Do you do the Swan Effect? Do you spend time trying to look calm and glide gracefully whilst feeling like you are paddling madly underneath? Outwardly you are managing to look composed, keep up with that endless to-do list but inside you’re absolutely shattered, overwhelmed and feeling like you’re not coping.
It’s common, appearing calm and together on the surface, yet not quite showing all that’s going on. Deep down, there’s feelings of anxiety, not coping, guilt or failure. Maybe your stomach is churning or the pressure is building and you feel like there’s a weight on your shoulders or something heavy on your chest. Perhaps you’re just tired, beyond tired and short tempered? I know. In fact, that’s been me – frequently.
With two adopted children who have extensive trauma and special needs, life at home can stressful and demanding. Sometimes it can feel like its demanding all the time actually, especially when a day or week seems to be fully of phone calls from schools, strops and meltdowns each morning and night, more time and more care is needed for all those things which should be simple and straightforward. I know.
So what can you do to get back to feeling like you are coping?
What’s important? It might be that you really need that sleep, instead of staying up late trying to get everything done. Get your sleep. We all find it hard to function when we are tired. Never sacrifice your sleep, always prioritise it. Maybe it’s something else you really need, you personally. Put that to the top of your list.
Spend time with your partner or kids or friends. We are social mammals, we really need connections with other people, we need conversations, interaction and to laugh and find joy, somewhere, with – well, anyone really! Go and interact because it really lifts the feel-good chemicals and helps us to feel revitalised.
Seriously. Just leave it. Whatever “it” is, leave it. This might be the housework, shopping, kids homework, cleaning the car – whatever, just leave it. I know! Shocking suggestion, but really – the washing and tidying will still be there and it comes back far too quickly too, so leave it, just for an hour or day or so (I’m not talking about forever).
People only talk about the good stuff and the really bad stuff. So, when all you are hearing at the office or on the playground is people’s achievement, or even if you are reading about all this on Facebook or wherever, remember that it’s people sharing what they want you to know. They’re not going to show or talk about the fact that they are not coping, or the sibling rivalry and bickering that goes on every day are they! Will they’re tell you about that big pile of ironing that’s hidden somewhere? (that’s what I do!). So, filter information and only pay attention to what you want to, whilst keeping an amount of reality in mind. Don’t let other people drain you with their woes.
Delegate or Ask
Are there things you can delegate to colleagues or members of your family? Are there things you might hate doing that others don’t mind? Doesn’t matter if it takes them so much longer, it’s their time they use – not yours! Sometimes people just need to be asked because they have an attitude of ‘ you seem to have it under control’ or ‘I didn’t like to interfere’ or (my husband’s favourite) “you are so good at it”. Ask. I ask my husband to iron or buy an M&S meal for tea.
What is your idea of real, complete relaxation? Mine’s a sunshine and beach, which is not easily doable however, I will take myself off for a soak in the bath. What could you do? Read a book, do something creative, listen to hypnosis. As well as taking time to revitalise, take time to relax too – it’s important.
Hi, I’m Emma, Hypnotherapist in York with a particular interest in helping you with anxiety, stress, fears and phobias so that you can take back control of your thoughts and feelings. That way you can quickly and easily feel more able to cope with your busy life! There are no magic wands or quick fixes instead I give you personalised tools that work for you and fit with your lifestyle.