Making time for me time

I feel exhausted.

Not just some of the time.

Not just most of the time.

But all the time.

I go to bed feeling tired, and I wake up feeling just as tired. And I can’t blame the twins because more often than not these days I’m getting around eight hours of decent, unbroken sleep.

So I went to see the GP today, just to rule out any underlying problems such as anaemia etc, and I got a strong talking to from the (very nice) doctor about making time for myself. He pointed out that tiredness isn’t necessarily about the amount of sleep you get, and that a lot of it comes down to stress levels and to motivation and happiness. I wouldn’t describe myself as unhappy and unmotivated, but I wouldn’t say I was happy and motivated either. In general I think I’d describe myself as being a bit lost, and I would definitely say that I am stressed most of the time.

As a friend pointed out, it’s my ‘thing’. I can’t relax. When I do get time to myself, I feel guilty for it – either I feel that I should be doing something more ‘productive’ or I feel bad for leaving someone else (normally my lovely husband) to look after the kids. Or most of the time I feel guilty about both of these things.

I’m going to have a blood test next week just to rule out a medical cause for the tiredness, but the GP recommended looking at my day-to-day life and making sure there is time for myself scheduled into it. Exercise is good (all the serotonin), getting outside is good (extra vitamin D), and making time to sit down with my OH to eat dinner together not in front of the TV is good if we can’t actually go out somewhere together. I should find two hours a week where I do something just for me. Once in a while won’t make any positive difference, it has to be a regular event.

So here are my initial promises to myself, though I intend to add more:

  • Start running. Identify a time that I’m going to do it, and stick to it. Make Ben kick me out the door if necessary (this is likely to be the case)
  • Timetable my week. Schedule in time for working, but also schedule in time off.
  • Eat dinner with Ben at our new kitchen table at least twice a week.
  • Go to bed half an hour earlier than usual and read/do my cross stitch in bed at least three nights a week.
  • Choose one night each week where I will be offline.
  • Start a wish list of things I’d like to do FOR FUN, and start working my way through them.
  • Don’t feel guilty for asking for help.

13 comments to Making time for me time

  • Good plan. Having twins is tiring anyway. So much worry and stress. It’s not just the sleep. Hope there isn’t any underlying cause and your plan works. Think I need to do the same thing myself.

    • Heather

      I think it’s probably the stress levels. Even if I’m having great fun with the twins, I think I’m always quite stressed trying to manage everything and hope a tantrum isn’t about to kick off.

  • I so need to do this too. Perhaps it is something we can work on together, setting a small weekly task, it doesn’t have to cost a lot, just that it means taking time out

    • Heather

      I love the idea of doing this together as it means we can encourage and support each other. That way, I think I’d be so much more likely to stick to it. Maybe I could post a little challenge each week – we could come up with ideas together – and that way others could join in too?

  • Long and rambling post warning!!!

    I’m so glad that you have chatted to your GP about this, sometimes it just takes an outsiders view of our situation to make us take action.

    I think your list is great and I’m pleased you’ve got some planning things on there. I was going to suggest scheduling, but thought you would think I am a mad freak and why would that make you relaxed. I find if I plan, even my time off, I enjoy it so much more, otherwise I waste precious time wondering what to do and aimlessly surfing the internet.

    The idea of cross stitch or reading before is also great. Jen mentioned in a post recently that she makes sure her kids have screen free time for at least an hour before bed and I thought at the time that is something that I should do for myself. Sometimes it’s not the amount of sleep but the quality or even the frame of mind I went to bed in.

    Try and jot down some short little things for during the day, such as a cuppa and your book in the garden or a nice lunch eaten at the table rather than the computer. Just something to give yourself a break in the day.

    Goes without saying always here for support or a chat when you need it xx

    • Heather

      Ben and I used to sit down and schedule out my whole week, including time for lunch etc and I think I found things much better when we did that so we’re going to start again. I think I’ll find screen free time tough, but I do feel so much better when I do it. x

  • Mamabearuk

    So glad you blogged this. I went to see my GP about the exact same problem and basically got told to find her another new mum that didn’t feel like that!! And this was a young female gp…great suggestions. Perhaps you could do a me time link up? Might encourage us all to try and schedule something. I’ve been promising myself I’d restart my running and yoga for months now but am always too tired…see excuses already! Good luck, youre post has certainly motivated me again xx

    • Heather

      I will definitely think about doing some kind of me time link up as it seems there are a lot of us who are struggling. Let’s help each other get motivated.

  • Hooray! So pleased you are taking this seriously, I shall nag you. I shall also send you the link to the post I wrote yesterday when it’s up later. A couple of nights a week I try and switch off my phone at about 8pm and LEAVE IT DOWNSTAIRS. refreshing not to have it by the bed sometimes. Also, we eat at the table together as a rule, then go and watch TV, so we get twenty minutes of quiet together.

  • How nice to have a sensible and pragmatic GP that takes that seriously and made constructive suggestions. I think the no screen time is absolutely something that is healthy to work at and have that scheduled ‘time out’. I’ve started running again and Gary has to kick me out the door as I’m forever coming up with excuses. I hate him for it at the time (as I think I hear ‘you’re a fat lazy cow’ when he’s actually ‘you’ll feel better for it’) but ALWAYS feel better and sheepishly thank him for persevering. Good for you – fingers crossed for positive results and feeling the benefits soon. X

    • Heather

      Yep, I definitely need Ben to give me a kick up the bum as I am absolutely terrible at making excuses and talking myself out of doing things. I have a lovely local friend who is keen to run with me, so I think it’ll help to do it together.

  • Oh heather you describe exactly how I feel. If you ever fancy another running buddy let me know. X

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