Claire Saliu Makeup Artistry

Makeup Artist, Beauty and Lifestyle blogger and busy Mama.

Letting Go and Finding A New Normal ❤

There's no doubt these are very difficult times we are all facing. My heart goes out to anyone who has suffered as a result of the Coronavirus - anyone who has been ill with it, had loved ones who were seriously ill, has lost loved ones because of it, and of course the many frontline workers across the world who are putting their hearts into keeping the rest of us safe, well and provided for. For me, staying at home is a small price to pay to keep my friends and my precious family safe but it does bring with it certain challenges and the need for a new way to look at life.

In addition to these challenges, three weeks ago, my wonderful Mum was taken from us after a very lengthy battle with illness fought with bravery over many years. She was unfortunately then affected by the lockdowns and restrictions put in place across the country but we were luckier than most to be able to be by her side in those difficult circumstances. Anyone who is going through something similar right now will know that grief in "normal" times is difficult enough and that it has been made an even lonelier, more heartbreaking prospect in recent times.

Anyway, all that being said, as much as I'd like to curl up in a ball right now and shut out the outside world, I have two very important little people who rely on me for pretty much everything so in order to try and cope with what's going on, I've had to find a "new normal", even on a temporary basis. So here are the few things I've tried which you may find helpful if you are finding the current times lonely, anxious, worrying or upsetting. Or just generally feeling like you need to do something to get your sanity back somehow!

1) No matter how you feel, get dressed and ready for the day ahead.

Yes it sounds like a huge cliche, I know. We pretty much can't go anywhere aside from the weekly grocery shop or for a quick walk, so who's going to see, right? My Mum used to put the effort into her hair, outfit and makeup no matter whether she was out and about or just at home for the day, and she was a firm believer in the power of doing this to make you feel better, even with all she was going through. I firmly believe in this idea too, and even if it is only to change into leggings and a jumper, getting out of the PJs will put you in a better frame of mind for the day ahead. While you're at it, take 10 minutes to do your morning skincare routine, brush your hair and teeth and you will definitely feel the better for it. If you find the time or the energy to put on a bit of makeup, sure why not do that too. You might just surprise yourself.

2) Find calm in the little daily routines.

Humans are creatures of habit - especially in stressful times. Routines give you the chance to do some normal daily tasks such as doing a "10 minute tidy" of your house, a five minute morning meditation, cleaning up the dishes etc without having to think too much about them.I find it really helpful to sit down with a notebook or journal in the morning and map out my to do list for the day ahead and as a creature of habit, I have certain daily to dos - both personal and wellness-related, work-related and household-related.  If you stick to a routine, you will start to do the jobs you're not too fond of - and the things you like to do - out of habit and they will seem much less daunting over time. The same definitely applies to kiddies, which brings me to my next point.

3) Kids need routine even more than we do.

Put yourself in your little favourite person's shoes - he's used to knowing what to expect every weekday - to get up, have his brekkie, put on his little uniform and get himself out the door to school. He's used to running around the yard and playing with his little pals. And learning lots of interesting things from a teacher who has way more patience than his Mummy does. He can't go to the playground, to see his special auntie, or even to the shops. It's a lot for a little mind to take in.

So what I've done, after an idea by one of my lovely fellow bloggers, Naomi from Gorgeously Fabulous who is a teacher too so definitely knows way more about these things than me by the way - is create a week day "schedule". It includes getting ready for the day, tidying his bed,  breakfast, some tv time, school time and what subjects and also most importantly what times are food available :) He will get up every morning now and ask "what's the plan for the day" and will ask "what's next" several times during the day.

It's a little more difficult with a toddler (madam is 18 months) and she will barely stay still for five minutes but I try to give her different toys to play with every few minutes. She also loves to "colour" and play with books - and there's no harm in a little Peppa every now and again. Her routine at the moment is a little less specific than his but I've changed a couple of things around which seems to reduce the tantrums from both of them.  If you would like to know the specific routines for either of my kids, let me know and I can do something up for another blog post or for social media.

4) Get some fresh air even if it's only for a few minutes each day.

Apartment-dwellers like us will know the struggle of trying to give the kids some active outdoor time every day. There's only so much running around you can do on a balcony after all! My goal for this week is to wake up earlier than the rest of the family and go for a walk around the block to clear my head for the day ahead. Every afternoon before dinner, one of us will take the kids out for a walk or a "scoot" around the block (within the 2km requirement of course) in order to blow any cobwebs away. (Usually their Dad really when he's finished his work for the day so that I can work on getting the dinner ready in peace!).  Everyone definitely sleeps the better for it.

If you can't get out for a walk, cycle etc, take 10 minutes to get out into your garden or onto your balcony and take some long, slow, deep breaths to fill your lungs and calm your mind. Or take a cuppa and a book outside, or your laptop/tablet if you're working from home. The change of scenery and fresh air can work wonders.

5) Declutter your home and you will calm your mind.

I'm no Marie Kondo. And I have two young children who like toys and who like to make mess. So I'm not under any illusions that I'll be able to live in a "showhouse", no matter how hard I try!
However, I came across a 30 day declutter challenge by Rachel who blogs from which breaks up decluttering and organising your home into 30 small, manageable tasks. You do one of these tasks each day, tackling one small area at a time, which appears far less daunting to me at the moment with all that's going on in my mind these days. If you subscribe to her website and you will receive her free printable by email. If you're not subscribed to her already on YouTube, I highly recommend you check out her channel here for more tips for daily routines, organising, self-care etc and she's just generally a lovely positive person to follow - and her Instagram is goals too!

6) Find a little bit of time to learn something new. 

I'm not suggesting that this time of self-isolating and staying at home should be used to go and find as many courses that you can to swot up on or to take up a completely new hobby or sport and become an "expert". But I do think that finding a few minutes every now and then to stretch your mind and read a few pages of a book or an article on a topic you're interested in, or watch a couple of YouTube videos or listen to a podcast is good for the mind and the soul.  Or try a new recipe using whatever ingredients you have in your pantry if that's what floats your boat.

For instance, a while ago I picked up some books from the library on Angel cards and Meditation and other spiritual topics - not for everyone I know, so I won't go into that here! If I could read a couple of pages every morning if the house is quiet, I will consider that an achievement for me. I would also really like to find some time to learn how to use Lightroom software - even if that starts with just watching a tutorial or two. The ideas can be as big or as small as you like. And if you have kids, they might just be able to pick up something small to learn too if they're interested.

I'm going to leave this topic here for now as I would hate anyone to think that I'm trying to get you to makeover your life in this tough and and scary time or to turn you into some sort of productivity guru who can complete a week's worth of tasks in one day while wearing your best outfit and a full face of makeup :) But I hope this has been even a little bit helpful and if you would like some more posts on self-care, family routines etc please do let me know. And if you would like to share anything about how you're feeling or coping right now, comments are always welcome.

Bye for now, stay safe and take good care of each other and yourselves.

Claire xx

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