I’ve been feeling frazzled … so I treated myself.

I’ve been feeling frazzled lately. What with a work/childcare schedule with no give or flexibility in it, a busy full time job and a whole heap of other things weighing on my mind there have been a few occasions recently when I have felt that it is all just too much. I have been feeling frazzled and needed to treat myself.

Co-parenting, for all its drawbacks and believe me there are many, does give me the occasional time out. This weekend I have had three nights and two full days without Cygnet. I knew that I would miss Cygnet and needed a distraction but I also knew that I needed to slow down, not try to fit a zillion and one things into each day and not live by my watch.

I took myself away to a boutique hotel near Manchester (in the north of England for my non U.K readers).

The indulgence started on the train on the way up. And no, I didn’t book a first class ticket, or sit and drink wine for two and a half hours. I bought myself a cup of tea and I read my book. 

Rewind a decade and I never thought I’d consider something so simple as reading my book to be indulgent. These days I usually manage a couple of pages at night and then give up because I can no longer keep my eyes open. It’s not unusual for me to take six months to read a book by which time I have forgotten the plot. I spent a whole two hours on the train reading my book and it was glorious. 

I met a friend in Didsbury (a little village outside Manchester), mooched around some shops, before we stopped for some tapas and a bottle of wine. I cannot remember the last time I ‘mooched’ anywhere

By 9:30pm, I was back in my hotel room, having ordered a copy of The Sunday Times newspaper to be left outside my hotel room door in the morning. I finished my book before falling asleep by 10pm. When do any of us get to sleep by 10pm? And I didn’t set an alarm.

In the morning I woke at around 9am feeling refreshed and renewed. I made myself a cup of tea and got back into bed to read the newspaper cover to cover.  At 10:30 I went down for a continental breakfast in the restaurant and supped a smoothie as I finished reading the supplements.

I travelled back into Manchester and spent the afternoon mooching (yep, more mooching) around Manchester City Art Gallery.  As I gazed at some black and white photographs depicting the grittiest and most run down bits of British cities in the 1970s, I thought about what I need to do to stop myself from feeling frazzled all of the time. I made three commitments to myself.

feeling frazzled

1.   I am going to have an honest conversation with my boss about my workload.

There are just not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things he thinks I should. On a good day, I leave work a little flustered. On a bad day I feel like I am drowning.   I am by boss’ best employee, which is part of the reason why I have so much work, but also why he really should listen when I say it is all too much.

2.   I am going to go to bed earlier. 

Once I have put Cygnet to bed in the evening and I’ve done my various chores  I find myself torn between my desire for ‘me time’ and my desire for sleep.  My blog and the internet often mean that I go to bed very late. It is not unusual for my light to still be on beyond midnight.  When I am tired, I get irritable.  When I’m not teetering on the edge of sleep deprived collapse I feel strong and capable.  I need more sleep. 

3.  I am going to walk more. 

I used to swim three times a week. I used to be a yoga and pilates aficionado. I even went through a phase of running twice a week.  My co-parenting and childcare schedule and a full time job mean that luxurious yoga classes or a kilometre in the swimming pool, are no longer an option. What I can do is make sure that I walk, rather than take the bus from the train station into work each day.  It is only a fifteen minute walk, but all too often a bus turns up and I hop on.  It is hardly the strenuous exercise that I would need to really get the endorphins pumping but it is just enough of a time out to make a difference and to ensure that I get my 10000 steps each day. 

What do you do when you are feeling frazzled?


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  1. May 3, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    You are so good at self-reflecting and knowing when things need to change and that’s so important, it will always keep you strong. You are right to ask for changes and to incorporate them too. I’ve been doing yoga most nights, and implementing more exercise into my week and I feel so much better for it xx
    Honest Mum recently posted…Brilliant Blog Posts 4th May 2017My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 4, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Well done for finding the time to do some yoga Vicki. I am really pleased that you have. You work so hard. I don’t know how you manage it all. Pen xx

  2. May 4, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    I try to go to bed early a couple of nights a week, and I feel so much better for it. I am often tapping away on my laptop finishing a blog post at 2:00 in the morning. The ONLY time I can truly focus is when my son is asleep, so that is when I get my Adult Admin and blogging done. It means I am crabby and short-tempered the next day, which is not pleasant for anyone. Coffee helps!

    When you are time poor (as you and I both are) you have to snatch pieces of rest where you can. I try to savour just sitting in a quiet house for 10 minutes. Or enjoy the colours whizzing past as I sit on the bus. Or to just have a good long proper yoga-stretch before going to bed. I have to create moments of calm in my daily chaos or else I really do not feel like I have ANY me time, which makes me resentful. See if you can make up some moments of calm in your day, and just savour the hell out of those few minutes! xx
    Lisa recently posted…Paris, The Sequinist Guide.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 4, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment. I am really impressed that you manage to go to bed early a couple of nights a week. I find that there are so many distracting things to do and that I often get a second wind at about 10pm. It is the next day when I suffer when I haven’t gone to bed until after midnight.

      I have my commute to and from work to relax – goodness I never thought I’d write that! I am really into my podcasts at the moment.
      Pen x

  3. May 4, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    Ooh a book and brew sounds immense right now! I’m terrible for squeezing as much into every day as possible and time to stop and slow down is much needed. I think it’s really healthy as you have done, to allow yourself to reflect on what you need to do to make life better for you, and therefore everyone around you too.

    Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub – so nice to have you join us!

    • thesingleswan
      May 5, 2017 / 11:02 pm

      the brew and the book was immense. I am still reminiscing about the book and the brew from last weekend. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 5, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      Yes, it is tough isn’t it. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  4. May 5, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    I am feeling so frazzled right not but sometimes it takes for things to hit rock bottom so we can make some changes and it sounds like you’re about to turn a corner hon. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this x

    • thesingleswan
      May 5, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      Thanks Talya. Pen x

  5. May 5, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Sounds like a really necessary break! I like your three commitments. They remind me of some of the resolutions in Gretchen Rubin’s fabulous book ‘The Happiness Project’, in which she thought carefully about her life and what was / wasn’t making her happy, and went about improving things . You might enjoy reading it… If you can find time, of course, haha!

    • thesingleswan
      May 5, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      I haven’t read the Happiness Project, but a lot of people have recommended it to me. I’ll give it a go. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  6. May 6, 2017 / 7:28 am

    yes!! it’s so important for us to look after ourselves, self care is so fundamental and as adults, especially parents it’s something we tend to overlook. taking time out for ourselves to do something whether it’s 10 minutes, an hour or a full day to do something we enjoy, to de-stress, and like you said “mooch” is sooo essential so that we can refocus and have more energy to do the parenting/life!!!! I have recently started getting my OH to take my little one to the park to play football/have lunch whilst I stay at home or go to a coffee shop on my own… and I really am feeling the benefits of just having that time. #blogstravaganza

    • thesingleswan
      May 6, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Hi Naomi,

      I am glad you are getting some time to yourself, even if it is only a couple of hours once a week. It is really important. Pen x

  7. May 6, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Definitely an amazing post! And a theme that is really current I think within the Mama community… I have just posted about ways to deal with stress which I suppose is similar! Exercise is a great mind clearer for sure! #coolmumclub

    • thesingleswan
      May 6, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      You are right. Exercise is great. I don’t think I get enough of it. Pen x

  8. May 7, 2017 / 11:21 am

    Working and parenting combined can definitely leave us feeling frazzled, especially if your boss is piling all of the work onto you! It sounds like you had a lovely break and your action plan on your return sounds like it will make things easier! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…#Blogstravaganza #18My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 7, 2017 / 8:28 pm


      Thanks very much for your comment. Pen x

  9. May 7, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    It is the simple things that make a difference. Just stepping away from the sitation can help give you clearer head to think more logically and come up with ways to minimise the feelings X #Blogstravaganza

    • thesingleswan
      May 7, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Very true. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  10. Nige
    May 7, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Super read so important to take a step back every now and again and treating yourself is so important Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    • thesingleswan
      May 7, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      THanks Nige

  11. May 7, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    Oh it sounds like you had a lovely time! Thanks for linking up to #TheFridayLinky

    • thesingleswan
      May 7, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      I did. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  12. May 8, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Listening to yourself is first and foremost the most important thing. Then there’s acting upon what you are telling yourself. Good luck I hope your boss listens and you stand your ground and don’t relapse into your old ways. #coolmumclub

    • thesingleswan
      May 8, 2017 / 8:13 pm

      Thank you Helena. Pen x

  13. March 27, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    I run a bath, take a real book,, paper and page turn g, not an e-reader, and a mug if tea or glass of wine and I just soak there until I go pruney. Luxury. #anythinggoes
    Berni recently posted…Mental health and wellbeing crisis alert…My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      April 1, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      I know, great isn’t it. Pen x

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