There are only so many times you can lose your shit uncharacteristically at your kids, or cry whilst sorting the washing before you realise things aren’t right. You’re exhausted by life. You need to make some changes to get your shizzle back into balance.
I was riddled with anxiety and I was sad a lot – I was basically just so exhausted by life that I could barely function. I started seeing a therapist in order to get the crazies out, but I also ensured I did a few other things that I know help me maintain a healthy balance.
Double edged sword. You feel shit so you don’t want to go, however, the second you finish you feel amazing. You just need to start.
I’d been letting my exercise slip. Too busy, too tired, and too many appointments were fairly high on the excuse rotation. I found I was only exercising about twice a week.
Caning myself physically helps keep my brain in check, but some people respond better to gentle exercise for brain wellbeing. Three to four times a week helps me to sleep better, focus better and feel better.
My booze consumption was sneaking up. This happened over a few years, and in the end I was drinking every single day. We all know that we should have a few days off a week. I was using alcohol as stress-relief to get through dinner/bed/bath routine.
Admittedly, my stress at witching hour is elevated, but I know that it’s worth it to be in control of my booze consumption.
I now aim to only drink three days a week. Note I said aim. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Human.
Speaking to a therapist and getting a few tips on how to cope with the stress of everyday life has been extremely beneficial. Even just having a safe space that I can go and vent without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings, or cry without fear of anyone think I’m losing my shit. Therapists are used to seeing people exhausted by life, so there’s no shame in rocking up and pouring out your all.
Life is stressful, and there will always be worries but learning techniques to keep on top of the pile of poo is pretty darned helpful.
Everyone kept suggesting that meditate to calm my bat shit crazy mind. I’m a bloody awful meditator. I have nightmares about a stint in Vipassana, so meditating is never gonna happen.
Mindfulness however is totally cheat’s meditation.
You don’t even need to sit still to do it. In fact, mindful activity is pretty cool too.
Just 100% focusing on what I’m doing. Feeling the way my muscles contract to move and the way the air hits certain parts of my skin. 100% in the now. 100% not stressing about stupid shit that’s probably not going to happen.
Ask for help
People often suggest they look after the kids, or we catch up for coffee, and I don’t take them up on it for one reason or another, but now I am.
People babysat my kids while I got stuff done, went out for a meal or even one day I had a cheeky massage. We all need a break like that from time to time. I have asked people for regular help, weekly help, and have found that they love to be involved in our lives. It’s actually a mutual exchange whereby everyone wins.
Remember this:To be a good mum, raise yourself first
I always eat well, but I also got serious about supplements. I’m really into fish oil as I’ve heard it’s not just good for the body, but also the mind.
After I got sick I needed to boost my immunity, and I wanted to help get my mind and body back on track. I ate for energy, and I ate food that I knew I would feel good about eating.
And a little ice cream because that’s good for the soul.
So, am I feeling fighting fucking fit?
For the moment.
I also know that there will probably be another episode some time where everything gets too much. I am a natural worrier and life can be tricky.
Now I know that I have the strength to say I need help, and the smarts to go and get it.
What do you do when you feel exhausted by life?
If you’re not feeling like you’re coping with life call a good mate or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14
Image by Abbie Bernet