Sometimes its just hard to smile, to pretend you’ve got it together, that everything is fine.
I’ve been feeling pretty crappy for a while, it comes and goes.
It’s a combination of things, more tired than usual, house bound due to rain, work stress, future life stress, blah blah blah.
When I get like this I know I need to have just a tiny bit of the fashionable ‘me time’. I really don’t like that term, don’t know why.
But how with everything that us primary caregivers do?
Well for a start my ‘me time’ can be anything from 5 minutes to an hour, it all depends but here are some things I’ve found to be useful when I need to clear my head.
Yes we are all breathing but we aren’t actually breathing correctly. Say what?
Yes we breathe to fill our lungs to stay alive but watch your baby, look how their cute little belly goes up and down with each breath. That’s because they are completely filling their lungs and completely emptying them. Most adults don’t breathe that way we take half breaths.
So just take 5 deep breaths. Put your hand on your tummy and when you breathe in feel your rib cage move up and out and on the exhale feel your belly push out. Try to breathe to the count of four.
I like writing (hence the blog) and I find just the act of scribbling stuff down releases tension.
It doesn’t have to be coherent sentences, just try jotting down the words that represent what’s bothering you. For example for me it would go something like:
tired, future, job, money, no time, when will it ease, doing everything, failure, lack of talent, bad mum.
I do this when Sidekick is entertaining herself for a minute but I’m there to keep an eye on her and then when I’m done or she is I can easily go and play with her.
This can be done one of two ways, either with your baby or if you get a rare opportunity without. In the week I try and go for a daily walk with Sidekick. I time it so its when she’s sleepy that way I can just wander physically and also mentally without any guilt that I’m not interacting enough with her.
If you do get a bit of time on your own do a different type of exercise. I either like to pump up the intensity, so I go for a run…ok a shuffle/cardio. I use free videos off youtube for that. I especially like BodyFit by Amy.
Or if I just don’t have that kind of energy I opt for yoga. Again youtube to the rescue. I love Yoga with Adriene.
To yourself, partner, friend, mum, dad, Aunt Ethel…whoever. Sometimes just the act of saying out loud what’s bothering you can release stress.
Even when I know what I’m feeling is either pointless, totally not the case or just darn daft I still talk to someone about it.
Once upon a time, in the land before Sidekick showers were for working days, a quick rinse and hair wash. Come the weekend I would submerge myself in a steaming hot bath, drink and a book and reelllaaaxxxxx.
Yeah not now.
I have come to appreciate the relaxing nature of even the quickest of showers. Just the simple actions of washing my hair, letting the water just wash over me.
If I’m lucky I may get a short dip in the bath at the weekend but they are rare, but still when the opportunity presents I squeeze in the bubble bath and read a couple of pages of a book.
It now takes me months to read a book.
Sometimes it can be as simple as treating myself to something. I’m not talking a big spend here, I’m saying eat a cookie, buy a bunch of flowers, eat peanut butter. Whatever it is just allow yourself it once in awhile.
For me just looking at some flowers makes me smile.
And peanut butter solves many a problem.
So those are my quick life savers to stop me going completely insane. What are yours?