The last time we were together, I talked about taking time for you and finding that special something that will make you feel fresh and renewed. While I truly hope that you did take some time to pamper yourself, I do know that the ‘after glow’ of the renewal only lasts temporarily. After some time, it is inevitable that our mom-life takes over and we are again running around like headless chickens.
So, I started thinking…How can we maintain that positive energy we gain? Is there a pay to prevent going into headless-chicken-mode?
The first question is easy. We can maintain that state of renewal by making it a point to schedule time for ourselves. Taking time out for ourselves could feel selfish, but it is the farthest thing from it. By taking time out for yourself, you enable yourself to be a better wife or partner, a better mom, a better friend, a better everything. A worn out, used up you is no good to anyone including yourself. Let’s think of our cars for example. It’s not enough to simply just fill it up with gas and expect it to keep going and have it keep going in good condition. Eventually, the car will need an oil change, a tune up, the brakes replaced, not to mention the regular car washing to keep the inside and outside clean. And isn’t it true that cars run better and is more reliable when regular maintenance is done? The same is true for us moms. If our cars can have a spa day, why not us?
Go ahead, schedule time for that mani-pedi once every 2-3 weeks. If a mani-pedi is not your thing, make an appointment for a facial or a massage once a month. If you get your recharge by being out in nature– schedule time for yourself to walk around your favorite park—make it a leisurely walk. Take your time and really take in the scenery. Is there a public garden you can visit? Do you like to journal? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to journal while sitting in a luscious garden? Spend time with your girlfriends having fun and laughing—no drama talk allowed. It’s not about how much time or money you spend on the activity. It’s about the positive energy you gain from the activity. Here’s an example–a five minute belly laugh with friends is one of the best things you can do to recharge yourself…and the best part? It’s free, it doesn’t take much time at all, and the connection you build with your friends gets stronger.
So, what about preventing headless-chicken-mode? Yes, we’re going to do our best to replace the positive energy by making sure we take time for ourselves, but what about the in between time? Depending on the demands you have in your life, your time away from those demands maybe spaced further apart. In addition and again depending on the various responsibilities you have, your energy maybe getting spent faster than you can replenish.
None of us wants to be in headless-chicken-mode. It is stressful to our entire being as well as our loved ones and it really does put us in a downward cycle of chronic bad-moodiness and who wants that? But, it’s not a lost cause. There is a way to keep the chicken beast at bay or in my case, the “Mama-Hulk” from coming out. It’s through prevention. I will admit that prevention in this case is not as easy as maintenance. Prevention could mean changing some core habits and attitudes and that takes work.
Go through these series of questions and be honest with yourself. The only person that needs to hear and know the answers is you. Most importantly, don’t judge yourself as you answer these. Listen to yourself with an open heart and an open mind.
• Do you feel like you have to take care of everything yourself? Why?
• Are you afraid to ask for help? Why?
• Do you feel valued for the things you do? Why or why not?
• Do you have expectations of your family, spouse/partner, or friends? Why?
• What happens when your expectations are not met? Why?
• Do your loved ones know of your expectations? Do they understand those expectations in the same way you do?
• When you start feeling fed up and short-tempered, what is causing that negative feeling to come out? Why is that? Dig deeper.
These questions are the very same questions I’ve learned to ask myself when I’ve found myself falling into the grip of life’s demands. These questions have made me more aware of why I behave or react the way I do in certain situations. Understanding yourself and knowing where you’re coming from is the first step to prevention. You can’t stop something from happening, if you don’t know what’s causing it right?
Next step? Do things that will make your day-to-day just a little bit easier. Isn’t being overwhelmed part of what brings out the headless chicken beast? Here are some tips you might want to try. These have helped me out and I hope these tips will take some pressure of off you too.
• Do the little things first and get these out of the way. When the bigger stuff comes along, it won’t seem too daunting.
• When the big stuff does come along, break it down into manageable bits. It’s like what that saying or joke says—“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Basically the lesson here is that even the biggest project, task, or goal, can be accomplished if you do it a little bit at a time.
• Keep a list to help you remember things. With so much so do at times, it’s a wonder, that we remember to put on our heads! Another tip for remembering—and I learned this from a friend–is to leave voicemail messages to myself. I felt kind of odd the first time I left myself a message, but it worked.
• Ask for help. For some of you this might be difficult, but trust me, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ve found that friends and family WANT to help and are often just waiting to be asked. They understand the demands and are often happy to lend a helping hand or a helping mind, whatever you might need.
• Vent. Release the pressure and talk with your friends. Girlfriends are great for this and if you’ve got that friend with a wicked sense of humor—use that humor. Laugh therapy is priceless. Often times your friends can get you laughing at your situation and then it doesn’t seem so burdensome.
• Pick your battles. Everything you put your focus into requires energy. Energy is like time or money. You only have so much to spend in any given moment and you have to replenish to keep going. Make sure you’re spending your energy on things that feel good to you. If cooking dinner after you get home feels good because you have a new recipe you want to try, then pour that energy and love into the family dinner tonight. I bet you and your family will have an incredible dinner. But say tomorrow, just the mere thought of cooking dinner, makes you feel tired, then take the pressure of yourself and order out. You and your family will still have a great dinner and the time you spend together will still be great quality because you’re not completely spent.
• This is probably the most important—be flexible and forgiving, not only with the people that surround you and interact with you on a day-to-day basis, but most importantly be flexible and forgiving with yourself. It’s totally ok not to be perfect and sometimes things won’t work out the way we plan. Be open to change because the results could surprise you.
Thank you for visiting and come again soon.
Wishing you bliss in your life. Till the next time. . .