I was having a little think today about how busy life seems to be. Okay, not seems to be, is, how busy life is.
Let’s face it, we’re all busy. We all have jobs to get to, some of us possibly getting there on less than 6 hours sleep the night before. We all have errands to run, some of us are on the school run. Then there’s housework and homework to do. Health appointments, after school activities with the kids, meal times and then the dreaded bedtime.
It’s been a 12 hour day and you realise you’ve been fuelling off several coffees, a handful of Haribo jellies and the core of an apple your toddler didn’t want to finish.
Everyone else is watered and fed and your sugar levels are so low the comedown is horrendous.
It’s hard. It is bloody hard.
On days like this, and I have many, I struggle over my kids’ names. I mix up the lunches. I get my words confused and resort to issuing orders like “You in the blue top. Take that thing off the yoke and put it in the place.”
I get heart palpitations. My chest tightens and I feel like a tightly coiled spring because I haven’t done anything nice for myself. And I get pissed off. I turn into this screaming banshee of a wild woman and I have cried. The frustration of it all has reduced me to tears and my cry face ain’t pretty.
We all need to take time out and do something nice for ourselves. Even if it’s just 10 minutes and you chose to spend it staring out the window, chewing your hangnail, so be it.
A break is a break. Try to have a cup of tea while you’re at it though, or treat yourself to a glass of wine.
*Note. If it’s ten o’clock in the morning don’t stand at the window if you opt for the wine. Big brother is everywhere.
I’ve compiled a list of things that, if you are feeling the pressure, should help take down the boil. Some of these are tried and tested and others are just nice to do.
Fake it till you make it. Apparently even the act of plastering a smile to your face can cheer you up. Not immediately, give it a second or two. But just as your facial muscles are starting to ache, you’ll feel better and be smiling for real. It’s worth a shot.
Stroke a pet. It’s been scientifically documented (somewhere) that stroking a furry friend can raise your serotonin levels no end and it is these little happy darts that lift our mood. The furry friend benefits too so it’s all good.
Have a cup of tea. Coz you know, it solves everything. And it’s even better if there is a biscuit to dunk. Try to sit down as you enjoy it. Not in the car on a school run though. Remember, you’re trying to take time out.
Go for a walk. Sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do but this really works. Clip on those earphones, wrap up warmly and walk. Remember that furry friend mentioned above? Take them along for the company.
Turn off and shut down. Everything. Ignore Facebook, Instagram and whatever else is on the go because we all know there isn’t a single person alive who would post a “first thing in the morning” selfie. Social media can be so fake and it places most of us under immense pressure to have the life everyone else seems to be living. Turn that magazine face down for another time. Pick up that book you bought a week ago and read that instead.
Say no. It’s not selfish to say, “I can’t do that today,” or “I don’t want to.” Saying “yes” all of the time is what’s making your heart race and pissing you off.
Dance. What do they say? Dance like no-one’s watching. Your kitchen is the best place for a disco. Crank it up and go for it! Just make sure anything on the cooker is turned down first. Lesson learned!
Breathe. Sounds daft but slow, deep breathing really works. For those of you who have had a baby, think of your birth breathing. Same thing. In through the nose, pull it down to your toes and exhale slowly. Take five such breaths and if you’re still fizzing, open the door and pop outside for five minutes. Breathe in the fresh air and remind yourself that’s life giving stuff you’re inhaling.
I hope none of the above come across as condescending or preachy; I’m only an expert on myself and those are some of the things or actions that have worked for me.
In conjunction with Wellness Week Athy 2014. Let me know what your favourite Stress Busters are.