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Stress - and how to deal with it

(8 Posts)
Ginda Tue 23-Oct-12 17:00:39

How do you deal with stress? I feel quite stressed all the time. I get a tight feeling in my chest when I think about the next thing on the agenda, and an overwhelming desire to go home, shut the door and curtains and hibernate. I am a single mum with a full time job, the DCs are 11 and 8.

My average day goes like this: up at 6am, out of the house with the DCs by 7.30am, at work by 9am, home 7.15pm, kids to bed by 8.45pm, preparations for next day (lunches, uniforms etc) done by 9.30pm, more work (a couple of nights a week) / organise life (online Tesco shopping, birthday/Christmas present planning, general home admin) till 11.30pm, fall into bed exhaused. Wake up at 6am next day feeling as though only 5 minutes have passed since I went to bed.

I have a busy and demanding job in which lots of people all want things done NOW. I enjoy my job but I never seem to get to the point where I've got everything I need to done and feel in control. However, I am well organised at work and prioritise etc. I rarely feel stressed at work; it's all the things I have to do outside of work that make me feel stressed.

Daily issues that need my attention (outside work) are: DS being socially excluded at school (in regular contact with school about this, they're not very helpful) and needing a lot of reassurance; exH constantly complaining about weekend contact (he thinks he doesn't have enough even though he has almost every weekend); exH not doing enough/anything to help with 11+ prep and insisting that DS is a genius and will sail through (he isn't and he needs to do the work); redecorating/decluttering house to put on market so we can move closer to my work; fretting about how to find a reliable au pair for childcare once we move house.

I just feel constantly worried about the next thing I need to deal with. They all churn around in my mind all the time. I have no time to exercise, hardly any quality time with my precious DCs, and most of my personal relationships (with exH, his wife, my family) feel fraught. I just never have time for anything beyond the essentials. It feels relentless. I am aware that nothing in my life is particularly extraordinary and lots of women have similar lives. So, busy MNers, how do you "decompress"?

ThatBintAgain Tue 23-Oct-12 17:04:28

Huge sympathies, it all feels a bit like a whirlwind sometimes, doesn't it?

I've been recommended mindfulness meditation. I don't do it as often as I should but when I do I notice the difference.

Also, work out what you can practically do about certain issues, and then do it. If you can't do anything, try not to think about it. Easier said than done I know but sometimes helps to remember. Failing that, just things that work for you. A swim, glass of red wine, walk in the park etc...

Ginda Tue 23-Oct-12 17:51:51

Thanks TBA. Have heard of mindfulness meditation but when I Googled it I thought "how can I do that?"! I can't empty my mind!

Any tips?

ThatBintAgain Tue 23-Oct-12 20:45:15

Yeah, its quite hard, its something to aim for, rather than to expect to happen! Will dig out some links but in the meantime if you google Headspace you can get a free trial and see how you get on with it...

bacon Tue 23-Oct-12 22:36:41

Waiting to see the answer! I dont work full time out of the home but living here on the business with hubby working long, stressful hours just feel so much stress - no escape! Weekends are usually sh*t and we dont have weeks off in leave either.

I honestly dont think there is an answer!

ThatBintAgain Thu 25-Oct-12 11:51:45

Apparently this is very good

Hoophopes Thu 25-Oct-12 17:29:57

Hi I manage by prioritising what needs to be done and telling mysef that other things not on the list for that day are not to be worried about. What can you delegate - obviously you are concerned about DS and 11+ - have you asked your ex what he wants to happen if he doesn't pass? Would that concentrate his mind? Would he pay for a tutor? coudl you get a cleaner occasionally to help?

Atomico Mon 29-Oct-12 15:32:06

A professional once gave me a bit of advice. Looking at you post, it is certainly sounds like your day.

Stress is not about big things. When the big events come along, we as human beings find a way to deal with it, because we have to.

It's the little things that get us. It's the straws that mount up on the camels back that really weigh you down. For example, people will sit in the car and stress about being stuck in traffic even when there is every chance they will still be on time. Just chill out and put the radio on.

Take a look at all that is stressing you out and you will see that it all breaks down into many small problems. Not one big connecting, overwhelming problem. There are many things in your life that are worth stressing over, but take a look at them and realise that some things are nothing to worry about.

You have a childminder now, you will find one. It will be a while before you have to do that, so either file it away for when you need to look or sort it out early.

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