A Hippy Chick

A Hippy Chick

It’s funny what we all stress about and how everyone is different when it comes to what bothers them. I’m a complete hypochondriac and if I find a bump or have a pain I’m straight onto Dr Google and planning my funeral music. Ridiculous. Hubby on the other hand never bothers and will only worry about his health when he needs to. However, getting ready for a holiday or flight and he turns into a NUT! We have to be at the airport at stupid o’clock even though the flight isn’t for 5 hours, just in case. He straps all our documents around his waist in a bumbag (oh yes you did read that correctly). When we go away as a fivesome and my Mum is included, the travel hysteria multiplies by 100. But there’s me and my Step-Dad not bothered about leaving early; actively trying to leave later to avoid airport boredom and well just being pretty chilled. I guess it’s a good thing in a marriage, complimenting each other regarding stress triggers!

 I had a very long maternity leave. Well translated I was a bit of a muppet and didn’t work out my annual leave correctly. I planned to take a year but I was actually off for 14 months. Amazing in terms of the amount of time I had with my gremlin but when I reflect, a long time to be away from work. I actually worked out being one of the first in my Mummy group to finish and the last to go back!The thought of work didn’t bother me; I was actually looking forward to it. I really like my work buddy and I knew I’d get back into the swing of it. Even leaving my gremlin at nursery wasn’t bothering me too much. She had been once a week for a month and was settling down.

So I went back and was fine for the first couple of weeks; the novelty of being back was great. But we had a few bad nights with the gremlin. She was sick and we were kept up and I had the niggly thought in my mind a few nights later, what if I can’t get to sleep tonight? This was literally the stupidest thought because what happened? I couldn’t sleep that night, nor the next, nor the next. This went on for about 10 days. I’m sure any insomniacs will relate; it was torture. My gremlin was sleeping through no bother but I was lying awake and tossing and turning for hours. I was going to work in a tearful haze, couldn’t focus and it meant socialising, my scrapbooking and even my exercise was getting put on the back burner. I was just knackered and so cross that it was my own fault.

Hubby tried to help and bought me some self-help books but I just assumed it would go away. It did for a short while when we went to the States for my 30th but as the trip came to an end that horrible little thought in the back of my mind grew. What if I don’t sleep when I’m back. To be fair jet lag didn’t help but I wasn’t right, I knew deep down this was due to anxiety. My heart was racing at night, I could feel the adrenaline rushes as I dozed off and I knew my mouth was really dry. Adrenaline wasn’t the hormone to send me to sleep that’s for sure. Why was I anxious? I chatted it through with my hubby, family and friends and I had to finally admit going back to work was bothering me. I missed my gremlin. I felt guilty leaving her which I didn’t expect as I had gone through all the usual rationale in my head. It’s good for her to socialise and be away from us. I need to work to set a good example. I can’t be just “mummy”. This went on. I felt like I had no time which was ridiculous as I have 4 days not working. I felt like it was really hard to do what I used to do at work in 5 days in 3. I’d lost my footing after being off for so long and worst of all, lost my confidence. I remember feeling so nervous about meeting my new covering manager when I went back. I have since admitted to her later on I was in such a state the first time we met up.

So what to do? The self help books weren’t doing too much. A couple of friends had suggested trying meditating. I kind of snorted a bit but my brother said it really did work at relaxing him, So I decided to give it a shot. One goal of meditating I stole from WikiHow is:

“to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm.”

I looked on YouTube and there are literally tonnes of hits. I decided on one and the link is here Meditating. This one gets you to focus on areas of your body one by one and become aware of the sensations you feel.

It’s pretty self-explanatory and I think there is a bit of background white noise which is really relaxing.It’s definitely best to be in a quiet room (kids in bed) with low lighting. At first I did find it hard to clear my head and focus on what I had to do. Stupid thoughts would come into my head, What am I having for tea? Hmmmm I really need to cut my fingernails for work. Or even what if I can’t sleep again??? Everytime one of those thoughts enters your head you quickly push it out and re-focus, Sometimes this can take 5 minutes to master; sometimes 20. Depends on the day. This is not a failure. That’s kind of the whole point. You notice this and bring yourself back. I found after a little while of meditating I was actually falling asleep. I must have nodded off 4 or 5 times. I nearly fell sideways off the bed, I was so relaxed. Point 1 – I must be doing it right. Point 2 – there is nothing wrong with me. I just have a racing mind which is making me anxious and not sleep.

I slept amazingly that night and the night after.

I still need to use the video now and then and it usually helps me out but things are much better, I feel loads more settled in my new routine at work and in my family life. Sometimes when we are so busy it really is hard to focus on the now and completely relax but give meditating a try. Definitely worth being a Hippy Chick for a while!