The Right to: Have some ME time.

Whether you have a hectic career, you are a busy mother, you work late or just have too many things to do: everybody needs some ME time. Stress is a killer. It is one of the causes of high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, depression. Stress is a part of everyday life and we meet it at times when we’d rather not, usually when everything seems to be happening at once. The best way to take control of it is to have some time away from it.

Taking ten minutes to read a bit of your favourite book or watch that programme you saved on SKY + can be the difference between keeping your sanity and reaching breaking point.

It is not selfish to have some time to yourself. Yet the pressures around us tell us we don’t deserve to put our needs first.

Last year I posted something on Facebook about wanting to pamper myself – haircut or massage, can’t remember. Many mummies liked it and could empathise greatly. One woman found her way to it and commented that I should be more focussed on my daughter and should not have time to think about myself. This kind of comment was not meant maliciously but it was written sarcastically and it did bruise me. I really struggled with being a preemie mum especially in the first few months. I had only worried about my daughter, so much so that I hadn’t left the house in ten weeks for fear of infection. I was neglecting my mental health which was clearly starting to affect my relationships with others.

If I hadn’t taken any time out for myself, seen a friend for a coffee, gone shopping, had a haircut, I would have gone insane. The stress was overpowering me and I constantly felt ill. I can deal with not brushing my hair for three days or eating lunch at four in the afternoon because my exhausted baby refuses to nap. I can handle waking five times through the night not knowing what is upsetting my baby or wearing an unchanged, sicky t-shirt all day. I can do all that as long as I have some time for myself.

I have been lucky. Even during the worst times with my husband this year, he has always given me a bit of “time-off”. He has taken baby our for a little walk or watched her while I read a magazine with a cup of coffee for ten minutes. In that sense, he was amazing.

Channel 4 in the UK, shows a programme called, ‘The Three Day Nanny’. The nanny goes and helps a desperate family in need of her services. Last week, they showed a couple at breaking point with twin girls. The mum looked after the girls for the majority of the week, solely on her own. She barely left the house and was unable to complete the simplest of tasks as the toddlers were such a handful. In an interview at the start of the programme you could see tears in her eyes as she seemed so anguished at not having any time to relax and do something exclusively for her. Sadly, she did not have a husband that offered her this. In the two years since the children had been born, he had NEVER offered her a hour on the weekend to have the girls and give her a break. He admitted it freely like it was a norm. I’m sure it does happen and many mums are put in this position.

To have a healthy relationship with anyone, you need to have breathing space. That includes your children. Many women get that when they return to work but like the struggling mum on the show, I will be at home every day looking after my little girl. It was my choice (to a point, we could not find affordable childcare) so some will say, “Deal with it” but I am entitled to have a break.

Thank you David for all those breaks you have given me.

And to the woman who told me off for wanting to take care of myself, like I said to you before:

Happy mummy = happy baby.

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A much needed rest!

My God do I need this weekend! I was allowed to leave work a little bit earlier today much to my relief. The stress of the end of term is getting to me. I shouldn’t let it but it does. I have not been dealing with stress very well recently and I have begun to have recurring heart palpitations. It tends to happen around the time of my menstrual cycle but can also be brought on by severe bouts of stress. At least it is Friday and I get to relax somewhat this weekend.

Keep calm Ros and enjoy it while it lasts.

Happy weekend people. Enjoy!

How to deal with stress.

I have been suffering with headaches these last few days mostly due to a stressful few weeks at work. Ibuprofen seems to do the trick but I cannot rely on pills to relax me and I certainly can’t take them every day. I am not very good when it comes to applying strategies to deal with stress even though it is the one thing that seems to impact greatly on my physical health and state of mind.

It probably doesn’t help that my mother went into hospital today for an operation. My husband has gone with her and having just finished a phone call with him, the results have been so so. Thankfully cancer seems to have been ruled out – at least for now and that was the main worry. She has been diagnosed with something less major and controllable. However, the levels of stress in me are yet to decrease.

Here are five ways to eliminate stress that I intend to use this week – without the aid of painkillers:

  1. SLEEP – Clearly I am not having enough. You are apparently supposed to have eight hours a night – at least! I can definitely tell you I am not. So, as of tonight, I’m getting some earlier nights.
  2. BYE BYE CAFFEINE – I drink far too much coffee, especially at work. On Tuesday I drank four very large cups of the stuff which is much more than I’m used to. I can honestly say that it did nothing to soothe me or relieve any stress. It is a well know fact that caffeine releases adrenaline into your bloodstream which in turn increases stress and anxiety levels. I’m limiting myself to half a cup in the morning and that is it! Green tea all the way haha!
  3. STAY POSITIVE! – This is a hard one especially at work but too much negativity leaves you feeling tired which leaves you feeling stressed. Plus, I am British, we do like a moan now and again! Here’s to putting a positive spin on things no matter how irritable I may be. Things can always be worse right?
  4. SING – I guess this plan is designed for me. Singing has always been a release and although I cannot call myself a ‘singer’, my voice won’t crack windows! Maybe it’s something to do with breathing and ‘opening’ your lungs that is relaxing. 
  5. MASSAGE – If I could get a massage every day then that would be heaven! It’s got to be the number one thing that relaxes me. Okay, that’s probably not going to be possible. But this is where I become even nicer than I already am and sweetly ask my husband to give me a few neck massages every now and again!

What’s the point in worrying? It’s time to de stress. 

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Hans Selye 

May Day.

Every year as a child, my father took me to the local Bank holiday, May day fair.

It was a day I looked forward to.

Gorging on barbecued burgers, dancing round the maypole, listening to the town Mayor, carefully eating the moorish candy floss enjoying as it melted in my innocent mouth. Holding my father’s hand proudly as we explored the stalls, rushing to the fairground rides and screaming as we spun around on the teacups.

Happy memories.

They did not last for long.

We stopped going and very suddenly I had nothing to hope for.

Today is bank holiday Monday in the UK.

I am off to my favourite place in London.

Covent garden. 

The one place in the city that brings me calm. Even though it is constantly busy and packed with tourists – I adore it. The hidden alleyways and bustling market, the delicious Deli’s and gorgeous restaurants. My favourite shops all lined up waiting to be explored. Street performers enticing children only to scare them. I just love it.

My husband is coming too. There is no one else who understands my passion for Covent Garden better. He loves the history of it.

Happy Holiday everyone!

HEAVEN TO ME.