What are your plans for the summer? I wonder if you are looking forward to it or dreading it? If you are a busy working mum then perhaps the prospect of juggling work with kids and home fills you with dread! As a working mum with two children with additional needs I really understand. I’ve written before about that swan-like feeling and I know that we tell people around us we are “fine” and inside we are really not. If you really want to be “fine” (inside and out) here are my tips on how to get the balance and have a stress free summer.
Adjust Your Mindset
This is so important. What we believe we can achieve. I really want to get this across. If you are waking each morning with a feeling of dread and then allowing your mind to get into that negative state of “ I’m stressed” or “I can’t cope” or “I hate my life” or “this is too much” or whatever it is that goes round in your head. Well, if you say this or think this even it will be like this. STOP! When you become aware of what you are thinking you can stop yourself. Change these thoughts into being more positive. Think of the opposites. So instead of stressed think calm. Instead of can’t cope think I can. I can do this.
As you brush your teeth each morning, look at yourself in the mirror an repeat to yourself “I can do this” or “I am …” (Insert calm/ confident / organised or whichever word resonates with you.)
I know. I’m always banging on about this. Taking a deep breath, having a breathing technique in your toolbox is incredibly helpful. The deep breathing releases endorphins, the brains feel good chemical. It increases natural calming and stress reducing feelings. So incorporating a breathing technique into your everyday routine or using when you need it will be incredibly helpful for those stress levels.
Change the Priorities
Oh I know all those things to do – and then the things you want to do and the things the kids want to do all add up to an awful lot – aagghhhh! So prioritise. Sort things into 3 lists.
A. The things that ABSOLUTELY must be done
B. The things that you’d like to BELIEVE could be done (But it’s ok if they’re not)
C. The things that you know you’ve not got a CHANCE of doing!
When you’ve sorted that, the go back to list A and see if you can adjust that list even more.
There. That’s ABC. Adjust, Breathe, Change.
Got a few other worries and stressors kicking about too? Here’s some extra tips for them.
There never feels like enough time. Oops, the you go, that’s a negative thought! I’m not being mean here but go back to Tip 1. When we tell ourselves there’s never enough time, then there simple won’t be enough time! When you are thinking more positively about time then breathe to calm your mind, then change the priorities. When we do this, we think more clearly so we spend less time firefighting and trying to think straight and more time actually doing.
I know, I know. What about the demands from others? From the boss, parents, in laws, kids (yourself!!). Again, sorry to be boring and repetitive here…Adjust mindset, Breathe (it really does stop us from jumping in and putting our foot in our mouth, or from shouting or from agreeing to things we don’t want to do!) and Change priorities. That doesn’t mean change the priorities to allow everyone else come top of the list. It means what I said up there and leads me nicely into my last bonus tip.
Bonus Tip for a Stress Free Summer
Here’s your bonus tip (you might not like it, but it’s worth it). Put yourself first.
Yeah right. Fat chance of that, so I’ll say it again.
PUT. YOURSELF. FIRST.
If you are running on empty then nothing is going to happen. Is it? I know this, you know this deep down too. Summer is not about how to drown yourself in guilt or bury your head in the sand of overwhelm. It’s supposed to be good for you too. When you put yourself first EVERYTHING will be better, easier, more fun. Imagine that. When you have a summer with more energy, more calm and more (actually) getting done! So take some time for you to refuel your energy levels, look after yourself, allow time to do the ABC and look forward to a stress free summer.