I went to Amsterdam last weekend for a catch up and celebration with my girlfriends. We all turned 40 this year…
It was a great experience, and let’s just say that we behaved in ways that wouldn’t normally fit in with the ‘mum’ life.
Like getting up at 11am, and having a 2 hour brunch. With waffles. So many waffles.
But the biggest difference from being away was just the sheer amount of headspace.
When you’re not worrying about the next drop-off or pick up, and what snacks are needed? Where’s the ballet costume? And thinking about juggling childcare so you can do another bit of work…
Or even totally inconsequential thoughts. It’s amazing how much headspace I / we waste on totally inconsequential thoughts.
Here’s a real life example. We’re getting ready for the Christmas Fair at school and we’re collecting Jolly Jars. Before I left I mentally noted that our jam and marmalade were running low. So I mentally noted that I would tell Neil that I needed them.
Eventually, after mentally reminding myself dozens of times, I actually wrote it down on his “instructions for the weekend”.
When I came back, I noted that the jam and marmalade had indeed finished and new jars opened. So I mentally noted that I should look for the empties. When I couldn’t find them, I mentally noted to ask Neil.
Who of course said, “Meh – I binned them”.
But I need jars, I said.
‘So, buy some from Aldi’ he said.
‘It’s not the point’ I said.
Hmmm. It is though.
I wasted so much brain processing power, time and energy on this nonsense, when I could have been dealing with other, worthier thoughts.
So this is where health, fitness and happiness come into it. As mums we often spend so much time dealing with the minutiae (great word choice, huh?) that we neglect or don’t have/never have time or headspace to deal with the bigger stuff.
Stuff like, am I happy, am I fulfilled, do I feel worthy? and this is super important because often when we don’t feel happy / fulfilled / worthy / in control is when emotional eating becomes a problem…
Although the causality isn’t well understood, it is a fact that mental states and physical states are intrinsically linked. So we probably need to get on top of our mental states in order to get to an optimal physical state too.
So here’s some ideas to help you create more headspace.
- If anything takes 2 minutes or less to do, just do it!
- Let go of the inconsequential stuff. Like Jolly Jars.
- Get rid of the stuff you’ve been putting off. Like clearing out wardrobes or sorting out the loft. Chances are it’s not as hard as you thought it was. And you’ll feel awesome when it’s done!
- Create structure and systems in your life. For example, one thing that works so well for me is having bags. So many bags. One bag each for each girls’ ballet kit, another bag each for their swimming kit. One bag for my 121 work. One bag for my own training kit. In fact two: one for gym and one for track. So kit always lives in these bags and I never have to think about where bits are, or mentally checking that all the bits have been packed!
- Other good systems to try are online shopping lists, food planning and so on.
- And finally. Dedicate time to yourself. And do what you want to do. Not what you think you should do. Be a little bit selfish, you deserve it…