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'Be kind to yourself'

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I am in the midst of the last several weeks of my midwifery degree, and the pressure is on. 

claire axcell

There is a dissertation to be done, a portfolio to be printed and a few babies that I’m waiting to have the joyous pleasure of introducing to their awaiting families.

There is so much to do, and so little time to do it in. The last three years have gone by so quickly – I can’t quite believe it and I don’t want to believe it.

Yet, I can’t escape the passage of time, even though I wish I could. In the midst of the above, there are school books to be read, a royal wedding dress-up day that I have totally forgotten about, and probably at least three friends that I have not yet got back to (sorry by the way).

Last week I arranged to meet up with somebody, totally forgetting that I’d arranged to meet up with a different person at the same time. Thankfully, they were very understanding and I have been forgiven.

But did I forget it? No, I did not. I beat myself up about it, and cursed myself for the lack of care and attention that I didn’t give to my friend. I forgot about her – I forget about a lot of things. In this overwhelming period of business, things fall by the wayside and are crushed beneath the overwhelming sea of ‘midwifery degree’ that I am currently embroiled in.

Three years ago, I jokingly said to my friends in a social media post that I’d see them again in three years. If only I knew then how true that was, there is so much to do and so little time to do it in. It is overwhelming.

Actually, at times, it’s too much.

It’s too much to admit that my house isn’t as clean as I’d like, that the dust bunnies have names.

It’s too much to admit my children have probably eaten at a certain yellow themed restaurant a bit too often.

It’s too much to admit that actually this degree has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I just want to stop, put my hand on the pause button of my life, and just be for a bit.

But actually, it’s not too much to admit that. It’s not too much to admit that things are hard, and that sometimes we just need a break.

As practitioners, we are so good about caring for others and placing our whole selves into our work.

Who cares for us, who cares for you?

Well actually, the first person who should be looking out for yourself is you. You are your own best advocate, if things are too much, go speak to someone, go say to your lecturers, or your mentor, ”I am not coping, this is not ok”.

Be kind to yourself and hit that pause button. Get that time out. Be as kind to yourself as you would to someone who you’re caring for. Be your own midwife and nurse.

The hardest step is always the first one, but take it. Life is way too short to be feeling miserable, to be sad and to feel hopeless.

Remember, this is put a small period of the giant tapestry that is your life. Soon you will look back, and be glad that you spoke up. I mean even the word hopeless has hope in it.

Be kind to yourself, always.

Happy Mental Health Awareness week.

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