You know that feeling.
The one that has you waking up, sweating, in the dead of night…what if I oversleep? What if I miss the deadline? What if I don’t have enough time?!
The one that keeps you obsessively clock-watching all through your day, checking off tasks at the speed of sound but not really paying too much attention…what if I don’t get it all done? I’ve only got 2 hours until the school run! I don’t have enough TIME!
The one that makes you feel like you’re treading water, seriously in danger of going under, but you forgot to pack your rubber ring because, well, you had a million more things to remember…I can’t cope…why can’t I COPE?! I can’t ask for help. I’m NOT a failure.
It’s there in the morning, heavy on your chest, as you prise yourself away from your bed – the only place you can (kind of) relax. It’s there when you slink back under those protective covers in the evening, as you try to force yourself to sleep only to end up scrolling through Facebook until the wee hours because your mind won’t shut UP!
Let’s face it.
It’s never going to go away. And what is it, exactly?
Why, it’s your Mental Load…and you’re it’s not-so-proud owner.
Count with me now – how many plates are you spinning this second? If you’re like a lot of us these days, you probably don’t even know. Man, that’s a lot of china. Imagine if it all came crashing down? We know who’d get stuck cleaning THAT mess – just add it to the to-do list. Just there, right at the bottom. Number 87, I think.
Letting those plates smash is not an option, though…so we go on spinning and spinning, all the while getting dizzier and dizzier until we’re downright miserable. Until we’re wondering what happened. When did life become this uphill TRUDGE? This series of things to do, people to please, places to be, presents to buy, hats to wear, mouths to feed. It’s exhausting. And for the most part, unrewarding. You’re Superman behind the scenes but you’re treated like Clark bloody Kent on a daily basis.
Take a little break from this blog to make a note of your own personal ‘Load’– if you can, try to do it stream-of-consciousness style. It’s more effective. You might shit a brick reading it back to yourself. If it’s anything like mine, it might look like this;
Ok, so I’m out with clients now until 7, then got to rush home to breastfeed the kid to sleep, write my notes, get a quick tea and sort out the washing. Dishwasher needs emptying. Front room needs hoovering. Oh, and we all need dentist appointments ASAP! I need to get that t-shirt I bought for her birthday and attempt to adjust it to fit her – that means getting the sewing machine down from the attic and hoping it still works…oh god, the attic, I really need to sort it before the ceiling falls down on our heads! How are there so many clothes up there? I’ll have to sort through them all and start putting them on Ebay or something. Maybe try to do a car boot sale. I’ll have to write some blogs at some point tomorrow and sort out the fella flagging the yard. I need to go shopping, too, we’re low on everything. I can pick my contact lenses up while I’m in town and then go straight to work from there…shit, I need to get birthday cards and wrapping paper and boxes and balloons! And helium! Where the hell do I get helium?! I wish I could drive but I’m only 3 lessons in – how long is THAT gonna take? What if I can’t do it? I don’t want to use public transport forever…
And that’s where I begin to get overwhelmed. Add to that all of the housework, a sad attempt at a social life, an unhealthy dose of Mum Guilt and a hulking, dark cloud of a feeling that maybe me and the husband don’t have as much sex as we used to…and you can hopefully see my point.
The Mental Load is made up of all the things that wouldn’t get done if it weren’t for you. Think about what that would look like for your household! Are you the glue that holds it all together? If that’s you, were you thrust into that role without being consulted? (It’s ok, ‘X’ will pick up the dirty pants and socks. ‘X’ will know what’s for tea. ‘X’ will know when all the birthdays are and make sure we don’t miss them). By the way, ‘X’ is you.
Or did you cast yourself as that character willingly? (I’ll have to do it or it won’t get done properly. Oh, just leave it! You’re not doing it right). You get the picture.
Either way, it’s probably got you wondering whether it’s always going to be this way.
The short answer? Yes.
If you let it.
It’s honestly up to you, isn’t that something? It’s in your hands. It’s your choice. The ball is in your court. Add any other clichés here you can think of. There are many!
But, if you’re tired and you’re sick to the back teeth of hearing yourself complaining…if you don’t want to live a martyr’s life any more, you can jump on board our jolly train at Your Mind Set.
If you’re familiar with us, you already know we’re both counsellors. We see so many clients stuck in the same rut. They keep on bravely keeping on, head down, shoulders squared, carrying it all and seething with quiet resentment. And it starts to show. It sneaks out in the way they treat the people around them. It settles into the lines on their faces until they don’t recognise themselves in the mirror and they wake up one morning and can’t quite believe where the years have gone. How much time has passed while they’ve been busy sorting shit out for all and sundry with no time left at the end of the day for themselves. And it makes them bitter. Burned out and bitter.
We weren’t born to suffer. We weren’t born to please everyone else.
So, why not stop for a second, take stock with us and learn to let go of that ‘Load’?
Yes, you’re fantastic. Yes, you do so much. Yes, you’re indispensable. But, ask yourself, is it sustainable? Are you able to enjoy any downtime you have? Can you give your best self after all the work is done? Is all the work EVER done?
If you were able to step away for a week (don’t worry, this isn’t what we’re suggesting!), what would still get done? What would be forgotten about? What would be half-arse attempted and then abandoned until you got back? Yes, they need you…but YOU need you, too. The rules need to be rewritten and we can help you with that.
Pop over to our Facebook Page and introduce yourself. Or not. You can just check us out from the sidelines for a while. But we’d love to get to know you and help you out of your rut. We have a private group where we can get a little more up close and personal with our tribe, blast you with freebies and pepper you with tips and tricks galore. And if you want to dive in headfirst, we have some fabulous Therapy Journals in our Etsy shop, available to download THIS SECOND!
We help people just like you to take control of the reins. It’s our day job. Our passion.
If you check out our website, you can bag yourself the freebie we use with most of our clients – THE LIFE CHECK-IN. It’s a one-stop shop to help you to get a handle on what’s happening in your life right now. Build a picture, get a base-line…see where you’re at and decide what needs work.
You work so hard, you owe it to yourself to stop this train in its tracks before it heads into another dark tunnel. When you lay it all out, you can suddenly see what needs to happen to bring back your happy – and with our support, we can have you chugging along at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery from your First Class seat.
We’ve got you covered. Come and join our gang!