health

"The moment I learned trying to 'do it all' was my downfall."

Rescue Remedy
Thanks to our brand partner, Rescue Remedy

The realisation happened during Lockdown 1.0. It was only 11am and I felt exhausted, stressed out and irritable.

While trying to teach fractions to my Year 1 son, my preppy was tugging at my arm to help him with his French lesson (I don't speak French). The dog was crying for a walk (and smelling like a stray) and my phone was pinging every 15 minutes reminding me that I had a Zoom meeting scheduled and I needed to pop a suit jacket over my activewear. 

I'd stayed up until midnight the night before finishing work tasks, meal prepping and folding laundry. But still, my to-do list was staring back at me – like a recurring chin pimple that no face mask can cure.

That's the day I decided to hand in my resignation to the Institute of Advanced Juggling. The pay was crap. The working conditions were appalling. My juniors were uncooperative at best. And the only guarantee was a one-way trip to burn out.

Trying to do it all had become my biggest downfall.

I needed to readjust my expectations if I wanted to fall back in love with my life. And my life was pretty damn fabulous if I stood still long enough to notice. I have two healthy kids, a comfortable home, and a job I love. Sure, COVID-19 is the curveball we'd love to return to sender, but in the grand scheme of things? Life is good.

Lockdown cuddles with my 3 kids! Image: Supplied.

When Lockdown 2.0 kicked off in Victoria, I dived in with a new mantra – Do what you can, outsource what you can afford, and let go of the rest. I also decided to accept that stressful moments are inevitable, it's how you deal with them that makes all the difference. Instead of a glass (or three) of pinot every night, I stocked up on RESCUE® Remedy to deal with feelings of mild stress. It's all natural, it's effective and it's affordable with a 20ml bottle containing 200 doses. During the day I keep the pastilles on my desk or in my handbag and take them when I feel a bit overwhelmed. At night I put the RESCUE Sleep® drops under my tongue to ensure I fall asleep calmly and wake up feeling rested.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here are some of the ways I've used my new mantra to make lockdown more manageable.

1. Do what you can.

During Lockdown 1.0, I thought I was failing if I didn't get through all the kids' home school lessons every day. That meant we were often still in front of the laptop at 3pm.

This time? We do as much school work as we can by 12pm. After that, it's time for a boogie in the living room, a walk or a bike ride.

In the afternoon, the kids watch a movie while I get a few hours work done. Do they go over the recommended screen time? Hell yes. Do I worry that I'm a bad mum because of it? Hell no. We do what we can. That's good enough. 

We do what we can. That’s good enough. Image: Supplied.

 2. Outsource what you can afford.

Instead of running myself ragged trying to do all the things, I've started to outsource whatever I can afford to. If I can support a local small business in the process, even better. 

If I don't have the time or inclination to cook, I order meals from a local chef who has set up a delicious and affordable meal delivery service. If the state of the house is causing me to twitch, I book a cleaner to help out for an hour or two. I’ve also hired a dog walker to help with our overly energetic pooch once a week.

ADVERTISEMENT

I realise that I am in a privileged position to be able to do this and not everyone can, particularly at the moment.

3. Let go of the rest.

If the house isn't pristine, so be it. If the sheets get cleaned once a fortnight instead of once a week, it's winter, who cares? If dinner is scrambled eggs on toast instead of meat and three veg, no one is going to get scurvy. I'd rather eat my eggs with a smile than scowl over a lamb chop. If we can finish up the day feeling happy, calm and connected as a family, that's all that matters.

I'll be honest, it's not always easy. When I see a pile of washing, the urge to wash, dry and fold until 1am is strong. But it's not worth it. I put some RESCUE Sleep® drops under my tongue, take a load off and put a load on in the morning.

The pastilles and drops that help me in moments of mild stress. Image: Supplied  

As women we are often our own worst enemies – trying to be all things to all people. Doing it all inevitably leaves us feeling grumpy, tired and stressed. Add lockdown into the juggling mix and it can all get a bit much. We need to lower our expectations, look after ourselves and replace miserable martyrdom with a more realistic mantra.

For more info on Rescue Remedy's full range - traditionally used in Bach Flower remedies to relieve symptoms of stress and mild anxiety, visit rescueremedy.com.

Want to try? Mamamia readers can get a free sample of the 7ml Rescue Remedy spray right here.  

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use.  If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

Rescue Remedy
RESCUE® your on-the-go support for Stressful Moments.
00:00 / ???