In bad form? For no discernible reason other than you just are. Do you feel niggly and a bit frayed around the edges and keep having arguments with people in your head? Are you smashing the cups down a bit harder than usual? Do you have to count to seven hundred and twenty-eight and shout at the kids anyway? Have you forgotten about not sweating the small stuff? Does the small stuff seem like huge stuff that just keeps on mounting up?
I’m experiencing all of the above at the moment. I keep waiting for that shift, where it all rolls off my shoulders and the sun is bright again. Sometimes I can literally feel it lifting and other times it happens as quickly as the weight appeared in the first place.
I’ve made a list of the things I like to do when I am in bad aul form in the hope that I might feel a bit better, a little less stressed. You might like to try some of them yourself.
Exercise. Don’t shout at me. Honestly, this stuff works. It can be as simple as a walk or as brutal as a hard and fast 4k run. Just get out there and do it. I find that it is on the days I couldn’t be arsed with exercised it is the day I need it most.
Read something. Buy a magazine with lots of pictures in it if you want a bit of escapism or buy a book for something a bit more involved. Only you can know. Curl up somewhere or, like me, sit on the stairs with a cup of tea and ignore every sentence that begins with, “mammy!” or “He hit me!”
Buy a coffee. This morning I was seriously contemplating driving the twenty minutes to get my favourite take out coffee. I didn’t. I’m still kind of sort of kicking myself about it. But I went for that brutal hard and fast 4k run instead. I’ve put the coffee off for tomorrow.
Disconnect. From everyone and everything. I find this very hard to do as it can take me as long as three hours to even start the process and then the kids are home. But I try. I move slowly. Try to shut off negative thoughts and prioritise housework. The basics are good enough.
Make a list. And cross stuff off. I love lists yet at the same time they can make me anxious when I see how many things that are on it. I usually dissect them and put, on a separate bit of paper, all the small jobs, the things that can be done in town in an hour. Then I do them so I’m not looking at them anymore. The bigger ones that need to wait don’t look so menacing then.
Three things. Write down three things that you like about yourself, including physical attributes, recent achievements and something you’re proud of. Put them in a notebook and add to them each day. Don’t be modest. You are your best cheerleader.
Get your nails/hair done. Or whatever it is you enjoy doing, chose what relaxes you the most. Of course, if you aren’t up for small talk this little pamper could be more of a pain than an enjoyable treat. Take the first step. Maybe you can’t face it today but pick up the phone and make the appointment for the weekend or early next week. Something to look forward to. We all need that.
Be kind to yourself. So I’m having a
shite bad week. I roared
at the kids. I hate, more than usual,
the kitchen. I’m letting the small
things get to me. I mixed up the lunches.
I’m not focused and when things don’t work out I allow myself to wallow
in moments of terrible self-doubt. So I
make made sure I get enough sleep. I don’t
function well, or nicely, when I’m tired.
I make quick and easy meals like bolognaise or stir fry’s so I’m not in
the kitchen longer than I need to be. I drink
loads of hot tea. And I have accepted
that this week is tough. But I also
know that it will pass. And next week,
possibly tomorrow, will be better.
Drink wine. You were waiting for that one, weren’t you? I know you’re supposed to steer clear of alcohol if you’re in a blue. I would agree. But it’s ok to pour that glass, take the book or magazine, sit on the stairs, and be kind to yourself. If it is wine you need, then drink the damn wine. God knows even the nicest cup of tea in the world won’t take that edge off. It’s ok to put your own gas mask on first. Actually, it’s necessary to put it on first. It’s been a long time since I was on an aeroplane but I’m pretty sure the advice given in their safety talk is to tend to yourself before your kids.
After all, if you are starved and gasping for oxygen, how can you assist others?
Life is the same.
If you have tried all of those and you still feel murderous, change the sheets on your bed, get into it and sleep it off.
Failing that, ask yourself what would Teresa do? *Sorry, a little bit of lightness and frivolity at the end*