Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

how do you take REALLY good care of yourself every day

(34 Posts)
Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 06:57:52


This is not a place where I would normally post but am wondering if you can help me. I am in a funny position in which I am totally drained and emotionally tired. By way of context I am a long way from home and live in dhS home town (beautiful,and tropical but a long way physically and culturally from where I want to be.) I have an emotionally exhausting job and two small people. Once upon a time I took pride in being the stable one in my circle....but this year has been horrific, I am absolutely exhausted from caring for others, we had a natural disaster earlier in the year, my lovely best friend has been gravely ill and other friends have moved away.

I have been tipped over the edge this weekend as SIL had four events celebrating herself and her family. I literally cannot remember the last time she said or did anything nice for me and I have bent over backwards for her (and every bugger else)

I see little point though in asking for help when tbh I can't even take care of me..... So could you pass on rituals for extreme self care? I need to make some changes before I turn into an ugly martyr who is so deeply sad about the lack of care and respect shown by others.

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 07:01:08

On a side note all 20 odd of dhs family invited for xmas and not one has confirmed... Confirming my suspicion that they have no respect for me (wibu to reverse the invite?.... I am finding it hard to be excited about spoiling them and A gift given grudgingly is not giving at all is it?

sakura Sun 22-Nov-15 08:23:09

Make food a priority. A tip I learned from the Japanese when I lived there. Salmon for breakfast is normal. I was amazed and slightly shocked at how much money japanese women spend on themselves, rather than spending it on the children. In England we've got all sorts of pejorative terms for women who opt to spend money on themselves and put themselves first. In other cultures it's different.
What actually happens is that women end up not having enough rest and not getting enough vitamins.

sakura Sun 22-Nov-15 08:24:58

Oh and drop the relatives! Your health will improve. I've dropped my parasitical brothers and have opted for spending Christmas with some friends in Cornwall. One group= energy drain, th e other = an energy boost

OneOfTheGrundys Sun 22-Nov-15 08:43:45

I will watch this with interest. I also work in a job where I have to care/give a lot and it's quite dangerous if I'm not 100%. One of my DCs has sn that have an added bonus of behavioural problems. Getting over a nasty infection too that has left me low physically and mentally.

Finding time to exercise and trying to take the odd moment to properly breathe, relax, is what I'm trying to do. As Nigel Slater said in a recent interview-eat at least one good meal a day you've spent care and attention making. (Not just toast and cheese on the hoof)!

ALaughAMinute Sun 22-Nov-15 08:45:05

Stop looking after other people (other than your children) and start looking after yourself. Self preservation first! Eat well and make sure you take time to exercise and do things you like, such as socialising with your friends or making time for a hobby. You are drained and tired and you need to slow down.

Can your DP help you? Is he supportive?

RedMapleLeaf Sun 22-Nov-15 08:55:46

Therapy to explore why you prioritise others' wishes and needs over your own?

spudlike1 Sun 22-Nov-15 09:03:20

Eat well have the doctor check out your iron levels . I eat a fruit everyday one banana one orange minimum.
Long soaks in the bath is my escape with lavender oil and lots of bubbles .
People who negatively fill your head space are terribly exhausting I'm currently working on that myself, keeping them at a distance .
Good music and poetry by Rumi or any good uplifting quotes I've also got John Lennon and and Eleanor Roosevelt in my loo grin

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 09:08:57

Thanks all, plenty to think about. Ha ha re: cheese toast. That is exactly what I had for tea! Dp is supportive in words not actions. He says he loves me but is happy to see me run into the ground doing stuff for him and his family (though I know how pathetic that sounds.... I say I love me but am equally happy to run myself into the ground!) I am training these muppets to treat me appallingly.

Chiconbelge Sun 22-Nov-15 09:17:31

I'm an expat too and have found some great support on line for yoga - try - and meditation and other similar practices like "the morning pages" (which can be done anytime of day in my opinion). All of these are great for de-stressing and taking back some time for yourself. Helps then to think of more strategies for dealing with all the difficult people in your life.

ruddygreattiger Sun 22-Nov-15 10:05:39

Op, take the bull by the horns. You said yourself you are training his family to treat you badly so put an end to it now. Yes, cancel the xmas invite. Send out a message saying that as no-one has confirmed you are making alternative arrangements - then stick to it!

I started a new hobby and never miss a session, could you do that?

I have also started doing things for myself on my own like an afternoon shopping, or just sitting in a coffee shop with a good book. Arrange the odd evening out with friends etc. I have recently realised that no-one appreciates what I do for my family so as a result I am now doing less for them without a shred of guilt - its very liberating, try it!

mintoil Sun 22-Nov-15 12:15:04

I think it sounds like your boundaries are very poor and addressing that would be the first step in taking care of yourself.

DH sounds like he doesn't have your back. If he isn't going to work with you to ensure you feel better, then what's the point really? Get him to tell the inlaws Christmas at yours is cancelled because they have all been so bloody rude. Tell him to shape up - that you are unhappy and it has to be dealt with.

If all else fails can you go home for Christmas? It all sounds overwhelming there.

I agree with PP about food and little treats for yourself. You may get gasps of disapproval to start with, but so what? A bit of me time - take yourself off to do something you want to do. Put your own needs first. The sky won't fall in.

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 19:02:09

Thank you thank you for taking the time to post. I suspect this is a common phenomenon but appreciate the time it takes to respond to my version of it.

I have heard the message re food and will attempt to muster the energy to do something about this. Have been in such a cycle of no energy to crap... Repeat.

Not sure if I have quite the courage to cancel Christmas invitation. Although the family do my head in I want the dc to have memories with them as we are so far from my lot. Goodness would love to go home. It is thousands and thousands. Off putting but so is living like this.

I cried and raged for much of yesterday and I think I got through to DH. This evening we are going to look at diaries and calendars and lists and see what we can ditch. I need to be firm and ensure that I don't get the scraps of what's left.

Interesting re boundaries. I work in a field that does require good boundaries and am pretty good at it there and am able opt supervise and coach others to manage theirs. I guess we all have our blind spots.

I have access to psychological services through my work so you have prompted me to make a call to have a pleasing / boundaries conversation. Thank you.

mintoil Sun 22-Nov-15 19:14:43

That's interesting OP - I have the opposite problem. I have stringently policed boundaries in my personal life with friends and family, and can spot an emotional vampire a mile off.

At work I still run into these sorts of issues and am not nearly as confident at dealing with them as I could/should be. So you have also given me food for thought. In my case I am a manager when I didn't expect to be and I think it is a confidence issue.

If you cannot afford to go home for a visit right now, maybe get DH to agree a date when you can go, and you can save and look forward to that. It does seem that everything is revolving around DH family, and you are indeed subsisting on an emotional crumb diet.

When I got divorced and was first getting used to DC being away with XH I would cook myself something really nice that the DC probably wouldn't eat, like lamb shank with loads of veg baked in the oven with wine and I could drink the bottle, and I found this strangely comforting, like I was loving and caring for myself. Buy yourself some books you fancy and find time to read them, there are lots of little ways you can treat yourself and they don't need to be as costly as that trip home.

I hope things improve for you.

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 19:24:25

Thank you Mintoil. I hope you are able to find space in your management role. I think the clincher for me there was remembering that yes everyone else had fab skills but I was being paid to lead them. That 'permission' provided me with confidence.

Thanks for the other tips.

I did mention to DH that I would be better divorced as I would then have eow. I think that perhaps clarified things for a moment. I also in a fit of rage said that if he wanted sex he needed to treat me like someone he wanted to have sex with.

Disorderedthought Sun 22-Nov-15 19:26:01

As much sleep as you can manage (even if that means going to bed at 8pm
No alcohol but at least 2 litres of water per day
30 mins exercise per day (even just walking)
Mindfulness (see headspace App)
Once per week home pamper session
Try doing something truly creative - I find it soothes the soul (writing, baking, photography, drawing, knitting, sewing etc etc.

mix56 Sun 22-Nov-15 19:26:53

You have invited all OPs family & no one has replied. send them all a text saying. "Sadly I am withdrawing my Xmas invitation due to lack of interest"
book yourselves a short holiday over Xmas with OH & kids, & enjoy yourselves.
No scenes, No apologies. No backtracking.... "Oh too bad, late now we are going to Hawaii" !!

Lilipot15 Sun 22-Nov-15 19:54:12

Checking in to get tips too - sorry OP, I'm short of ideas myself!
I'm not an expat but have moved for DH's job. I miss friends who know me for me, and not just for being "DH's wife" and "DD's mum". I'm presently a bit tied with a baby who doesn't sleep well but will look for interest at small things I can do for me, as presently it feels like I just give. It's exhausting.

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 21:16:49

Thanks smile

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sun 22-Nov-15 21:17:34

Lilipot... Hope you find some time amongst the sleep deprivation, must be pretty lonely

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 22-Nov-15 21:36:16


- eat a healthy and nutritious meal
- exercise
- do meditation, or yoga, or prayer, or whatever gets you to step off the treadmill for a 20-30 minute mental break
- get some fresh air and sunshine (if no sunshine, take Vit D pill)


- boot out all nasty, manipulative people from your life
- take negative people only in tiny doses, when absolutely necessary
- spend more time with the people who like you for you
- don't over-commit. If in doubt, say no.

CakeMountain Mon 23-Nov-15 01:18:24

I was here this time last year OP - entirely drained by people external to my immediate family who didn't appreciate me.

A year in I have got boundaries in place, have taken up another form of exercise, eat better, drink less and buy myself little treats. I have also cancelled various commitments. Just recently I cancelled something I was meant to be hosting. The last time I had met up with these people our children had just started a new school and not a single person asked about my child, despite talking endlessly about theirs. Then a couple of other things happened that suggested I wasn't particularly valued by certain 'takers' in the group. So, I cancelled the small event and with the money I saved I booked cleaners to come in and deep clean the house. It is back to being my haven again. As pompous as it may sound, I expect the people to let into my life to treat them as nicely as I treat them.

Although your children need memories of a nice Christmas, does it need to be this Christmas? Would a more relaxed role model benefit them more?

Could you send an email to individuals saying you are sorry they can't make it (presumably they can't or aren't prioritising it or they would have replied) and that you will post presents? Or downscale it by making it an evening party with drinks and nibbles with a 'no-one has replied and I have realised people are so busy at this time of year, so we thought more people would be able to attend if we held a more casual get together at the end of the day'.

It's good you have spotted this. Good luck flowers[healthy snacks and non alcoholic wine!]

CakeMountain Mon 23-Nov-15 01:21:40

* I expect the people to let into my life to treat me as nicely as I treat them.

Want2bSupermum Mon 23-Nov-15 01:30:52

I empathize with this. For me it has been being able to have a nice hot relaxing bath, getting into bed at 7:30pm to read a book and meeting up with friends for dinner after work.

DH has been ace and I had a bad day yesterday with getting the kids to all activities. He was exhausted from his trip too and wanted to stay in. He set me up with a driver! It was awesome. It cost $175 for half a day and was totally worth it.

l3hub Mon 23-Nov-15 01:37:51

Give yourself some time to do what you love doing, if it's hands-on like craft and such, maybe you can incorporate that activity to do with your kids.

When you are emotionally drained, you need to recharge first before you can give on a continuous mode, otherwise it ends up a vicious loop of self guilt and disgruntlement.

Sleep is crucial although we barely can find time to finish all in a day before we turn in, but a good sleep really makes a difference. It starts your day right, allows you to choose a better diet, not craving sugar, lifts your mood and gives you the extra energy to want to work out after a day's work.

If it's this close to burnout you will find yourself getting all tired and often sick and having to manage a household in that condition is a nightmare. Let yourself take a breather once a week, hoover a day less, do the laundry on alternate days, let the kids pick up their toys and so on.. (that's what I do at home if it's too much)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now