With all the skills I’ve learned over the years, I still have days when it feels like I just want to pull the covers over my head and hide in bed. It isn’t easy juggling marriage, motherhood, relationships, and your personal dreams. Some days I feel as if I can’t do it anymore. As if I am at the breaking point. And sometimes I do wonder now life got so complicated. But as opposed to the past when I would sit and wallow around in self-pity, I now know that that isn’t going to help me one bit. Neither will drowning myself in food, alcohol, or any other drug of choice. So how can I ride out the storm and keep my head above water?
Inevitably I am responsible for my mood, and this way of thinking is a 180-degree switch from how I used to think. In the past I always felt as if I was at the will of the world, being pushed around by some unseen force that I had no control over.
Now I know the most important thing to remind myself is that my mood really depends on my response to the things that occur around me.
Happiness is a decision I need only make. When the old negative self-talk starts, I have to make the decision not to listen. I have to make the decision not to believe the negative thoughts flying around my brain. I have to make the decision to simply watch them float by like clouds in the sky. I have to make the decision to live right now in the present- and not dwell on yesterday or tomorrow.
And most importantly, I have to forgive myself and know that it is normal to have days when you feel shitty. When I am having a shitty day I have to accept it and remember that it will pass. Is it painful, sometimes unbearably so? Yes, but that is a part of life. You can't escape pain. But you can allow it to make its entrance and exit, without attaching to it.
Here is a list of things that help me when I get into a funk and need a shift in thinking:
1. Listening to music, particularly something up lifting. I am very affected by music and it’s ability to help bring things into perspective.
2. Getting to a yoga class or getting on my yoga mat. When I hit my mat it is like a splash of cold water on my face. It wakes me up from the deep sleep of depression.
3. Taking some deep breaths and settling into the still space that exists within me. That space where I feel safe and calm.
4. Going for a walk. Nature has a way of connecting me to something much larger than myself.
5. Taking a nap. Sometimes what I really need is some sleep. I need to recharge my batteries.
6. Exercising. There is nothing like moving my body and allowing the release of endorphins to soothe me.
7. Interacting with others. Spending time with other people is sometimes just what I need. Sharing a smile or laughter with someone is a powerful antidote to the blues.
Allowing yourself to feel the pain of disappointment or sadness is actually good for you. You owe it to yourself to honor your feelings and remind yourself that this too shall pass. It always does, you just have to decide whether you want to do the easy way or the hard way.