After my post a few days ago about being one heck of a tired and overwhelmed momma, I decided to flip the switch and share some of the things that work for me to turn my mood around (75% of the time that is)! I've been talking Buns' ear off these days about self-reliance. About how I want to be able to regulate my mood and reactions. How I want to react perfectly to every situation, never lose my cool, and remain patient at all costs.
Are you laughing as hard as I am? Yeah, that'll never happen.
But seriously. I think we can be more in control of our emotions than we think is possible (fast forward to next week, and I"m flipping a lid because Todd left his drawers opened, and I nailed my shin on them trying to get to Reese in the middle of the night). I've been thinking about self-reliance a lot the past few days. About how powerful emotions are, and that if we don't stop to use our heads, emotions can take the lead! Self-reliance doesn't have to be about money and emergency preparedness. Self-reliance is also about your ability to overcome hard things, be patient, and bridle your emotions. And that's where I'm going with this post. A few things that have worked for me personally when it comes to emotions and how to handle when things get overwhelming, emotionally exhausting, or just plain annoying! Tweek them to suit your own needs, or come up with your very own list of things that help lift your spirits and motivate you to get stuff done and be positive. Write those things down! Keep it where you can see it. Plan for happiness!
1. Get yo booty out of the house. I can't tell you how many times this has totally 180'ed my mood. There is something about changing the scenery that allows me to think clearer, breathe deeper, and parent better. For me especially, I'm inside the house a lot of the time. Reese has naps, I've got online work, and sometimes it feels easier to just stay at home all day. Yeah, maybe it's easier, but for me personally, it's harder on the mood. I need to get out and mix things up. At first it always seems like a little bit of chore to get everything ready for Reese, get her dressed, and get her in her car seat (do I sound lazy or what, lol), but let me tell ya...the days I get out of the house are always my better days. Whether it's taking a walk outside, going to visit a friend, heading to the grocery store, or finding the local splash pad, do what makes you happy! Look into what's going on in your community too, you'd be surprised how many free events there are out there for you to go to!
2. Exercise. Doesn't matter what it is. Whether it's a walk, a zumba class, an at home workout video, lifting, swimming, dancing, soccer, hiking, just get out and move! Even if all I can do is go out and take Reese for a walk, it does wonders for my mood. Even when I feel like exercising is the last thing I want to do, once I do it, I never regret it!
3. Cross that chore off the list. Tackle that load of laundry, do those stacked dishes, mop the floor, fold those clothes, send those emails, make dinner. Now don't get me wrong, some days I am so not into ANY of those things, and none of them happen. But on the days that I do get up off my butt and just buckle down to accomplish just ONE of these things, I feel so, so much better about myself. It makes me feel more capable, and there is nothing like checking things off a to-do list! Am I right, or am I right?
4. Reach outside yourself. Sometimes what helps me get out of a crabby mood is to reach outside of myself and think of the people around me. Send that text you've been meaning to send to your friend you haven't talked to in a while. Call that lady from church that you've been thinking of, but keep putting it on the back burner. Call your mom. Call your sister. Walk down the street to visit with a neighbor. Call up a friend to go to the park. Set up a group lunch once a week. Get outside of your comfort zone with the people around you. Chances are there are people who want to reach out just like you do and are waiting for someone to make the first move.
5. Schedule time to relax. I had the best advice given to me after my "Double Trouble" post about how to make time for myself and not be so hard on myself when everything I wanted to get done, doesn't get done. One of my favorites was to schedule time to relax. Like literally. Get out your calendar or planner, and slap a big "RELAX" on a few days a week (or everyday if you're like me!) at a certain time. If you have kids, this will probably be after bedtime or during naptime, but figure out what works best for you. Try really hard not to do any chores or other things nagging at the back of your mind to get done. JUST RELAX. Whether that's reading a book, watching your favorite show, going to your favorite exercise class, crafting, sewing, bubble baths, doing your nails, and the list goes on. Get your husband on board too! Schedule a couple of days you relax together at home as a couple, or get him in the "know" about your relaxation time. Ask for his help! Explain to him why that time is important for you and your sanity. I'm telling you, this time will SAVE YOUR SANITY! It has saved mine anyways;).
6. Be honest about your feelings! This one is actually taken from Nanette with Sweet Fringe Benefits who guest blogged on XO, Ashton Tilton a couple of weeks ago (click here for that post). When she saw my "Double Trouble" post, she wrote me a letter in response with some of the things she's learned in the past 25 years that were totally spot on and perfect for me to hear! She said, "Keep being honest about your feelings. It's so healthy. Granted, I think I probably hang my dirty laundry out to dry a little too often? If you have dirty dishes in your sink, let your friends see them. And realize that others are NOT always who they seem to be. A lot of gals don't have the courage to be real. It's ok. Don't let that get to you...and make you think you are less of a Mom, a wife, or a woman. Just be Ashton." I think a lot of the stress that we put on ourselves as woman, wives, and mothers is because of the way we SEE how other women parent and live their life. What we see on social media that is. We see relatively perfect lives and wonder what we're doing wrong or how we can do better. It puts pressure on us to be perfect. I'm telling you right now, that every woman reading this post puts too much pressure on themselves. Yes, YOU! Haha. Like Nanette said, "Don't let that get to you, and make you think you're less of a mom, a wife, or woman. Just be (insert your name here) !"
And there it is y'all! My cure for a crabby momma. A handful of ways to help manage stress, and keep things in check, so they don't blow completely out of control. Promise me you'll be easier on yourself this week? Promise that you'll find time to relax, but also find time to feel accomplished. Promise me that if you don't finish your to-do list for the day, that you won't let it dictate your mood. Promise me that you'll be kinder and gentler with yourself. You are amazing! You are doing everything you can. No one's perfect. So don't expect that of yourself!
Make the rest of this week a great one y'all!
♥, Ashton Tilton