Do you have a happy place? You know, a place you go to in your mind when you just can’t handle another second of the real world and you need to escape. It might be an abandoned beach, with just you on a deckchair with your favourite book for company. Perhaps it is a room full of your best girlfriends, you are all talking about anything and everything, laughing and drinking wine. A beautiful waterfall, a serene lake, the top of a snowy mountain watching snowflakes drift peacefully to the ground. Wherever your imagined happy place may be, when you need a minute to yourself, take yourself away from the stressful situation, close your eyes and go there. That’s what I do.
Mums, have you found your happy place?
When Leo is throwing one of his epic tantrums or Alex is screaming in my ear, I just find a way to take a minute and go to my happy place. My happy place is the beach, a long stretch of white sand next to that turquoise clear ocean you always see in holiday adverts. I’m alone, paddling in the sea, there is a cool breeze and the waves are crashing softly over my bare feet, there are no other sounds. Going to your happy place in your head is a really effective way of taking a moment to calm down, breathe and reduce your stress levels but you need a physical happy place too, you can only venture so far within your own mind. My physical happy place is also the beach, it’s not the stunning tropical one I visit in my mind but the beautiful beaches of the Gower in South Wales. When life has been difficult, when my days feel like they are just too busy and too chaotic, a day at the beach always helps to get me back into a better frame of mind. An hour walking in the shallows or a whole afternoon sunbathing on the sand or even a day having a seaside adventure with my boys, it all helps to get me back into a more positive mindset and calmly reflect on everything that has been stressing me out.
Your physical happy place could be a glass of wine on the sofa at the end of the day, an hour in the gym before the kids get up or a bath with scented candles and a fruity smelling bath bomb. Wherever your happy place is, make sure you take some time to go there and to go there often. As a Mum it can be all too easy to put your needs last, to prioritise everyone else and leave no time to look after yourself too. When everything is going wrong and you need some strength to see you through, go to your imagined happy place and draw some positive energy from it.
It is also important to make time to go to your real happy place to rejuvenate and boost your mood as much as possible. Doing things for yourself once you are a mum is nothing to feel guilty about, you’re not being selfish and your kids won’t be mad at you for doing so. If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and like you don’t matter anymore, take some time to yourself in your happy place, remind yourself that you are important, you deserve to be happy. I’m not saying a walk on the beach or an hour with your favourite book is going to solve all your problems but if you just let go of the guilt and do something for you then you will definitely feel better, even if it’s just a little.
Where is your happy place? Do you find taking time for yourself helps make you feel better if you’re having a hard time with the kids? Do you ever go to your happy place in your head? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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