Esther O'Moore Donohoe: 'Let that little, organised voice evaporate. You’re doing great sweetie'

Esther O'Moore Donohoe describes herself as a Podcaster, Writer and Rhythm Dancer. This week she introduces us to the concept of LETTING THINGS GO


Who amongst us hasn’t flirted with starting a sourdough blob or opening a small zoo dedicated to tigers since this emergency began?

After Leo’s first speech, I decided I was going to take an all-singing, all-dancing, Girl Guide approach to current events. I told myself ‘THIS IS FINE. WE’LL ALL BE FINE WON’T WE? HAHA. I’LL JUST KEEP BUSY AND WE’LL ALL BE OKAY, YES?’.

Over the weekend, I had a revelation. Rather than taking more things on, I could start letting things go

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I swore I was going to bake words and write cakes and knit shoes and paint a podcast. I stocked up on flour and bought a mini-freezer and thought this whole thing would be a piece of banana bread. I just needed to stay indoors and distract my way out of feeling things.

Over the weekend though, I had a revelation. Rather than taking more things on, I could start letting things go. My inner Dr. Phil told me that by keeping busy, I was trying to put a shape on something I had no control over. Writing endless lists was starting to get on top of me and I still had a full-time job to get through each day. When it dawned on me that I didn’t necessarily have to stick to the same routine I had before this whole thing started it felt like a huge relief. Dinner for breakfast, lunch as a snack? The possibilities were endless.

You do you

Next up was dramatically downgrading my personal hygiene. Showering every day? Who did I think I was, Jennifer Lopez? I barely see anyone so who cares? Not I! Never has there been a greater time in our herstory to funk it up. If I get a little ‘ripe’ on the odd day or four, so what? If anyone comes near me I can just start screeching ‘Two metre rule! Two metre rule!’. As of today, it’s been several hours and three whole days, since I took the soap away.

That’s not to say it’s been an entirely easy transition. I caught sight of my legs the other day and actually yelped ‘What’s wrong with them!?’ Oh. Time to get the razor out, I suppose. Of course, you do whatever feels better for you. If that means showering more than ever or wearing extra bras (bra as face mask perhaps?) or popping your debs dress on as you WFH, I support you.

Now, I let that little organised voice evaporate and throw a fancy scrunchie on top of my nest of hair instead.

I am still getting used to my new way of working. Sometimes, I’d catch myself at a certain point in the evening with thoughts of ‘Better wash my hair’ ‘Better get lunch ready’ ‘Better find something to wear tomorrow’. It was the mental equivalent of catching my headphones on something - an annoying mind jolt. Now, I let that little organised voice evaporate and throw a fancy scrunchie on top of my nest of hair instead. I still get all the bits done but knowing I can do them in whatever order I want and whatever state I choose feels better to me.

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You’re doing great sweetie

Not all heroes wear capes and nor do they have to lather rinse repeat daily (with the exception of our handies - do not neglect them of course). All of us are figuring out how to get through this uniquely strange time so my advice as a completely non-qualified person is, do whatever soothes you. Whatever it is you need to take up or let go of at the moment is okay. And if that includes not looking perfectly groomed every day or Tik Toking your make-up routine, good for you.

You’re doing great sweetie. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to switch the immersion on. It’s time.

Esther O'Moore Donohoe is a writer and broadcaster. On her podcast The 80%, she interviews guests whose success she is 80% happy for.

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