste away in bed or sit on the sofa.
It wasn’t all bad though, I had some moments of clarity and, as I mentioned in my introduction to the ‘Glow Up’ journal series, I spent a lot of time talking about mental health and trying to figure out some ways to make everything better. I didn’t just want to make things better for me though, I wanted to help other people too.
I knew that Luke was struggling with his self esteem and he was finding it hard to see the good in each day, so I started making free printables to help build children’s self esteem and also to help parents throughout the lockdown homeschooling process. These have actually all been so well received and I am completely overwhelmed by the support you guys have shown and the kind words you have sent my way!
January’s mood tracker.
I didn’t get around to buying and setting up my journal for January, so I have no fancy mood tracker to show you! However, February’s is lovely and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.
Although there was great sadness in January, I still found time to be grateful. Here’s my gratitude list:
- I am grateful for a supportive fiance who I phoned multiple times at work on the day of my Grandpa’s passing.
- I am grateful for modern technology allowing me to see and talk to people I cannot physically go and talk to or hug.
- I am grateful to Luke’s school teacher who has been extremely supportive as Luke was only at school for a few weeks before we entered lockdown again (after the Christmas break).
- I am grateful for all the amazing blogger friends I have, and I can’t wait to visit them when lockdown is over!
- I am so grateful to everyone who downloaded, tagged, or shared any of the free resources for mental health that I published in January. You guys literally made me cry and I felt like I was doing something helpful with my platform.
- I’m also grateful for those who told me that I should ignore the imposter syndrome I felt and that they’d actually happily BUY my printables (which is MAD!)
For February, I actually got my physical journal and adopted a bullet journal approach. It’s a loose interpretation of it, let’s say that, but I am looking forward to sharing it with you at the end of the month! It has already become a lot more personal than I thought it would, so I might have to blur bits out, but it’s a fun way to keep track of my life and have some accountability for my own mental wellbeing.