Unchained by Sara Stansberry
Some days there just aren't enough coffee and concealer. Thus is the plight of the single mom. Besides employers and kids who need you – the crazy of family, bills, dogs with fleas, and just life in general is enough turn even the likes of June Cleaver into something straight out of Mommy Dearest. These are the days where, just when you think you can't possibly take on any more, someone throws up…Usually on your favorite pair of shoes. Then you get your period.
Overwhelmed isn't a strong enough word. On these days, I used to lose it. Go completely out of my mind. Yelling, screaming, blaming – no bad behavior was off limits. I didn't like who I was during those moments, I didn't like what my behavior was doing to the people around me that I loved. But, I also didn't have any other way of dealing. What’s a girl to do? Change, that’s what. Easier said than done, yes – but I'll share with you some key strategies I've found that work for me when I'm overwhelmed and completely stressed out.
Stop: Yes, you do have 2 minutes. Unless the house is literally on fire, 2 minutes won't matter much. Leave the vomit on the floor and take some time to lock yourself in the bathroom or car or wherever and just get that mind quiet.
If you can, go do something completely different than what you think you should be doing. This has been huge for me. When the emails are flying, and the school is calling, and the dog is scratching, and your mother is texting that you're not spending enough time with her – I've been known to secretly steal away and return that shirt I bought 6 months ago at Ann Taylor… God’s honest truth, it changes everything because it helps me…
Gain perspective: What is really happening? Does it just seem like a lot? What is the reality of the immediate situation? I've found most times it’s not what’s happening in the moment that’s creating my reaction, but something unresolved elsewhere in my life. If you can recognize that and accept it, the day-to-day challenges sometimes fade away.
Turn your worrier off: I have a tendency to over process. When it appears things are taking a turn for the worst, I begin to think about everything else that could also go wrong. I've learned this is a crazy way my mind tries to control a situation. I turn off that worrier by keeping focus on what I need to do right now, in the moment that’s presented to me. I try not to let my brain go anywhere else. Believe it or not, it helps!
Get real: Take note, this one’s the most important. “Why?” might be the single most powerful question you could ever ask yourself. Why do you feel the way you do? What is really going on? Are you misusing anger? If so, what are you trying to control? Getting real creates a catalyst for change.
I don't know much, but I do know that everything always works out in the end so hang in there, sister! It’s going to be OK…Let's make it great.