Irene brankin face on mobile phone


Even although I do have some anxiety at what’s happening in the world right now, I am allergic (as my friend, Helen Sieroda says) to the upbeat, positiveness of it in all those saying that the learnings we will have in the future will be so great. I am not saying that they won’t and let’s include the Here and Now!!

Right now let’s be honest, life is shitty for many as our world has been turned upside down – people are dying, are ill, are frightened, are anxious, have financial and other issues AND some are doing amazing things to help and support us in spite of possible (and even probable) danger to themselves – you’ll know who I am talking about here. This has to be acknowledged – the both-and I always go on about.

You don’t have to be a Pollyana or a Moaning Minnie – you can include both.


 ‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together’ Vincent Van Gogh


I saw on the TV that children are putting drawings of Rainbow in the window and it touched me deeply at the innocence and possibility it showed me. I was so uplifted by what I saw and heard, I am actually going to do one or maybe two, and put them in our front windows as it gives me HOPE and reminds me that we are all ordinary and extraordinary at the same time – this applies to us all!! (Have done two of the most peculiar rainbows I’ve ever seen and hey ho they are in my windows!!!)

AND what about all that clapping , sharing and making noise for those on the front line??? Volunteers were asked for, and double the amount came forward – amazing.

Enforced self-isolation

So how are you doing?? Are you already buckling under the strain of what’s going on – schools closed, shops closed, shelves empty, queues, children around all the time and some are bored already, you and your partner at home all day together 24/7 ??? I miss my family and friends much more than I realised, and I’m quite enjoying the fact that nobody is just going to turn up and come in!! Guess what?? It means I don’t have to tidy up so much and can simply enjoy going at my own pace and even stay in my pyjamas if I want (not my thing actually!!).

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU???  It’s time to get the necessary space (yes, I know for some that may be the bathroom!) to reflect on who and what in your life really matters and you might find that you miss some people and/or activities you took for granted or were simply a habit. And it could be you end up not missing them at all!  Maybe time for a clear out of people and things?

By being stopped from our normal daily life, you can realise that is what needs to happen – things need to change. You might be realising that you can’t stand your job, someone, your home, neighbourhood …. Or you may find you re-connect with old skills you had or even find new ones. I’ve just heard from a friend that she has started baking after years of not doing so – hope she remembers me!! Or love the newfound freedom of ‘being’.


I have learned for myself that I am not good at all when I am not around other people – not all the time, of course, but I love being part of life so I know it will be a real challenge for me. It’s that connection I miss, I know. It is fantastic that we have all the different means via social media and I am doing some of them. It is that human contact I miss and I know it’s not possible for the moment – well maybe over the garden wall or when family come to the door.

I have found out that I need a structure and then if chaos ensues, I will be fine. That has always been my way of life personally and professionally. When I worked in Stockholm in particular, this is what I put out to the groups, and what I wanted from the. NOT the chaos but those boundaries we abide by.

I don’t have the answers to what you can do in this crazy time – you know yourself better than me. AND here are some of my suggestions for you to add to what you, and everyone else, may be doing.  Guess what the first one is??

My suggestions for crazy times:

  • *Have a structure to your day. You can be flexible but that structure helps you to feel safe and in control of what you can control.
  • *Build-in those times of reconnecting with family and friends, e.g. mealtimes, phone calls, social media ………
  • *Ensure who is responsible for what e.g. our son and/or grandchildren bring the newspapers to our door, and our son and daughter-in-law get us – as much as they can find in our depleted shops – shopping.
  • *Use your creativity – cooking, drawing, colouring-in, writing that book you always said you would, making clothes, sorting out cupboards, starting up an online exercise class or whatever you are good at, take part in an online course of some sort or another ……………….(** see below)
  • *If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get out into it as much as possible or drive to the nearest park or along the seafront, and if possible, remember to keep away from others i.e. appropriate distancing. We all need that fresh air to blow the cobwebs away.
  • *Do some form of exercise – little or a lot. I am doing my husband’s physiotherapy exercises each morning and when I hear a great tune, I dance around to that.
  • *When you are sorting out all those cupboards you always said you would do, you might also think of painting or re-arranging the room.
  • *If you want to have a lie down during the day, then give yourself permission. Be aware though that this could also disturb your sleep later – you can always get up and watch TV or do something if that’s the case and then go back to bed later.  Give it a try and see what happens.
  • *Ensure you have ‘time out’ for yourself. I love reading so that is something to build in too if you do.
  • *Remember you can order online most things these days – groceries, clothes, household items, etc. although maybe food and other essentials might be an issue until these idiots stop panic buying!!!
  • *Choose different TV channels to watch or radio channels to listen to, and then there are all the programmes to catch up on – including Youtube.
  • **Finally (for me anyway and I know you will have many more suggestions), what about my on-line course – SIFITY– STOP IT, FUCK IT, THANK YOU.

Let me know if you would be interested in doing this 10-week online course for your own well-being, self-awareness and possible change in the future.

As I am well aware of the chaos of financial matters at the moment, I am offering it, so it will be more affordable to you, at 10% (Yes, 10%) of the normal fee so YOU can take advantage in these uncertain times.

Meanwhile, Stay Well xx

Irene Signature

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