AIBU to ask you to tell me you de-stressing tips and tricks?

(107 Posts)
babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 09:46:14

DH and I have a very hectic life. We have one DC (4 years) and have zero family/ friends around. So one of us has to be looking after DS and at all times, whilst the other works. this means that DH works most nights and we have little to relax together. When one is working, the other is doing house chores etc. The weekend is spent in groceries, cleaning, cooking and storing for the next week etc.

I do get some time to myself over the weekend but come Monday and I feel so tired and stressed. DH and I feel like we are always worrying about something, always rushing to get something done.

So what are your tips to de-stress and unwind your self over the weekend so that you can start afresh on Mondays?

thanks smile

bellasuewow Mon 20-Jan-14 09:59:57

Me and dh moved to a larger house and we are renovating it. We both have busy ft jobs and two dogs that need plenty of care and exercise. The drudgery can get you down sometimes but we decided to lower our standards a bit, whole place does not need or get top to bottom once a week anymore. We are split task between us ie I do the shopping and cooking and he does hoovering, I do dogs am and he does them pm etc this can be less overwhelming than both of us feeling we have the whole lot to do. Otherwise I suggest that you rota the cleaning like do laundry every day so its done by the weekend and say no to ironing, this has been a god send to us. If you have the money then get a cleaner for a couple of hours a week even just to do the floors and bathroom. Also are you too busy would you have a better quality of life if one of you worked for 3/4 days a week for the next 6 months or a year and can you afford that.
Watching with interest for others tips.

Objection Mon 20-Jan-14 10:10:37

Breathing techniques are a god send. lots on the Internet.

also just find the time every day to take 5 minutes somewhere private and quiet with a drink (tea is good if you like it) and sit and do nothing at all Just 5 minutes but it gives you time to take a moment, be calm etc.

Objection Mon 20-Jan-14 10:11:46

(my tips are all miniature ones as I work 7 days a week; haven't lost the plot yet though! wink it's the breathing techniques)

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:17:57

Hi bella,

thanks for answering,

We already have our set tasks. DH does the school run, grocery, bills and everything else that entails going to the market. He also looks after DS from morning till late evening/early night when I return. He works 4 days a week, 2 of which are 5-6 hours a day. We already struggle with the finances so him working even less would completely break us.

I on the other hand cook when required ( i get someone to help me cook a couple of times a week) I work really long hours because that is a requirement of my work.

Some of my distressing tips is that we ensure DS is in bed on time on Friday so we can spend some time together. I make DH and DS lavish breakfast on Saturday morning which relaxes me as I enjoy it and they also like the pamperingsmile

I take DS for a walk on Saturdays as it relaxes us both and I like spending time with him alone :L)

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 20-Jan-14 10:20:00

Gardening. And more gardening. Pottering in the greenhouse. Walking to the postbox. Mainly outside activities.

pussycatdoll Mon 20-Jan-14 10:20:40

You could use childcare so you don't have to work around each other

pussycatdoll Mon 20-Jan-14 10:22:19

So one of us has to be looking after DS and at all times, whilst the other works

But he's at school?

Joysmum Mon 20-Jan-14 10:27:20

I like long hot baths. I also prefer to work very hard and for as much in as possible to get ahead of myself and leave designated regular time where no chores are needing to be done and I don't need to think about the next thing in my list.

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:34:20

Hi Objection,

Thank you for sharing. What sort of techniques do you use if I may ask? I have no exercise in my daily routine at all. I guess I need to look into that as well. I'd love to start cycling but decent cycles and cycling gear is so expensive.

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:36:03


He is not at full time school yet and his nursery is at half hour drive from home. He goes 4 mornings a week.

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:38:16

I liking the hot bath suggestion and taking 5 minutes every so often to relax your mind.

My job is very technical and analytical and I have to make a conscious effort to stop thinking IYSWIM. So sitting quietly in a hot bath would help me unwind. I'm going to do this next weekend. Defo!

hazchem Mon 20-Jan-14 10:39:13

Yoga? I quite often do it with DS. I have a app on my lap top with loads of quite short yoga session 5,10,15 minute ones. So I can do one in the morning or after lunch or when ever. It helps

janeyjampot Mon 20-Jan-14 10:41:29

DH and I walk together, even if only for 30 minutes. We don't answer phones or look at texts etc, but make sure we talk. We started doing this when DD went to Rainbows and we had an hour together. Instead of spending it doing jobs or doing something alone we always spend it together, sometimes just walking around the block.

We find it really useful - being outside seems to be a natural destresser for us and the exchange of information and sharing of perspectives and viewpoints avoids the confusion and misunderstanding that sometimes accompanies busy lives.

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:42:23

thanks hazchem,

I will look into downloading some yoga apps. Would love to do it with DS smile

babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 10:44:06


thanks for the tip. I am looking to include exercise in our routine as a family. It would help us get fit and allow us to spend sometime doing something together as a family as well.

All very useful tips.
thanks everyone smile

BrickorCleat Mon 20-Jan-14 10:44:34

Running has saved my mental health.

Other than shoes, it's free and even 20 minutes daily is headclearing.

Walking together at weekends might be a way of spending quality time with your DH to discuss priorities and get your lives into perspective.

Eat healthily, get organised and try and sleep properly. Easier said than done but will make a big difference to stress levels.

Meditation and mindfulness are also really helpful.

BrickorCleat Mon 20-Jan-14 10:45:46

janeyjampot epic cross post. Walking together is like couples therapy with calorie burning!!

janeyjampot Mon 20-Jan-14 10:48:47

BrickorCleat great minds smile

hazchem Mon 20-Jan-14 10:52:46

If you use windows 8.1 the health and fitness app on the start screen has loads

MostlyLovingLurchers Mon 20-Jan-14 10:55:44

Yep. Yoga and meditation. I have a daily yoga and meditation practice and also do yoga with ds (3) who loves it.

The real answer is mindfulness - being in the moment and being kind to yourself. It changes the focus from doing to being, so that you are calm and relaxed while doing your daily tasks, rather than trying to get everything out of the way first so that you can relax. Like with yoga you focus on your breath. There is loads of info online or happy to recommend some books if you'd like.

Moomoomie Mon 20-Jan-14 11:23:18

Internet grocery shopping, saves loads of time and stress.

mimolette Mon 20-Jan-14 15:13:47

Don't discount cycling - there is some very pricey gear out there but you don't necessarily need it. I have a cheap 100 quid bike for decathlon which does me just fine for the commute to work. The route is quite nice, I get exercise and fresh air automatically in my day, plus head space (as can't read/work while cycling), plus save money on transport costs. Could you cycle your DS to nursery?
Also, if you get a lunch break at work, try to make the most of that - go for a walk, sit in a cafe (even if it's just nursing a cheap cuppa), get a good book etc.

Beastofburden Mon 20-Jan-14 15:20:31

It s going to get better soon as he gets to school. Plus he will be able to amuse himself much better in a year or so. In the short term, just knowing that is likely to help.

I recommend treats. Little things, like bubble bath and chocolate. Also exercise. Personally I like water, so I swim and have baths and no sticky little fingers, emails or phones can reach me there.

Mindfulness is a good thing.

specialmagiclady Mon 20-Jan-14 16:51:26

I can recommend play dates. IME, 2 four year olds = no four year olds under your feet. When they're 3, it doesn't work like that, but suddenly at 4, they can entertain each other for ages without doing anything too awful. You will have more tidying to do afterwards but you will get reciprocal play dates too. Someone else will pick your child up and -miraculously - take him away.

ashamedoverthinker Mon 20-Jan-14 16:53:54

Lower your standards - no one will turn up to inspect you.

ocelot41 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:02:51

I am really glad you have asked this question as we are in a similar boat (but nursery school age children). For me fitting in 2 x 45 min exercise classes is helping - although negotiating the time with DH is tricky. We are also going to be trying babysitting swopsies with a friend nearby so we both get a date night (ghastly phrase) every other week rather than once in a blue moon. Just a couple of hours out of the house helps us talk as a couple again. Will be watching this thread with interest!

FixItUpChappie Mon 20-Jan-14 17:23:25

I have a stressful job. I do not discuss it at home whatsoever. I don't bring stuff from home like pictures etc to decorate my office. I have a no mingle work-life policy. This has helped a lot.

When we get home, no matter how tired we are, we go for a quick walk around the block or jaunt to the park. It really does help.

Other little things - we use a slow cooker whenever possible so we aren't cooking when we get home. We limit sleep ins on weekends because while they are lovely they shorten the day substantially. My DH and I try to take about one vacation day a month where we send the kids off to daycare so we can focus on cleaning/household fixes/errands etc.

I am resistant to getting bogged down in "getting things done" on the weekend. I would personally prefer to jam tasks into weekday evenings so that weekends are free for family time. Enjoying each other, taking the kids out and giving them our full attention.

Pixielady83 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:31:23

I love a good soak in the bath. I also treat myself every few months or so to lunch out with a friend and a spa treatment. Even if it's only once or twice a year it's still a nice treat and makes me feel like me again. Our housework standards are lower than pre kids too - the important things like bathroom and kitchen are cleaned regularly, laundry done and put away, dishes etc but other stuff gets done as and when if we have people visiting who have pristine houses

WitchWay Mon 20-Jan-14 17:35:08

Fresh air & exercise, preferably together - I go out on my bike, sometimes with family, mostly alone - amazing what it does for me grin

flyingbebe Mon 20-Jan-14 18:03:22

When I had a stressful day at work, I used think it over to death about what I could have done better on my way home (which took about half an hour). I gave myself that time to worry about it and when I got home, I told myself that I was done worrying about something I couldn't change. Telling myself not to worry about it wouldn't work, so I gave myself an allocated time and after that time had finished, so was worrying over it.

Normally I would find a book quite helpful, something about getting involved in a completely fictional world and someone else's problems meant that I stopped thinking about my day for a while and allowed me to calm down.

violator Mon 20-Jan-14 18:17:41

We also have one DC and both work fulltime. DH leaves at 8am and is home for 7pm. I leave at 1.30pm and get home at 11.30pm.

Every Saturday morning DH takes DC swimming. I do a quick clean up and grocery shopping in that time. Once a month I give the house a good declutter and clean and the rest of the time it's about maintenance, it takes 10 minutes to clean the floors, 10 to clean the bathroom. I do dishes as I go. We don't have a dishwasher or a tumble dryer.
I do laundry twice a week, there's only 3 of us in the house so no need to do it every day. Most of my clothes don't need ironing, I hang things very carefully! DH irons his own shirts for work. So a maximum of 20 minutes' ironing a week.

Some Sundays I'll make a large lasange and a pie, or a curry they keep us all fed for a few days and can be frozen, you can easily throw some salad together. That takes an hour. Is your DC fed at nursery? That's one less meal to think about.

Maybe you need to lower your standards a little if it's taking you all weekend to clean and cook.
When I first returned to work fulltime I was in a tizzy but then I slowed down and realised that the house does not need to be immaculate, and is less messy than it was when we were home all day. I often grab an M&S meal for dinner. Whatever makes life easier is good for everyone.

Try that and you might find you're not as stressed.

For stress relief I like Mindfulness, going to the gym, meeting a friend for coffee or a cinema trip.

Twicethehugs Mon 20-Jan-14 18:19:08

A well timed thread for me as I'm going back to work soon so more ideas are good. I've got twins that are nearly one. So far what I've found helpful is meditation/mindfulness - body scans are a good place to start as helps you notice any areas of tension in the body and gets you to focus on body rather than mind if your thoughts tend to run away. Also acceptance of the situation, not always easy to do but if I can it helps as otherwise waste a lot of energy worrying about things I can't change! My husband works long hours but comes home early on a Friday if he can so I can go swimming all on my own which is lovely, even having a shower without babies around. Exercise with long walks with the buggy too. And doing small nice things with my husband e.g. Occasional take away/ meal out/bag of giant chocolate buttons/walk - no family around either so all either with our babies or with them asleep upstairs. I agree with lowering standards too - our house is clean enough but usually pretty messy!

Mabelandrose Mon 20-Jan-14 18:56:06

Gardening, walking, baths, and massages/facials/hairdressers.

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 19:02:04


My top tip for weekends is: section off the time into three chunks each day - morning, afternoon, evening. That's six in total or seven if you include Friday evening. Each chunk is about three hours with space either side for eating and all the routine stuff like baths and phone calls.

Make sure you and DH have one chunk each totally to yourself - he can go and watch footie at the pub if he wants, you can go swimming alone (or whatever) while the other person minds DC.

Then spend at least one as a family doing nice stuff, preferably outside. Go to the park, to a petting zoo or farm, or to the seaside, cycle in the woods, or walk round a castle etc. Getting outside helps cure that horrible jet lag feeling you get when DC are small and you're exhausted.
If the weather is truly filthy

Spend one together with your DH with or without friends. Get a sitter and go to the cinema, or have close mates over for dinner and wine. Keep it simple. Even if it's just an M&S £10 dinner in and a dvd - it's still time you have agreed you'll enjoy together, which is subtly different from dropping onto the sofa watching rubbish and eating crisps.

One chunk (usually Saturday morning in our house) is the 'get organised' chunk where you get ahead on laundry, everyone mucks in and does chores. As DC grow, this is when they can do their homework/tidy their rooms etc.

That leaves one chunk of time left to do whatever else needs or wants to be done - going round the shops or going to church, having DCs friends over or just vegging on MN etc.

It sounds horribly over-planned, but the reality is, it stops feelings of guilt or resentment over who gets to do what when. It encourages family time together, both mucking in to do chores and also getting out and about to have fun together. I organised our weekends to work like this about two years ago and at first it felt a bit control-freakish but now it's so natural that weekends just work out this way without any negotiation. We know we will all go out as a family, we know Dh will do his own thing at some point, then so will I, and we are all far better at give and take.

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 19:03:36

If the weather is truly filthy - erm, do something nice inside somewhere, obv!

IsSpringSprangedYet Mon 20-Jan-14 19:12:47

Sorry, nothing constructive to add, but just realised I don't de-stress at all. I tend to come on here or facebook and procrastinate blush

Hoping to get jogging again if I can arrange someone to watch the baby for an hour for a couple of mornings. That would be how I would normally relax, then a long shower after. Lovely. Hope you work something out.

Merguez Mon 20-Jan-14 19:44:00

At the age of 4 your ds could be in nursery for two half days a week. That gives some time for the partner who is at home to catch up on chores so you both have time to relax at weekends.

Reastie Mon 20-Jan-14 19:48:34

Marking place. Must destress <writes it on the stress inducing to do list>

Kindlethefourth Mon 20-Jan-14 19:59:36

Find an ironing person!! Best feeling in the world when he disappears carrying a basket away. Worth every single penny

Kindlethefourth Mon 20-Jan-14 20:00:09

And batch cooking and freezing for mid week has given me so much time back.

daisystone Mon 20-Jan-14 20:02:21

Another vote for hot baths. Hot baths are the cure for everything. Stress, period pain, despair, general knackered-ness. They are particularly good if accompanied by a large glass of wine and the radio.

15 minutes lying down on the bed deep breathing with eyes closed is good too.

SpanishGoatFlower Mon 20-Jan-14 20:12:49

Hot baths and listening to classical music with a glass of wine and a candle burning.....mmmm

stayanotherday Mon 20-Jan-14 20:43:39

What a great thread!

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 21:09:23

totally agree with Isspring that jogging is the best de-stresser in the world, but not sure I'd have been able to face it when sleep deprived and shattered.

Pilgit Mon 20-Jan-14 21:15:15

what we do - don't always achieve but....
1) give chores a finite time frame - chores always expand to fill the time available.
2) lower your standards - does it really need to be done? does your bathroom really need cleaning daily/weekly?
3) make sure everything has a place so everything can go in its place (easier to tidy up)
4) have a hobby that makes you think about something else - I knit (and mumsnet....)
5) make sure you do at least one fun thing as a family every day of the weekend - it doesn't have to be massive or expensive, the park, a board game (or a sock fight - for some reason my youngest finds emptying the sock box the height of humour and throwing socks around the FUNNEST THING EVER - strange child, but simple pleasures)
6) plan meals
7)use online supermarket ordering - no grocery shopping (I used to it on my commute to work from my phone)

Fishmilkshake Mon 20-Jan-14 21:16:53

Babacoon, bikes and cycling gear are not expensive. You don't need fancy stuff, just a second hand bike off eBay or even freecycle, an old t-shirt and leggings or just your normal clothes if you don't go that fast (which I don't). I find it wonderfully exhilarating and it helps me think. (Being pregnant/ pushing buggy/ going at a small child's pace for years, it feels amazing to just freewheel downhill!)

Also, are there any more major aspects of your life you could change? I spent ages thinking I wish we had a car, wish we had a dishwasher but we can't afford them. I stopped working for a few months (redundancy) and I realised if I am not killing myself to do the nursery run, get to work and the same in reverse every day, I don't actually need a dishwasher. I have plenty of time to just do the dishes! I can shop locally and find out where does great cheap fresh veg, where to buy nice bread for 99p etc. Before when I was working this just wasn't an option.
I have gone back to work now but those few months did me a world of good.

Btw good luck, it does get easier when they go to school full time, til then you must remind yourself not to wish the years away, they pass quickly enough and you never get them back.

Go outside.
It doesn't matter what you do when you are there, just eating toast and drinking tea outside rather than inside makes you de-stress
Walking is perfect - I see lots of others have said that before me
Garden pottering, worm hunting, anything that gets you out will help you de-stress.

Good luck

tinytalker Mon 20-Jan-14 22:18:10

Take up a craft. I found that I was really good at needle felting and make little teddies for friends, book marks, magnets, xmas tree ornaments etc. I find it very therapeutic whilst listening to music. Find something you are interested in and would love to try and look up tutorials online. You get a great feeling of satisfaction too to give something you've created.
Also try meditation, I do TM. I bought my kids the Relax Kids cds which they listen to at night and if they are stressed out after school.
I like read the papers or a good book too, nothing too taxing!!

gordonpym Mon 20-Jan-14 22:19:46

I started boxing 2 years ago and I love it! I'm tiny, but I truly enjoy punching the big (and young) guys, It's really hard, but it feels so good!

fhuzzah Mon 20-Jan-14 22:40:35

meditate. just 10 minutes with some relaxing music and concentrating on nothing but your breathing is very relaxing. I find it just the thing after a stressful day.

missymayhemsmum Mon 20-Jan-14 23:17:32

Praise yourselves and each other, notice everything that goes right in the day, and be wise enough to realise when it's time to stop for the day, even if you haven't done everything on your 'list'. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to celebrate your achievements, instead of feeling crap because you couldn't do everything.

Go for a walk at the weekend somewhere beautiful, or if it's raining take your ds swimming or something. Do your weekly shop online except for a leisurely market trip? Cultivate some friendships with parents of children the same age so you can swop playdates and eventually sleepovers?

Lower your expectations- if the house isn't a health hazard, your child is happy, the fridge is full, bills are under control and you have clean clothes for work you are doing well enough!

TwoNoisyBoys Mon 20-Jan-14 23:22:03

Great thread......marking place! I usually do the hot bath thing to relax. I'm really looking forward to the spring, as someone else mentioned just getting outdoors is brilliant. I love my first coffee of the day in the back garden smile

ssd Tue 21-Jan-14 08:16:04

yes great thread!

I'm very interested in learning more about mindfulness, can anyone explain it to me? brain rushed from one thing to the next, holding grudges, worrying over the future, missing the past.....and it exhausts me...any tips about mindfulness would be very welcome xx

BsshBossh Tue 21-Jan-14 09:26:28

The things that have been most helpful for us:
- Lower your standards re housework
- Weekly internet grocery delivery
- Encourage DC to play independently so you get me time whilst still with DC
- Remind yourself that soon DC will be in fulltime school (look forward to it; it'll relax you!)

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 21-Jan-14 10:07:22

ssd - mindfulness is very simple but needs practice to be effective. As briefly as i can, the idea is to quiet down the doing mind that focusses on what is happening in the future or things that have happened in the past, and brings us to a state of just being in the moment. So, whatever you are doing, however mundane, you give all your attention to doing it, see all the details you normally miss.

If your mind wanders you bring your attention back to your breath and to the moment. You don't berate yourself for your mind going off, but just note whether it is planning, worrying, fantasising, etc, let it go, and come back to the breath. You normally also have a meditation practice as part of mindfulness, but really it is something you learn to live all the time. It doesn't mean that you never think about the future or past, just that when you do so you do it with intent and awareness.

It really does work. It is even available on the nhs now as a way of dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. Any questions, do ask.

ssd Tue 21-Jan-14 10:12:50

thanks for is it a sort of mind training? how do you control your mind when it wanders off all the time, I find this really hard, I've always been a very anxious person and I find just being in the moment difficult.....also how does it work with grief? I recently lost my mum and my mind is full of what happened then and since, I find it very hard to let it go and live in the now, my heart wants to be in the past but its not there now and I find the here and now difficult and lonely.

fascicle Tue 21-Jan-14 10:31:34

The weekend is spent in groceries, cleaning, cooking and storing for the next week etc.

It sounds like your weekends are very hectic. Can you re-evaluate the things you do, and simplify them - take less time; do them another time; do less frequently etc?

You don't say how long you spend cooking, but another approach would be to make a list of evening meals with a time allocation for each. Then make at the time, according to time available/time you want to spend on them. (Quickest meals here would be veg noodles or garlic mushrooms on toast plus side salad - both take about 10 minutes). Also useful to have in mind other meals which take longer, but aren't labour intensive, allowing you to do other things while they cook.

Could also approach cleaning in a similar way, cleaning as you go/as you use a room, using small units of time rather than hours of sustained effort (I do this with e.g. the bathroom after I've used it. Seems like very little effort if I'm already there).

As has been said, things are bound to change/get easier when your DS is at school.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 21-Jan-14 12:49:42

I am a bit puzzled. I'm a SP. I have two kids. I work FT running my own business and I don't feel as stressed / busy / overwhelmed as you do. Not sure exactly what you're doing to make you so pressed. I feel like I must be missing something!

I'll also second running as a de-stresser. It's totally headclearing and the one time in a day when I'm not a mom, worker, daughter, friend etc etc. I'm just me

MrsGoslingWannabe Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:08

Its all relative Bit and depends on personalities. I only have 1 DC but her & her father are highly-strung, high-maintenance people which drains me.

Great tips though MNers!

BitOutOfPractice Tue 21-Jan-14 13:06:56

I know that MrsG. It wasn't a criticism. I was more worried that I was missing something I should be doing!

MrsGoslingWannabe Tue 21-Jan-14 13:16:51

Oh I see Bit sorry blush

MorrisZapp Tue 21-Jan-14 13:18:57

ASMR videos on YouTube. Google gentlewhispering, she's amazing. I fall asleep to her voice every night.

Moggy72 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:25:53

Mindfulness ...try a blog called zen habits ...lots of ideas on how to improve mindfulness.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 21-Jan-14 13:37:52

That's OK MrsG - I did sound a bit accusing in my first post blush

I definitely find there are times wehn I can cope better with being busy than others (hormones? tiredness? run down?)

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 21-Jan-14 14:08:57

I was thinking that BitOutOfPractice! Our weekends seem quite long sometimes, although it's just the two of us. I seem to get housework done on Saturday mornings when ds watches tv and then we have a bit of lunch and go to the park, or go visiting friends.
I only really get stressed over money and certain troublesome family situations, but not over being too busy.
There are lots of things I don't bother with, like ironing and batch cooking.Or cleaning windows and things very often (i.e xmas and birthdays!) <slob>
I don't have a partner though so maybe not doing the "wife" bit of "wife and mother" is less stressful?
Agree about outdoors stuff though. I am dying to get out onto my veggie patch in the spring while ds "helps" i.e runs away from worms.
I reckon 4 is about the time when it all gets easier anyway, because they can do their own thing a bit.

fatlazymummy Tue 21-Jan-14 14:25:33

Swimming does it for me - proper lap swimming, the harder I push myself the better. I tend to have high blood pressure and my practice nurse recommended it to me.

fatlazymummy Tue 21-Jan-14 14:27:57

I also like to go on a nice long walk by myself when I have things on my mind.
Though of course the 'by myself' bit can be difficult when you have young kids!

ContinentalKat Tue 21-Jan-14 14:36:51

Lower your standards and aim to do less.
Look up "15 minute a day cleaning schedule". Follow that and there is no cleaning at the weekend!
Online grocery shopping during the week.
Saturday = chore day, plan ahead
Sunday = family relax day, plan in some me (and dh) time.

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 21-Jan-14 16:03:16

ssd - i'm sorry for the loss of your mum. There's an article here that may help a little.

Mindfulness is not about controlling your mind. You don't try to stop your thoughts or feelings - you let them come but you don't hang onto them. One of the most important things i've learnt is that thoughts are not facts - you acknowledge them but don't focus on them. The important thing is to notice your mind wandering and then bring it back rather than trying to fight what is a perfectly natural tendency of the brain to want to solve every problem, even those that don't really exist - your mind wandering is not any kind of failure. The very act of acknowledging each thought before it goes can give you an amazing insight into how your mind works and what it is actually spending your time and energy on.

I think these may have been linked to already, but both these websites have a lot of good info:


ssd Tue 21-Jan-14 18:58:10

thank you x

Taffeta Tue 21-Jan-14 22:33:33

Stroking the cat and listening to him purr always de stresses me

drwhom Wed 22-Jan-14 16:50:30

Echo some of the other comments here:

Exercise - in any form, as many times as is humanly possible.

Reflexology - I find this incredibly relaxing

Yoga - laughter yoga is well worth a try too - there are loads of apps and youtube vids around.

Address the spiritual aspects of stress - pray, read, learn - depending on your inclination get to a great church, I really enjoyed reading The Buddhist Boot Camp

If you fancy trying a bit of micro meditation (even a little bit helps) then try

Wishing you good mental health x

ecuse Wed 22-Jan-14 17:25:29

It's not so much 'special me time' but I have an intensely stressful job, commonly working 50+hours per week and I often find myself going to bed at 1am/2am with THINGS and LISTS buzzing round my head so that I can't sleep which is even more annoying when I have to be up at 6.30. In that situation I listen to sleep hypnotherapy tracks from YouTube on my phone, which send me to sleep in about 3 minutes flat.

sweks Wed 22-Jan-14 18:41:25

Great thread! I am mum of 3 kids (7, 5 and 3) and my husband and I are self employed making life pretty hectic. Sometimes I get so stressed I get palpitations and panic Attacks. I have had some councilling and it did help. Making lifestyle changes such as factoring in some form of exercise a week, lowering expectations and trying to plan ahead helps but there are some good suggestions on here. I am going to explore the mindfulness idea.
Thanks smile

mizu Wed 22-Jan-14 20:02:17

A hot bath and a good book. Seem to be having a lot of thoses lately confused

daisystone Wed 22-Jan-14 20:15:42

ssd - really sorry to hear about your Mum. Have you thought about grief counselling. Sometimes it helps to talk it through.

Taffeta - yes stroking a cat! Have not had a cat for nearly four years since mine was run over and can't get another one now as DD too young and house too small etc and on main road, but I definitely agree about it being a de-stresser. Best thing ever for relaxing.

Essential oils are good. Some lavender oil on your pillow or burn in an oil burner. You can buy loads of sprays these days as well that are supposed to promote relaxation.

I also like to listen to classical music that is soft and easy. A bit of Debussy, maybe some Vivaldi or Elgar. Even some Italian opera works for me.

TiggyOBE Wed 22-Jan-14 20:15:57

This is my 5 minute de-stress:

Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC

play it loud!

baies74 Thu 23-Jan-14 09:28:15

Make sure your Vitamin B and Vitamin D levels are normal by taking a blood test at the GP's. They're essential to help you withstand stress.

Take intense aerobic exercise for very short periods (2 or 3 mins) whenever you feel stressed. A skipping rope or Hula hoop is ideal, especially if you can't get out of the house. If you are exercising so intensively, you're body is working so hard it doesn't have time to fill your brain with thoughts. Quite apart from the health benefits that Michael Mosley claims this form of exercising has.

Mindless creativity: tasks that are mechanically easy (so no need for concentration) but nonetheless satisfying. Knitting and counted cross-stitch are good, as is painting by numbers or even colouring books. "Proper" creativity is not de-stressing if you suffer from perfectionism, as most creative people do.

When doing stressful tasks, try to do them in very pleasant environments if you can. For example, I always do my expenses/budget spreadsheets in a cafe with my favourite cake and leaf tea.

Do a digital detox. Go out for a walk with no mobile or even better, have a day where use of the phone and the internet is not allowed. Switch off your phone and put it away now and then. Initially you'll feel stressed at the thought of being uncontactable in an emergency; within a few weeks you'll know a genuine emergency is a very rare occurrence indeed.

Unsubscribe from Facebook, Instagram and blogs. Other people's beautifully curated but not truthful lives are not going to make you ever feel good about your own.

principalitygirl Thu 23-Jan-14 09:31:16

MrsG - I empathise. I think susceptibility to stress is v individual. I'm someone who feels stress more than others for sure.
At especially stressful times in my life I've found listening to short hypnotherapy type relaxation CDs v helpful, especially at bedtime if sleeping is a problem. DH ended up listening too and despite being sceptical, was won over as he had an amazing night's sleep afterwards.
Day to day I find running, yoga, a cup of tea - herbal or other - and a bath really helpful.

Bit - you sound like a coper! You have a lot on for sure. How old are your kids? Just genuinely curious / looking for tips on how you fit in running daily as a SP working FT?! What do you do for childcare while running?

principalitygirl Thu 23-Jan-14 09:33:15

MrsG - maybe limit chores at the weekend to what you can get done in 2-3 hrs then stop?! Have at least one weekend day with no chores.
Getting groceries delivered is a big help for me.

principalitygirl Thu 23-Jan-14 09:36:10

Sorry, just read full thread and saw that ecuse already suggested hypnotherapy!
Oh and I meant to namecheck both MrsG and the OP babacoon in my posts...!!

baies74 Thu 23-Jan-14 09:39:06

YYY to the hypnotherapy CDs. Paul McKenna does not seem to be a Mumsnet favourite but his CDs are fab. 'Instant Calm', 'Be Happy' and 'Change Your Life in 7 Days' are particularly good. Mindfulness isn't easy but anyone can listen to a CD.

Keep a notebook by your bed and at the front write anything you suddenly realise you have to remember for the next day or week. At the back, keep a a daily entry of everything that has gone well that day and everything that makes you feel grateful in your life.

principalitygirl Thu 23-Jan-14 09:43:38

I defy anyone to stay stressed while listening to Gymnopedie 1 by Erik Satie - bliss!!

principalitygirl Thu 23-Jan-14 09:45:47

Another beautiful relaxing classical piece is I Giorni by Ludovico Einuadi. You'd probably recognise it from BBC trailers last year. Gorgeous piano piece that's instantly calming for me.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:27:22

havent read the whole thread but really life shouldn't be that stressful with one dc and no job for you? Have I missed something?

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:29:00

just to put in context

we have three dcs, three dogs, two ponies, both work (him full time own business - me school hours own business) no family, no domestic help

and I am only just beginning to feel a bit stressed out

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:36:23

ok I see you have a job

I really don't think its normal to be this stressed especially this obsession with cooking and cleaning - you have someone to HELP you cook?? and I would surmise that there is something else you are worried about/unhappy about


craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:38:37

is your ds not in nursery? are you living in the UK?

baies74 Thu 23-Jan-14 10:43:37

Some of these "You shouldn't be stressed, my life is much more stressful and I cope just fine" posts are spectacularly rude and ignorant.

You know nothing of the OP's upbringing or her health, not to mention her personal relationships and work or financial situation. All have a significant effect on people's ability to withstand stress.

The OP asked for tips, not stealth boasts. Well done you for having such a bombproof psyche. Let's hope the big left hook of Fate never decides to teach you a lesson in humility.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:47:26

ha ha

not at all rude

I am sorry but having one child and a job should NOT be sending you into the stratosphere

if there are underlying reasons (and there must be) then she should say

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:48:43

and ditto - you know nothing about me and my psyche

and being cheerful and having humility is what keeps me going tbh

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:54:12

if the OP was my RL friend and she came to me with this problem

I would tell her to get ds into a nursrey
to lower her standards
to do something that makes her laugh every day
to learn to cook simple easy food and dh too
to go out once a month with her dh for the evening

baies74 Thu 23-Jan-14 10:55:06

I don't need to know anything about you to know that you are ignorant (because you posted whilst admitting you didn't read the thread) and lacking in humility (because your series of posts are boasts about your own ability to withstand stress).

Keep out of the way of Fate's left hook, it has ways of teaching you the lessons you need whether you think you need them or not.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:56:51

ooh you don't sound like a very happy person

I am a bit sorry for you although I am sure knowing that will send you demented

thesaurusgirl Thu 23-Jan-14 11:33:13

The OP asked for tips, not stealth boasts. Well done you for having such a bombproof psyche. Let's hope the big left hook of Fate never decides to teach you a lesson in humility.

Craggy Hollow You're the one I feel sorry for. No kindness, no empathy. No friends, too, I expect.

thesaurusgirl Thu 23-Jan-14 11:35:28

If we can get the thread back on track, I like scented candles or an oil burner and some essential oils. Or a spritz of perfume. Or some posh shower gel I keep for just such occasions.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 11:47:47


I am sorry if my post came across as a stealth boast

It wasn't meant to be.

sausagefortea Thu 23-Jan-14 12:07:33

Thank you for this post OP (and everyone) - its exactly what I needed to read today! I feel like I'm not the only one who feels constantly on the relentless gerbil wheel of life. Some great tips.

Squeakygate Thu 23-Jan-14 13:55:27

I have lowered my standards! I only iron dh's work shirts, school uniform and our bedding (it's a small pleasure in life getting into ironed bedding!)
I pay for the school age dc to have school lunches so I don't have to do a big meal at tea time for them.
I also run. The fact I get time on my own and time to exercise is great. I really enjoy it. Once every two weeks I go for a walk with my friend. It's lovely to catch up and get fresh air at the same time next week we are going for lunch though instead

HappyMummySal Thu 23-Jan-14 17:19:58

I know exactly how you feel. Me and my husband work full time although my children are 7 and 11 so it is a little easier as they can entertain themselves for a while. But I do rush around at work all week and then rush around getting housework done all weekend. It drives me insane! The only way I can completely switch off and relax is to get a good book on the go. A bit of romance is always good for the feel good factor....I love nothing more than a glass of wine with a good book whilst in the bath. I guarantee you will feel so much better after half an hour of this that you will be ready to tackle anything. Try it!

BronzeHorseman Fri 24-Jan-14 05:10:51

I wish I knew, I am in a very similar situation to yours and I can never switch off and relax - when I am not keeping busy I get bored and miserable, I just don't do relaxation - I don't think I know how so will RTFT for tips!

4athomeand1cooking Fri 24-Jan-14 05:27:21

I love life crazy and for some reason I am a very relaxed person, we have 5 children between 3 weeks and 11 years and we both work full time ( I work from home).

For me I have a very uncluttered home, everything is organised, I have (rough) routines for everything. As long as I am actively doing something I don't worry about things that have not been done. My attitude is very much as long as the toilet is clean for guests, the bills are paid I am completely at ease. I enjoy a nice bath but it is amazing how every time I jump in - someone needs to urgently use the loo.

The only time stress gets to me is when I know I am not doing what I could be. I never switch off but feel relaxed most of the time.

If dh is working evenings, can you spend an hour together in the mornings? Above all else, you are a busy mum. It can be a crazy life and sometimes quite mundane. But stress-free it is not! If you can make your peace with that, you will feel instantly relaxed.

4athomeand1cooking Fri 24-Jan-14 05:35:33

Sorry not sure i came across

4athomeand1cooking Fri 24-Jan-14 05:47:18

Arrrggghhhhh writing and bf at same time!!!

What I meant to say was.... I am not sure i came across properly in what I wanted to say in my last post.

My intentions were to say that stress should not be relative in what or how many responsibilities someone has. In paper I should have a very stressful life but I was more stressed a few years back when I was concerning myself with things that could not be changed or dealt with immediately.

I really have learned to live in the present. I know what I have to do at that moment in time and I don't worry about what I have to do or what has not been done. This way I do not feel like I am carrying the weight of the world. I started thus by writing lists in the morning and that helped me compartmentalise everything. Every day is a new day fresh.

Sorry for the waffle posts - I am blaming sleep depravation!

Aragaboneahankofhair Fri 24-Jan-14 10:55:29

I cannot recommend this lady hightly enough. A mental spring clean. Her book the Power of vulnerability (great as an audiobook if you are always on go) is amazing.

Aragaboneahankofhair Fri 24-Jan-14 10:55:51

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