You know how strongly I feel that Mum needs to take care of herself in order to be able to look after the family? Well, that means we need a break every now and again. The important thing is to not make it more complicated than it really needs to be or to put unnecessary barriers up to a break. They don’t have to be expensive, or long, or that often to work. But they do have to happen.
The important thing is how it affects us. About 6 months ago the Big Hairy Northern One and I were looking into holidays, and I was wanting the works: childcare, spa, all inclusive, sun, sand, sea; basically Mummy gets to do nothing all day. BUT OMG the price. Apparently, the whole world had the same easter holidays this year, so things were priced enormously highly. The fact that I was looking so much from a holiday and pretty much welled up whenever self-catering was suggested was a big clue to the fact that I wasn’t taking enough regular breaks. So I took that as a big hint to improve my own breaks and we looked for different holiday options. We opted for some decorating, moving some bedrooms around (this will make sense why it was important when I post next week), a road trip for me and the kids, and a couple of long weekends with Daddy.
So these are the kinds of breaks that I take to keep me going on a regular basis. Which ones do you take? Do you have any you can share?
- Do an hours exercise once a week (Zumba on the xbox kinect fits my time limits and gives me a bounce in my step)
- Walk the dogs once a week on my own (this is my new resolution for time out from now on)
- Have a 4-6 weekly pampering bath
- Watch a bit of pure trash like Glee or Greys Anatomy
- Have a pamper once very few weeks like a hair cut, or a massage; I’m really lucky as there is an amazing Mum around the corner who has over 10yrs experience and is mega affordable (don’t read that bit SC, because it might make you put your prices up!).
- Just stopping for a moment to chill and look at a view, meditate, or listen to a relaxation CD (I recommend Andrew Johnson if you have an iphone, his apps are excellent). I love looking at the moon, grass on my bare feet, the smell of the sea, and the smell of a summers evening; they all work like magic on my stress levels.
- Sometimes you just need to pause for a moment in a hectic day and BREATHE for a second, it seriously doesn’t have to be longer than that.
Sadly I’m a work at home Mummy, not a work in an office Mummy, so although I get all the freedom I don’t get the lunch breaks or commute. Yes, I know that many jobs don’t get lunch breaks either, but even a commute with no kids tugging at the trousers would have it’s perks. Because Little Dimples screamed so badly in the car I got in the habit of leaving her at home with a lovely irish granny for the morning trip, which means my big perk is 15 minutes to call friends in the morning, or turn the radio on REALLY loud. It’s a fab perk, which I have to admit I probably don’t need as much now for Little Dimples, but I’m going to keep a couple per week for sanity and getting things done on the way home (thats my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
So if you get a chance this week, have a cuppa/glass of wine and sit down and think about what quick things make you feel better and give you a boost. Then have a think about how often you are doing them now; do you need to try to make an effort to do them more frequently? Oh and today, whatever the weather and whatever country you are in, go and stand in the sun/rain/wind/snow for a second and take a deep breath.
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If you have a friend who is struggling with exhaustion feel free to point them towards my blog, I have got so many tips to come, that I know they will help her.