Life today is very different to what it was just 25 years ago when I was a busy working mum with two children, living with a husband who was frequently travelling internationally with work. Communications were very limited – there were no mobile phones, WhatsApp groups or iPads then – so most of the time it felt as if I was a single parent.
Parents today have instant communication, high expectations on how to look, cook and try to keep the job going to help with the mortgage/rent/birthday parties and the demands on time, money and energy can seem endless.
In my consulting room, I see many people virtually burned out, trying so hard to be ‘good parents’, ‘good employees’ as well as keeping an eye on ageing parents. All this takes a heavy toll on an individual’s energy and this is the place to start to regain control of your life, health and sanity.
Here are some tips to put YOU back in control of your life…
This is taught in Yoga, Meditation and Pilates classes and is unbelievably powerful – but it must be done correctly to be effective. This means your shoulders do not move and the area just below your chest expands; hold the breath for three seconds and slowly expel the air through your mouth for twice the time it took you to breathe in. The effect of two or three such breaths resets your body systems, allowing you to think more clearly, reduce muscle tension and heart rate, all of which enhances physical and mental wellbeing. And you can do this anywhere you are without anyone knowing!
Develop a positive attitude by focusing on solutions to problems rather than the problem itself.
Use the skills you learn in the workplace to help you organise and plan at home.
Take control of your day by being prepared for what you expect to happen and accepting when things get changed. Change is inevitable.
Review your eating and drinking habits – you know what is good and what isn’t!
Switch off the Wi-Fi overnight and turn devices onto Airplane mode during the day, if you can, to reduce electromagnetic frequencies.
Do some deep diaphragmatic breathing any time you feel tense or wound up and just before you go to sleep as this will still your busy brain, allowing you a deep, restful, nourishing sleep, ready for the next day – whatever it brings. Consider meditation before drifting off to sleep to help you enjoy a deeper, more restful night.
*Ann McCracken is a scientist, psychotherapist, author and trainer in stress, wellbeing and resilience. She has decades of experience working with organisations and individuals and she is the former Vice President of the International Stress Management Association. Ann’s first book, The Stress Gremlins – is a practical self-help book with exercises and ideas to support good mental health. Her new book – How To Get Back Your Mojo [Filament Publishing] – takes the Gremlin concept even further; as a unique way of providing an explanation about how we react to situations and helps individuals to recognise their reactions and inform their behaviour.