When I was a teenager I had the usual anxieties about my appearance and abilities. But now in my thirties I’m starting to feel more settled in my skin. That’s not to say I don’t often get hangups about myself. I spend hours questioning my parenting abilities. Wether I’m a good wife and struggle a lot with my weight and horrible skin! But latelt I can generally get my head back to a better place a bit quicker.
We all have our insecurities. Some stem from childhood, some are relatively new based on experiences. You may have always been told you weren’t the brightest spark, you might have been a spotty teen, you may look in the mirror and get anxious about your ability to do your job or feel down about your changing appearance (grey hairs, wrinkles or mum tum anyone?).
I hear everyone talking about being ‘stressed’. I say it myself sometimes. And I never mean to take away from people who are suffering from any form of mental illness when I use that word, but I do understand there are different levels of stress. I don’t believe anyone should be belittled for feeling like they are struggling and just because what you are feeling hasn’t been defined or even perhaps diagnosed, makes it no less real for the person suffering.
One of the best things I have come across lately is Mindfulness. A word that kind of makes my eyes roll unintentionally but infact has all the basics of what my mums always taught me. In essence it’s all about paying attention to the present and your own ability to gain more happiness. Now as a disclaimer I have no training in anything, everything I say comes from my own research, perception and experiences and should be taken as guidance and with a generous pinch of salt!
I start by picking a regular time during the day or week where I can take a little time out. For me it’s usually a Sunday afternoon or early evening. I go for a shower and thats my time for me.
I close my eyes and think about what is happening all around.
I think about things happening in my life and try and work out what I have no control over. I try and let these things slide away and give myself a pass on the guilt or stress. Every week I can have the same things crop up and they won’t go away. But just thinking it through, bringing it up and not ignoring it can make me feel better.
I like making lists, so I try and work through a mental to do list. (If it becomes too much or I have so much on my list that I am becoming stressed then I stop and bin it! It’s just good thinking through things that need done and other things that would be nice to manage. Working out what would happen if I don’t achieve my list helps me realise that it’s ok to not always get there.
I look in the mirror and judge everything. This obviously won’t be for everyone! But for me I enjoy a good nitpicking session. I work out if there’s anything I can work on – Fat arms…yes. Wrinkly eyes..no! I try and find something positive and find things I can accentuate.
Meditation is supposed to be incredibly good for you and there are loads of websites out there showing you how to start. For me it’s a no go, I can’t sit still! That’s just me and its not going to change. But I do practice the deep breathing excercises I’ve practiced and it does calm me. Breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8.
Finally I do a thankful and hopeful shoutout. I look at what and who I have in my life and what I have or could have ahead of me. It’s so easy to get caught up day to day in the worst things and by looking at the best bits it can give you the boost you need.
I hope you enjoyed reading and if you are at all interested then you should definitely check out Mindfulness. There are a lot of really great websites out there offering tips on stress management and for a busy working mum I know I need all the help I can get sometimes!
There’s is no shame in admitting you need help – we are not superheroes. And you don’t have to wait until you are at breaking point before starting to help yourself.
As always I love hearing from you so please let me know what you think and any stategies you use!