First, happy snowy Halloween! No matter if you're out looking at the lights or hunkering down at home. It's a beautiful day even if a bit cold. And I'm sorry about sending the email newsletter late.
Anyone feeling the ups and downs of pandemic lockdown these days? I'm guessing I'm not alone in that. :)
I have a friend who's been coaching me on managing my emotions. Currently I'm working on being more aware of how I feel in the moment, and learning to accept those feelings that might not be pleasant.
This morning I got up and went happily to my son's room to say hi. His room is messy and I just wanted to back out and not have to deal with it. Instead I breathed and tried to accept my annoyance at the messy room. Feeling calmer, rather than avoiding the mess, I was able to go in and pick up a few things here and there and give my son some tips on how he should clean it next time. And later on, I followed up with him and asked him to clean it. No yelling, no stress to me or him.
Then I did yoga with other moms over Zoom, one of the moms is upset about a situation at the school. I felt stressed hearing about the situation, and also worries that the conflict is going to escalate. I breathed and tried to accept my disturbing feelings and talked to her. I said I can see you're distressed. That was a good start. I couldn't calm all my stress, so some of it still leaked out as I explained my concern about the school side. I could see the mom getting defensive. So I tried again to talk about bigger goal is to work out issues from both sides and smoothy resolve things. That helped a bit, as the mom started to talk about more constructive ideas. And the other mom on the call also tried to show appreciation for the first mom's hard work. That helped the her to feel more appreciated and calm. I felt we made some progress together and will continue to work on it.
Then it's my husband suggesting we build a snowman. A great idea! Then I was worried there might not be enough snow as it's starting to melt, and my husband said "I will get you snow if needed." I realized I was feeling anxious not having snow for our fun event, and tried accepting that anxiety.
Yeah, that's not even 10am. I guess we have feelings many times throughout the day, positive or negative. Being more aware of my feelings as I'm feeling them is very helpful. Then I can take a moment to accept, feeling more calm, then decide the best course of action rather than react with harshness or defensiveness.
The other thing I've been trying in the morning, as I usually wake up before my husband, is to meditate in bed. I really like what my coach said about meditation is exercise for the mind, like building mental or emotional skills as opposed to physical skills or strength.
For a few mornings I also tried to go through the exercise of feeling different emotions and accept them. Emotions from the day before serve as good examples to work on, as are other emotions that I'm sensitive to, like feeling ignored or not heard or helpless. Or situations I experience on a daily basis that where I feel negative emotions: kids not listening to me, kids fighting, my husband declaring things that I don't agree with, etc.. The hope is that the more I work on these, the better I'll be at identifying them when they come up next for me, so I can more easily learn to accept them and not react immediately with defensiveness or harshness.
You know, there's this 7min daily workout to do different cardio, strength and high intensity exercises in a few minutes. I can probably work on my own 7 min emotional workout, going thru these different emotions. ;-)
How are you weathering the pandemic ups and downs?