On the MINT Business Club social media channels, we were asked to come up with one word to describe the difference in our business compared to 12 months ago.
My word was ‘existing’.
BlueJay Body, Mind & Soul came about thanks to the pandemic.
I left teaching over six years ago and became self employed. I then lost my business pretty much overnight last March as I had been working in lots of schools and nurseries.
I found the first lockdown incredibly tough, as I’ve always worked hard – and enjoy working hard – but I became full time looker-after-er for my two boys as my husband Mark is a children’s home manager. He continued to work every day (and has done throughout the pandemic) and at that time his work was 30 miles away.
I love my children dearly and mostly loved having more time with them (although it turns out endless time with your children with nowhere to go is hard!) but I really struggled with losing my identity so abruptly. I have long-term health conditions that made COVID a worry. My mental health suffered a lot and I felt useless and invisible.
I threw myself into completing my yoga teacher qualification, which I loved, and I knew I wanted to use it… but I was battered and bruised and knackered.
With the help of Mark and my friends, I slowly realised I wasn’t useless, I wasn’t invisible, it was just a really tough time.
And there was something I could do.
And so BlueJay was born.
Now, a year on, I’m loving teaching my yoga classes online and helping others through this crazy time. I’m also back in the classroom during the day, which I never thought would happen in a month of Sundays! That’s been a really cathartic experience as my exit from teaching wasn’t a pleasant one – I was quite ill.
Over the years I’ve questioned if I was ever a good teacher. And it turns out I was and I always have been. I now have a lovely team of colleagues who all support and appreciate each other and a management team who care about the wellbeing of the staff.
MINT founder Nicola said to me in a meeting: “Don’t worry about taking that job – we all need to do what we need to do right now,” and she was so right. It’s supporting me on the journey to growing BlueJay and it helps me to make a difference to students who have missed so much ‘proper’ school time.
And now I’m looking forward to planning and delivering my first EVER face to face classes – crazy!
I can’t thank my ‘Jays’ enough for sticking with me, chatting to me every week over Zoom and all feeling better together. And thanks to all the MINTies I’ve met too who are just so supportive and kind. It’s been an amazing few months despite the circumstances – and maybe sometimes because of them – and I’m looking forward to the next chapter 💙