Birthday celebrations, Easter bank holiday weekend and the Christmas period all have an association with food and drink. We tend to have family get-togethers, meals out, parties and social gatherings aplenty.
We seem to have so many connections that it’s hard to please everyone, so we end up booking ourselves up to the extreme and this can leave us feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and overindulged in every way.
Do you long for a fun-filled day with memories being made with friends and family? Or is it your so consumed by guilt, the need to please, overwhelmed and the loss of control, that you’ve missed the best parts and you can’t relax or enjoy yourself.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama and stress of planning and organising, sorting everyone else’s calendar and before you know it, you’re not even excited by the event any longer.
Lots of our thoughts when planning and organising drift off into the future, where we are playing little stories in our head of all the possible scenarios that need to happen or that could go wrong.
The problem with us spending time too much in the future is that we get lost, we lose the sense of reality and what is really important.
My daughters birthday party is this weekend and in recent years my idea of the party is that it had to be perfect. I wanted everything to go well, I wanted to do everything myself to reap the rewards of recognition for all my hard work.
I would have a frenzy on the cake, what it was going to look like, where to fit in making the cake and how it was going to turn out. I used to get so stressed my husband had to take over and run the cake duties.
I would fuss over the party bags, decorations, music, and games to ensure we had everything we needed, often spending hours trawling the internet or shopping looking for the items that would be perfect for the party.
The lead up to the party would almost be described as a Bridezilla moment. I would panic if items hadn’t arrived that I had ordered or if there were any sudden changes not planned for. All hours of the day and night totally consumed by the party planning.
It would all come to ahead on the actual party day, where the day would start early to prep. This could be all manner of things from housework (has to be super tidy for guests, however, will be ruined in 5 mins), food prep and eating half of it as I don’t have time to eat whilst getting everything ready (who can resist a hot sausage roll or 5).
My husband and family would look at me with utter amazement that I would not slow down or ask for help.
This is where my body would go into extreme stress and signal that I’m in danger (of a kids party and not getting eaten by a lion). I would literally run from my adrenal glands shooting adrenaline through my body to keep up with all my demands.
This would have a huge impact to my focus and attention (suddenly can’t remember names of my own children), I would crave sugar and caffeine and lots of it, and extreme tiredness that I would make terrible decisions, making everyone a winner in the games and running out of prizes.
This would end up with me having a migraine and being in bed afterward, drowning my tiredness in chocolate or booze or both!
Oh dear, oh dear I hear you cry! Does this sound familiar to you??
Well it doesn’t have to be like this and I have seen the light in being present through these moments, whether it’s my daughter’s party or any other social gathering.
The key is catching yourself living too much in the future, recognising these thoughts of planning, organising and start to come back to the now with your breath.
A great tip is the 5-3-5 rule for breathing back to the present.
It’s counting to 5 on the in breath, nice and slowly.
Then hold for 3 counts before you breath out for 5 on the out breath.
Making sure you bring your awareness to the breathing fully. This can be for as short as 5 times or focusing on a lengthy time of 10 mins to really bring yourself to the present moment. When you start to feel calmer in the mind then start to notice how you feel, being a witness to tension throughout the body.
When you have gained some space, you will be able to ask yourself these questions. What’s important, what’s the priority and how do I want to feel at the end?
Asking yourself these questions can help you stay in better control and show you what you can realistically achieve without sending yourself into a complete meltdown.
You can try this technique though any event, bringing yourself into the moment so you can fully enjoy being with friends, and family. I know I can’t wait to see the look on my daughters face when she is playing with her friends, opening her gifts and really enjoying herself and living truly in the moment herself.
Tell me about your events, funny stories of Mumzilla, or just where you’ve lost sight of what’s happening and how you felt through this. I’d love to hear more and by sharing our stories we can recognise that we are all just trying really hard for the people we love.