In London we have been in lockdown for 5 weeks now, and I guess we are looking at about 8 weeks of isolation as the best case scenario and, say, 18 months as the worst case??

I feel like I am making a fuss when I say I am finding it hard, because I used to love the 6-week summer holidays when I was a kid and we didn’t go anywhere then either, because we were of average income and it was the early eighties. We didn’t even have a car. So why so hard now? Well, I didn’t have to earn money then either. Not to mention the fact that we could go out from dawn until dusk and play on our bikes, hang around on street corners and attempt daredevil tricks involving swings and rollerskates, thereby risking a trip to A&E without anyone thinking that was irresponsible.

I cut my own finger today trying to cut my fringe and just thought, I’ll just bleed to death and that will be an end to it all. Not that I’m getting depressed. My fringe looks good though, so every cloud….

I am sitting in the garden (lucky me) as I write this, which means I can’t see anything that I’m typing, so I could be saying anything at all. I might just let my subconscious do the talking and see what comes out. I think it would be something like aaaaagggggghhhhhhh.

Luckily (because frankly if I was depending on my current state of mind I would have nothing to say) I have lots of news in this month’s Backstage, chiefly because my wonderful partner in cabaret crime, Tamasine Kimber, has kept me going through these long dark nights of the soul by giving me comedy tasks to do. This edition is largely dedicated to Loris & Lee therefore, as we have been busy having fun over the Easter holidays, while Tam had a break from being a teacher to key workers’ children. The result is a very silly music video and charity single, soon to be released in aid of the NHS, that I will write to you about in May’s edition, and an interview on The Burly Podcast (our first interview as a duo!). We also finished writing our show, Kindness is Contagious: Pass it On. Not that we can show it to anyone, but it is a very satisfying achievement all the same.

You will know if you are a regular reader, that I am a huge fan of the Professional Speaking Association. I am a Fellow, and have been speaker of the year in the past, and am dedicated to the cause of ‘Speak More, Speak Better’ for both aspiring and professional speakers. I was meant to be doing a tour of the regions this year, with my book The Exceptional MC, and I am still doing that but at their online meetings instead.

This month’s theme in my Bucket List Coach business from the M.Y.B.U.C.K.E.T.L.I.S.T. Blueprint® is the ‘U’ for ‘Ultimate Challenges’. Let’s face it, we are living through one right now.

For me, the ultimate challenge is staying cheerful and some days I do better than others. April is Stress Awareness Month and I couldn’t be more aware of stress than now. However, as I sit in my garden, I am reminded that the only moment is this one and that right now, the sun is shining and I have not run out of money yet. Being present to the moment is an essential tool for mental health and wellbeing so I hope that if nothing else, my wish for you is that you come out of this ultimate challenge with a better grasp of what is beautiful and important to you and continue to treasure that for the rest of your life… and also that you don’t bleed to death trying to cut your own hair.

Celia

P.S. If you are feeling down, here are some tips on how to manage your mental health at this challenging time.

Read the full edition here
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