There is no quick fix for a frazzled life, we all know that, but these are my favourite things to do that can easily fit into the busiest schedules as they don’t take much time or planning but can make a huge difference to your day. If even these feel overwhelming then simply start with one until it becomes a habit then gradually build more in over time.
1. Slow down, it isn’t a race. Stop, notice, breathe and just “be” in the present, not pondering what has been nor planning or worrying about what might be, just present, grateful and content for even just a few moments can really help gain some perspective. I started building gratitude into my day a while ago and it now just happens automatically, it can be for anything, something I use, someone I speak to, a cuddle, a hot drink… anything, just a slight pause to really feel appreciative makes a huge difference to your mood and outlook. A great time to be fully present is, of course, when you are interacting with family and friends, don’t be distracted or half present by simultaneously scrolling your phone, put it down or in another room if you can’t help but pick it up every 2 seconds and really get involved, giving somebody your undivided attention in this phone obsessed era really is the highest honour and all parties will certainly feel the benefit.
2. Prioritise what really matters – play that game with the kids, read an extra story, talk to your partner in the evening rather than watch TV straight away. I am a master procrastinator and I really think it contributes to my frazzle levels, instead of doing the important stuff I busy myself with pointless, time consuming tasks and then complain that I’m overwhelmed, haven’t done this that and the other and I never spend quality time with anyone….. you probably know the script…. Why do I do this? I don’t know, I’m just going to put it down to human nature for now. How do I stop… with an MIT list, 3 Most Important Tasks I absolutely must get done that day and by saying “F*!@k it” sometimes to anything else but YES! to a cuddle, game, den build or even a long drawn out tour of the latest Minecraft build or SIMS house!! These quality, distraction free interactions are what help to build really strong relationships and ultimately make you feel more content and present in the lives of the people you love most.
3. Delegate, I know, I know, I can hear you laughing from here, but seriously, you don’t need to do it all, you won’t win any awards for most burnt out and you’ll never EVER wish you spent more time on chores…. so dish some jobs out to the kids, many hands really do make light work and you can show them that if everyone mucks in things are done faster and mum is happier, less frazzled and has more time for them… YAY!
We have a cleaner as our house is pretty big and between home educating, working, blogging and being a mum having someone come in and blitz top to bottom every week is worth its weight in gold, the two older kids alternate emptying the dishwasher and hoovering the downstairs every day and we all muck in at tea time, not much to ask yet a huge difference for me, so have a look and see what you can delegate, if you think the kids will dig their heels in use incentives such as pocket money or extra screen time etc and you’ll soon start to feel the benefits of a lighter load.
4. Self care, we hear this phrase bandied around quite a lot and it’s because it is so, so important, but how many of us actually take it seriously and do it? Most people I speak to are still meaning to…… or trying to organise….. just do it….. NOW! Find a space in your diary, doesn’t matter if you’re so chocca that it’s in 2 weeks time, just find it and block it out… in pen. Whatever it is you do be it a bubble bath with that face and hair mask you’ve been meaning to use since Christmas, a walk on your own, workout or coffee with a friend…. even watching your favourite TV programme in the middle of that day can be quite liberating! Whatever floats your boat, book it into your schedule, it’s just as important as the school run or home learning time, kids clubs and work deadlines and way more important that most other things you fill your time with.
5. Let go of mum guilt, this really is the key to all of the above actually working and it is a biggie, but it’s something you MUST master. I know, I know….. that’s easier said than done, but practise makes perfect so start practising today because the only person judging you sat on the sofa with a cuppa watching Poirot at 1.30pm is…… yep…. YOU! Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t carte blanche to start ignoring your kids and all responsibilities, this is just regular, snippets of time to yourself so you can be a happier, calmer mummy and if you can get more than a snippet then fabulous…. enjoy! I know mum guilt is a huge and difficult issue so I’ve put together a separate article on it which you can read here.
I hope you find some useful tips here, remember if you are totally frazzled and overwhelmed (I’ve been there on numerous occasions) even these can feel like too much, start with one thing, whichever is most doable and build in more things as you feel able. Let me know your thoughts or share your own top tips in the comments.