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  • Kirstie Broughton

Gratitude and life changes: The Covid-19 lockdown

It’s such an uncertain time at the moment, nobody really knows how long this pandemic is going to last, what changes it’ll have on society, how many people will lose their lives, when vaccines will be ready, if people who’ve had it will be immune, how long schools will be closed and how long we’ll have to isolate, plus there’s loads more unanswerable questions. I’m trying to embrace uncertainty but I must admit I don’t find it easy.

It’s been a strange time as a yoga teacher. I’ve tried taking my pregnancy yoga online but there’s a lack of human connection with online yoga in my opinion. I miss the causal atmosphere of my classes, the giggles, sharing of stories and chatting about all things maternity related. I love the fact that my students ask me lots of questions about yoga and birth and utilise my doula knowledge. This never really happens online, so I can’t wait to get back to teaching face to face.

It’s been an even stranger time as a doula. There’s continuous policy and procedure changes in the hospitals, and different rules within different trusts. In Chelmsford where I live, they’re still running a home birth services and allowing water births, but other trusts have stopped these things. It’s a really uncertain time for expectant parent and doulas. Some doulas don’t think it’s safe to work at the moment and some think it’s fine, as long as people have been isolating and take precautions. I’m just going with the flow and waiting to see what happens. I have a few bookings for later in the year but I’m hopefully that we’ll have returned to some form of normality by then. Some doulas are offering virtual services, so that could be an option if we’re on lock down for a while longer.

Something else that’s changed for me are the breastfeeding peer support groups. Sadly they aren’t running at the moment but I’ve advised a couple of people on line and pointed them to some helpful resources. Once again I can’t wait to get back to supporting everyone face to face and building that trusting connection.

Whilst spending a lot of time at home it’s made me look at life a little differently. I hope you’ve also found some positives in such an awful situation and I hope it’ll make a positive change to your life going forward. I’m heart broken for all those who have lost their lives and send masses of love and strength to their families. I found myself struggling to get through such a terrible time until I read an article about gratitude and decided to have a think about this myself. Here’s a few things I’m grateful for…

I now know how to use more tech…zoom for example. I’m not keen on the lack of personal touch but it’s been a god send for meetings with my doula colleagues.

I know an awful lot more about Peppa Pig…I’m not sure if I’m grateful for this one but my daughter certainly is!

I was pushed to teach live online yoga classes, which I wasn’t confident enough to do before, so I’m pleased that I know I can do it if I need to in the future.

I have spent many many quality hours with my daughter whilst she’s at such an amazing age. She’s normally at nursery part time.

We got through chicken pox! I’m glad it happened whilst we were stuck at home, rather than a less convenient time.

I’ve learnt more about humility, when I consider how amazing the key workers have been, NHS staff, volunteers, delivery drivers, supermarket chains and many more people who keep the world ticking over, as well as those who have helped others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I’ve spent time cooking from scratch and wasting much less food.

I’ve remembered that the small things are important, the sunshine, blue sky, a garden to sit in, running water, a roof over my head, daffodils.

I now see the importance of taking breaks from work and having a rest. It took this enforced “break” to remind me to slow down.

I understand the fragility of life and know to embrace every precious moment, we can’t take it for granted.

I’m going to keep hold of this post and read it occasionally, just to remind myself of what’s important. It’s all too easy to get caught up in every day life and forget the important bits. Don’t let life pass you by, sit down somewhere quiet and have a think about what you’re truly grateful for and keep it at the forefront of your mind.

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