I decided to write about this topic when the prompts were first put up. On Monday I enthusiastically started a draft, which was largely superceded on Tuesday. So Wednesday arrived and I was back at the drawing board, scathcing my head. At this point, most irritatingly, our broadband connection decided to go AWOL, and suddenly I knew exactly what I was going to write about. You see, without the internet, I have been like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof and it got me thinking…
I find being a SAHM is, thus far, THE most stressful thing I have ever done but still I was really struggling to identify exactly what it was that I did to manage my way through it. I guess my overarching technique is, after attending to Star’s every need, to put myself first, as in ‘me’ time. My philosphy is that if I don’t invest some time in me to ensure that I am ‘in a good place’ then we are all in trouble. So if I feel the need to ‘chill’, that is exactly what I do. Whether it’s drinking tea, wathcing River Cottage or even blogging…the chores can wait. They will still be there later. There are days, and I’m sure we’ve all been there, when withour taking time out I feel meltdown would be inevitable !
I haven’t always been this way. In my corporate days I was so driven that I was a danger to myself and eventually paid the price. And believe me, eighteen months of prozac and counselling is not a price worth paying. Maybe this is why, now, I put myself first (as far as possible).
So, back to my stress avoidance methods…
- Drink tea. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this is like a hug in a mug to me. And to achieve maximum relaxation and to pander to my slight OCD tendancies, my tea drinking has an accomanying ritual. It must be very weak Earl Grey (the colour of chicken soup), it must be in a large bone china mug, and I must drink it sat in comfort with my feet up. Ideally I should be able to enjoy the moment in complete stillness and silence. Bliss
- . River Cottage. I love this program. Picture the scene as in 1 above, but this time watching Hugh, and cooking, and farming, and gardening, and foraging and the wonderful Dorset coutryside and coastline. This is the life I would have for myself if things were different and I love the escapism of watching how it would be.
- . Blogging. This was the one that I needed to be without to reaslise how much I have come to rely on it. It works for me on so many levels. I have always loved reading, not fiction, but about real life and useful stuff and with so many great blog posts out there I can always find one to suit my mood/need. I also find that when I post myself it is an outlet for my thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, experiences. All the things I would have shared with friends, clients, colleagues, most of whom are no longer part of my life, or at best, not to the same extent. Finally, and arguably the most important benefit, it enables me to feel part of a commnity and gives me a sense of belonging.