Thoughts for a new year …

by Kirsty Savides, Founder and Programme Director of Wriggle and Rhyme

Entering a new year is always an opportunity to pause, look back, look around and look forward.

The past 2 years have been incredibly difficult on so many levels. When I hear the words “unprecedented times” or “new normal”, I often feel like having a mini meltdown.

Little girl cuddling her teddy

But, after I’ve had my little “digital tantrum”, I try to take few deep breaths, dig deep and return to being a grown-up again. Realising that this is, in fact, a new normal and finding ways to navigate it well for the sake of myself and my family must take priority.

I’m guessing that this sentiment might resonate with you too. Your challenges will have been different to mine, but all of us have struggled on some level. There’s been no way to avoid it!

Finding ways to move forward, grow and even thrive in 2022 needs intentionality.

The challenge of self-care vs. self-involvement

Often, as moms, we’re so busy looking after others that we forget about ourselves. Self-forgetfulness can actually be a good thing, because it can stop us from becoming self-involved. But, it can also push us towards physical and emotional burnout.

To look after our children well, we need to look after ourselves. Our physical and emotional well-being plays a huge role in their physical and emotional well-being.

How do we do that, without adding more to our already full plates?

Here are some things that I’m going to try this year:

Living with gratitude

Finding small things every single day to be consciously thankful for, can be a game-changer. Whether it’s a decent cup of coffee, a beautiful sky, a hug, a lovely message from a friend.

I think that focussing on gratitude can really help to change the narrative in our brains. It won’t change our circumstances, but it can help to shift our perspective.

I found some practical ideas to living gratefully which I’m sharing here – https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-gratitude-practice#getting-started

Turning down the pressure on the pressure cooker

Life has felt like a pressure cooker for the past 2 years. So many factors have been completely out of our control and have created significant pressure for us and our families.

Sometimes we can add pressure to an already pressured pot. We can have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. These expectations can “turn up the heat” in our relationships and even fuel underlying anxiety.

Finding ways to turn down the pressure at home, whilst maintaining healthy boundaries needs some thought and intentionality.

Finding safe and happy spaces to build community

Finding ways to help our children thrive involves creating a safe and stable environment for them. This is particularly important in the early years when they are babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

I don’t think this only means a happy home environment. I think it also means looking for ways to expand their community to include activities and friendships that bring stimulation, joy and fun.

This applies to us as adults too!

Pre-Schooler in music class

The year ahead

As we all look to the year ahead with anticipation, my hope for you and your family is that you will find gratitude, contentment and joy throughout the year. Even if it’s found in unexpected ways and in small doses.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For more info on our musical programmes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, take a look at http://www.wriggleandrhyme.co.za