Modern life, for many families, can be a bit like living in the fast lane. We simultaneously pursue careers, raise children and continue our personal or professional development through study, charity work or hobby businesses. All the while, managing busy households, ensuring our children are involved in after school activities and are keeping up academically.
When you stop and think about it, it really is amazing how well we are able to manage the competing demands on our time and energy. But when we live life at top speed we can expect things to get a little blurry now and then. Especially if we are not actively taking the time to refill our tanks!
When we find ourselves over-stretched, over-committed and with too little fuel in the tank, it is no surprise that our patience may run thin and leave us with short tempers and a tone of voice that conveys the depth of our frustration without us even saying a word.
It’s certainly not our intention but it can quickly get away from us!
Does that make us bad parents, bad partners, inefficient household managers or failures at achieving the golden dream? Of course not! It makes us human – authentic, imperfect and real.
We all have days like that. Even the most well balanced, intentional and organized among us have days when things don’t go as we plan and the wheels fall right off.
So what should you do when you’re having one of those days?
Acknowledge and accept it
Recognising that we are just having one of those days helps to put things into perspective. Yes, you have reminded the kids to focus on the morning routine three times already. And Yes, it is the same morning routine that has been in place for many years and that you are quite sure that even the slowest of learners should have gotten the hang of by now. And yes, they are still in their pajamas arguing over who has the most milk in their cereal bowl while the clock ticks, perhaps just to remind you that you are already running late.
Yep, it’s fair to say you are having one of those days! So be it. Now what?
Take a moment to reset
Losing your cool and allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by stress are surefire ways to go from bad to worse!
If you feel the walls starting to close in and your blood starting to boil, take a moment to reset.
- Put yourself in time out for a minute
- Take a few deep, calming breaths.
- Splash some cold water on your face or have a cold drink of water
The aim of the game is to get a quiet moment to your self so that you can calm down and regroup.
Check your thinking
Notice what you are thinking.
- Are your thoughts helping you put things in perspective and get things back on track?
- Or are they exaggerating the morning’s challenges and making it harder to cope?
If unhelpful thoughts are winding you up and making it difficult to get on top of things – literally shake them off and proactively replace them with thoughts that empower you and help come to a solution.
Ok, now that you’re mentally back in the game and no longer in reactive mode, it’s time to take charge and establish a new game plan.
Establish your new game plan
Keep it simple and focus on the easiest solution to your problem. Now is not the time to over complicate things or get stressed about additional details that can be dealt with later.
If you are having one of those mornings, focus on getting the kids fed, in their gear and out the door as efficiently and positively as possible. The dishes and unmade beds may just have to wait today but that’s ok.
Just make sure you have allocated a time and strategy in your mental game plan to deal with any unfinished business so that it doesn’t have a roll on effect later on.
Get back in the game and get the job done
Armed with a clear game plan and positive mindset, you are in the best state to get in there and get the job done. Do your best to stay present, keep your cool and stay focused.
Once you’ve gotten through the rough patch, reach out for support and do something that helps you de-stress.
- Actively seek out a sympathetic ear and words of encouragement from someone you know will have a positive impact
- Get some fresh air and sunlight
- Get active
- Or best of all combine all three and go for a walk outdoors with a friend!
Cut yourself some slack!
Today is the day to cut your self some slack without a side order of guilt and judgment.
Go easy. Be gentle. Be kind and take care of yourself today.