Self Kindness & Compassion in Times of Uncertainty

Screenshot 2020 03 25 at 10.28.48 am 1

Some exceptional things are happening amidst all the uncertainty right now. This incredible industry I’ve worked in for the past ten years is rallying around and showing so much empathy, support, love and solidarity.

So many businesses and individuals are gifting their time, expertise and advice. They are sharing generously to help the wider community or to support NHS staff. These are movements that are beyond humbling to witness.

We too are doing everything humanly possible to bring our community of brides and venues and suppliers together to support one another and today, I am so happy to be able to share some positive and encourage words from our Little Book wedding directory member, the inimitable Sarah Powell.

Sarah very kindly lifted our own spirits yesterday by sending this gorgeous little video through to share with you all. Her kind words and lovely conversational tone apply to us all. And I know that some of you will be finding these times unbearably stressful as you seek to work together, as brides, couples and suppliers to postpone many weddings, but we must ALL make time for and indeed go easy on ourselves as we do this. We must all try to step back and allow ourselves time to rest and recover through it all. I don’t say that lightly.  No one will be any good for anything if we keep going and going and only addressing the issues we’re trying so hard to firefight on a daily basis. We need to care for ourselves as well as each other at this time.

Sarah articulates this much better than I do, so without a second longer, I shall pass you over to her.

*A full transcript for viewers who are hearing impaired is below*

Oh well hi, hi and hello 🙂

I have just noticed that the door handle is missing, which I didn’t know- something to attend to later!

Hi, I’m Sarah Powell – we haven’t met before, hello!

I am the founder of Celebrate Yourself, which kind of does two things; Celebrate Yourself is first of all about self celebration, which is my self-help – I do workshops and tours etc. The other half of what I do is bespoke ceremonies – I’m a wedding celebrant as well.

I imagine, just like you, that you’re getting a lot of cancellations and postponements for weddings – particularly following the news of Monday evening (via the Prime Minister, who confirmed weddings cannot take place at present). It felt like everyone was waiting on that (whether weddings show go ahead or not) – at least that’s what I found, anyway.

I just wanted to say hi, really! I’n not going to talk about money, or business or money mindset because there are so many people better qualified than me to talk about that. Also, I have no idea what your situation is and I’m not going to pretend that we’re all in the same situation with money and how worrying everything is at the moment.

But, what I wanted to come and say is something that I talk about a lot in celebration – which is to just try to release a bit of inner kindness and inner compassion. Sarah Powell

I think that when things are really stressful, and this isn’t just about this weird time we’re all in, but at any point (in life that) we get a bit stressed or overwhelmed, then it becomes very easy to fixate on the things that are going wrong, or the things we’re not doing well, or all of those sort of never ending to-do lists.

I got into this situation last week, where not only was I dealing with all of the news (of coronavirus / COVID-19), and everything that was happening, and was really worried about the business and had a lot of couples emailing me – I (also then got into a terrible comparison trap, with people who are doing amazing things online, as a result of a lot of people having to work from home right now. You know – suddenly, everybody had a yoga tutorial everybody was doing an Instagram live and everyone had these great ideas and everyone was reappropriating their businesses to make it work for them. And I got in a hole – you know the kind; ‘maybe I should be doing more?’, ‘maybe I’m not doing enough?’. So I just wanted to share that with you, just incase that’s the way that you have been feeling too.

It’s a weird new pressure that I got caught up in, so let’s just pop that down there, and acknowledge this right here; We don’t have to be doing yoga every morning. We don’t have to be learning a second language because we’ve got all this new time. But we have got a bit more time and I think that’s true of everyone. Everyone has got a ‘bit’ more time that they perhaps didn’t have before.

And you might have kids, and you might be homeschooling, in which case, you are heroic! I just want to share that right now. Whether this is day two or day eight of your homeschooling – you’re doing really well! If you’re a parent at home with kids at the moment, I know that Gemma from @Mutha.Hood was talking about this on her stories, and she said “teachers just don’t get paid enough!”.

I think we’ve all got a little bit more time – or at least time to become a bit more ‘stretchy’ – because we’re in the house a lot more. You might have things you want to do, or achieve, or use this time for. I’m going to clear out the shoe cupboard because I’ve been talking about doing that for about, hmm, 9 months!  I also did an inventory of the food cupboard –  after a year of thinking about it! So you might have jobs, and I just want to say, it’s awesome that you have the space to do that right now – it’s a lovely time to take advantage of this!

Equally so, this might be a really good time to rest. We’ve kind of all been forced into the situation. Obviously weddings have been cancelled/postponed now, which I know brings it’s own stress and like I said before, I’m not going to pretend to know what you’re going through with your business and what that looks like for you. BUT, we have got this opportunity.

Something I wanted to share was that, when I rest, which I find very difficult to do, because I think when you work for yourself – I don’t know why, but it’s so hard! I find it very hard to switch off and allow myself to have a day or afternoon off – or get of my phone, Instagram and emails. But when I do, when I really give myself some space (and I just want to say, if giving yourself space means two weeks, three weeks, then whatever!!) but during these times, something always comes, inspiration wise.  I have a new idea of something I could be doing, for work and for my brand or for the business. I always have a bit of inspiration.

And there’s stuff outside of this too (nice stuff), like, I’m going to buy a new book, or buy more bath bombs because I need more time in the bath!

So take a moment, find the nice things.

Whenever I rest, that’s when the good stuff comes. Tat’s when I have my best ideas. And you get really clear – I want to say that incase it’s helpful.

If you need to take this time to just rest and step back, because when we’re in it, when we’re doing the jobs, when we’re running , especially now, as we get into wedding season, and it’s all manic and so busy, it’s really hard to see the wood for the trees. I think this is a lovely time to pull back, have a look at the business, have a look at your time how things are going and how things look for you and think what can I tweak, or change? Is this a nice opportunity to catch up on the (dreaded) books….?! Just, whatever it is. But please, give yourselves space and time, and don’t feel like you’ve got to have all the answers now.

I hope that makes sense – sorry if it’s a bit waffly. All I’m really trying to say is, that whenever I rest, that’s when I have my good ideas that I can then start to put into practice. And it always works.

But yes, equally, you can just do nothing for now. You can do nothing and something will come. I really believe that. And YOU know what YOU need. We’ve got this gift of time, a bit more space, a bit more stillness, so take whatever you need from it. Take what you want.

And then the final thing to say is that, my thing is ‘self celebration’, which is about honouring the person you are right now. Not the shiny glittery future you, who is going to do all the things and be the most amazing person. It’s about bringing it back to now and thinking, ‘do you know what, I’m alright, actually’ *BREATH*. Because when we do that and have that moment, it allows kindness and compassion to rush in. Do you know what I mean? And I think we need that now more than ever!

Just make sure you are having those moments with and for yourself to say, ‘do you know what? I’m doing it. It’s messy, it’s not perfect, it’s quite hard at times, but I’m here, I’m showing up and Im doing it’.


Just make sure you are having that little moment with yourself. OK?

And then there is always something to celebrate – those tiny, tiny little wins, which I know at first is going to feel a bit weird, even a bit cringey for you, but just try to focus on those little things because it’s very easy to get caught up in the big picture, and there’s a lot of stress and difficulty tied up in that because we don’t have the answers that we need.

So, take a moment to find some nice things. If you can make a good cup of tea – do it. Bet some bread and jam! If you do manage to do a bit more ironing than usual, that’s a win! All power to you. You know what your day looks like and what’s worth celebrating. Keep trying to come back to this.

I really hope you’ve got a bit of sunshine wherever you are, and thank you for watching and sending loads and loads of love.

I’m all over Instagram – I mean, I am anyway, because I’m in my house, on my own, most of the time to be honest! So do come on over if you want to have a chat – slide on in the DMs! It’s @thissarahpowell – come on over if you fancy it love! It would be nice to have you.

And in the meantime, please know you’re doing your best, regardless of everything else that is going on. You’re here, you’re doing it and I promise you, you’re doing well.

You’ll just have to believe me on that one!

Sending loads of love and I hope this was in some way helpful.

Take care and bye bye x


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.