HOW TO: RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF
Life as a mum can be complete and utter madness and busy doesn’t even begin to cut it. Regardless of whether you go to work, stay at home - and work or anything in between! There is so much to do. Cleaning, working, organising, house work, shopping, packing (there is always packing?!?!) entertaining… Relationships, social lives often take a back seat and self-care, pfffft.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the new life that is emerging around me and I wouldn’t change a thing but it’s taken me a full year to get used to the new ‘new’! I realised as I was trying to organise a catch up with friends that we haven’t seen in ages and the pile of laundry that was slowing pushing us out of the bedroom - it was in a holding pattern as it waited to get ironed! As well as the garden work and the house maintenance that is waiting that I looked down at my hands. Oh the nails! Then the jeans that just managed to get squeezed into that I’d lost that connection with myself. It’s a good reminder that life has gotten away but it’s now a good time to come back to myself. Afterall - you need to put your oxygen mask on first!
It really is so important to make sure you get unstuck from the ‘give, give, give’ cycle so that you don’t hit burnout with the stress and minefield of overwhelming feelings. It’s when we reach this space that snapping at those around us, mistakes, fear, unease and frustration takes a front seat and it’s a horrid place for everyone. So, how can you move yourself from reacting to consciously responding? After-all this is a technique that can be learnt. It’s time to bring yourself back to your centre.
The very first thing to do is to stop. I want you to think about when you get to the point of losing control, how do you feel. Do you notice that your throat becomes tight? Do you feel it in your back and shoulders? Lose your appetite? Do you find that you’re quick to tears? Whatever it is, identify it and notice it. Then, let it happen. If you try to cover it all the time you run the risk of making things worse so acknowledge the feeling and let it roll over you. Sit in it if you will! Next, ask the following questions:
Where are you physically wearing these feelings?
What happened to trigger them?
Can you take 5 minutes out to just be?
2. Turn the dial down
I’ve had someone do this with me and it works soooo well. Once you’ve identified that things are a bit out of control and you are feeling uncomfortable, you can dial down the feelings and re-telling yourself the story.
Tap your shoulder (either one) 4 times in time with 4 big breaths or imagine a dial on your shoulder and physically turn it down whilst breathing out.
Now, if you haven’t done so yet then take a minute to work out what triggered you by acting curious. Take yourself out of the equation and ask in a curious way, what happened that created such a response. By really honest. There is no feeling that is so ugly that you can’t acknowledge through curiosity.
Once you’ve got it. Write down one realistic thing that you can do to change the situation.
These are a couple of things that you can to pull yourself back from the edge but there are also some things that you can do to stop yourself hitting this point.
Cut down your screen time - in particular, your phone. Studies into social media is starting to show that it can have some negative effects if it is used constantly and to compare our lives with others. I’m a big believer that it isn’t the tool, it’s the way we use it.
Get outside. Making the time to get outside and reconnect with the outdoors can help shift our mindset and bring us back. A simple 10 minute walk can do wonders.
Create space. We can often become so busy being busy that it hits all our stress buttons. Learn when to say no and protect that space to have down time - even if that's to do nothing!