Take Care

Do you ever feel like you’re desperately in need of an overhaul? I don’t mean so much in the style department – writing this blog and a shopping habit masked as “research necessary for my job” usually helps on that front. No, I mean the kind that has you feeling like a car that’s just hit 50,000 miles and is in dire need of some TLC and more than a little maintenance.

A bit like recent events in our house with everything breaking down at once, some days I’m left feeling bedraggled, wrung out and physically exhausted. This isn’t about complaining – I have a wonderful life that allows me the freedom to be The Online Stylist, mum to a beautiful daughter and wife to The One. Not to mention home maker still in training at the age of 44 and dog walker extraordinaire.

This is more of an observation and note to self as a Could Try Harder in the “take care” sector. “When are you having a day off?” asked Mr OLS last week as I once again, flung myself into a sleepy heap on the pillow.

In general, as a parent, you don’t get a day off. As a family, we have the weekends together but they usually pass in a flurry of activity, chores, visits and furrowed brows looking at To Do lists. Both Mr and I have way too many lists and furrowed brows between us.

For me, things that tend to go by the wayside when life’s To Do lists take over are a healthy diet, exercise and quality rest time. Daily stresses are all too easily answered with too many sugar and carb rushes or an early gin & tonic followed by a slightly less early glass of wine. If my running buddy cancels, I cancel. If I pick up a book, I forget to put down the iPhone. See what I mean. Definitely could try harder.

I’m really good at advocating downtime – I guess because it’s something I aspire to much more than I achieve. But when you start to feel your age (and I mean really feel it some days), it serves as a bit of a wake up call that sometimes a few adjustments are needed here and there.

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  1. cheryl says

    I do understand exactly what you mean!

    I work part time in a job I have been doing for 13 years since I was full time pre kids, I love my little job, it gives me a mental break to chat with ‘adults’

    But I do feel stretched from looking after two under 5 and working part time, plus being wife, to my husband who is rarely at home due to work

    We were both only saying the other day, wouldn’t it be nice to just STOP at enjoy life! Rather then spend it working non stop.

    I sometimes wonder how long I will have to listen to my screaming 4 year old who as much as I love, totally exhausts me and as much as I love being a mummy, sometimes I feel totally alone and with no time at all for myself, to even think about improving my diet, try some new make up, read a book uninterupted…the list goes on…. Life these days does seem so much harder then when I was a kid, when all I remember is my mum enjoying coffee mornings with neighbours, with the house still looking immaculate??? And she looked ‘made up-hair and makeup’ and a lot calmer then I am…and she had four kids… I must be going wrong somewhere!

    Life can only get better, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway!!!!!

    For now I will just enjoy my coffee and your blog which I adore and look forward to each day! Thankyou xx

  2. Deb says

    Be kind to yourself – reading this I suddenly thought of the Gregory Porter track ‘Be Good’, have a listen in your downtime.

  3. says

    Great post Amanda, really well written….we are moving house next week & I have promised myself once it’s over – not sure when it will be since our new house is a “project” & a lot of work is needed – I will take better care of myself.

    I am going to attempt to get away for a spa day one day before Christmas….I need to put myself on my “to do” list since I’m really feeling overwhelmed & undernourished.

    It’s a definite issue that when you are based at home, there’s no obvious cut-off point, you don’t leave the office and the hours most definitely aren’t 9-5.

    Downtime & nurturing myself are going to be top of my list for 2014….thanks for the reminder Xx

  4. says

    Oh my goodness I so hear you! This is one of those moments when most readers will think ‘ME TOO!!’ and take a sharp intake of breath with recognition that their life is like this too. It’s a modern malaise and I think we all suffer. I am so – how can I say – switched on all the time. And not in a good way! I can’t tune out the general ‘noise’ – I am ready to answer any question, respond to any email, just generally on the ‘on’ mode all the time. So it’s timely you write this because we are going away with friends this weekend to London! Hurrah – can not wait! So in need of some time away :-) I hope you get some chill time this weekend my sweet and I will get it together and confirm a date for our meet-up! So much to talk about!! Lou x

  5. Jo Prado says

    If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year (the hard way of course!) that taking care of myself has to come a lot higher on the list of priorities. It’s a tricky ask for us mothers/wives/daughters when our very nature is to put others first, and it can be very difficult to see the value in it when everything on the to-do list seems so important. Before we know it we’re burnt out. Mr P & I were having exactly this conversation the other evening when we agreed that if I wasn’t already burnt out, then I have been well on my way.

    Feeling overwhelmed by life, I actually sat down, re-evaluated every aspect of my life and created a weekly timetable for me to help me get some visual clarity on where and when everything that had to happen would happen and to enable me to build in relaxation time and create a realistic pace of life. The evenings are now off-limits for work, housework etc and that this time is now set aside for time with Mr P, time with friends and time for me to relax. It’s taken a little adjusting to and I’ve had to let a few things go around the house, be strict about not over committing myself to social stuff and stop feeling guilty that I’m not a slave to my laptop in the evenings. I’ve also built in things like monthly reflexology (cannot recommend this enough) and full body massage which I so relish and enjoy, which may seem like an extravagance but I now know are so vital to my well being. And, if I’m ever feeling lured into burning the midnight oil rather than getting out the massage oil, then I do ask myself “How do I want to feel when I wake up in the morning”… do I want to wake up tired, grumpy, clinging to my mug of coffee or do I want to wake up feeling calm, refreshed and ready to be a good mother, wife, worker….?

    So my sweets, I raise my coffee mug “to more downtime”!

    Sending hugs & “take care” you


  6. says

    I think the internet ‘world’ can often make us feel inadequate (or is that just me?!) plus with so many of us working from home and running our own businesses the lines are blurred between work and home and structure can often take a backseat.
    You are in a good position because you have recognised you need a break or rest. Now you need to do it!
    Have a great, restful, weekend!
    M x

  7. says

    Oh yes! I think many of us can relate to this. There’s always so much to do, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the fast pace of things. It can be hard to slow down and sit still. I’m getting better at it, but I could always do better. I actually now sometimes add things like “practice guitar” and “read for 30 minutes” on my to-do list, because then I feel like I’m actually checking something off! I’m not above a little personal trickery to make sure I’m taking care of me.

  8. Jennie says

    Yup – I hear you loud & clear! My needs are so far down the pecking list that is my life ,and as you point out that doesn’t mean that this life is not loved very much. It’s just that I never get to the bottom of the list where is says go for run, start new book, spend day in silence, etc. Life is just very very noisy and everyone else seems louder than me! I really hope that you get that day off and can turn the world down for a few hours. I know it’s not really the point but I really like the pictures you chose to illustrate this post too. xxx

  9. says

    Oh goodness me, this is exactly how I’m feeling at the moment. Fresh out of hospital, with a new puppy (great planning there), two teenagers, and so much work to do. I feel blessed with it all, but knackered too, and I must remember to take some time off for me. Thanks for the reminder x

  10. says

    Yep, I’m totally with you on this one, even down to the Dog Walker Extraordinaire!!!! Sometimes just a few hours away from screens, home, family etc can be all I need to feel refreshed and ready again.
    Hope things are getting a little easier.

  11. says

    Amen! I think we all get like this from to time to time! I just coming out of a period of extreme exhaustion having just relocated back to the UK & going back to part time work after 6 years as a stay at home Mum in North Africa! Big Hugs & I hope you get your va va voom back soon! I’m sure its not gone far! <3 Ax


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