I’m one of those people who always likes to think that I’m a positive person, and heck, the majority of the time I think I am. BUT, I suspect like most parents who lead a busy life trying to balance work/kids/everything else, I have often let things get on top of me in the past and I’ve ended up feeling really stressed over often fairly insignificant things. I’m guilty of overloading my brain with ‘stuff’, and right now we have building work to plan, Freddie’s 6th birthday party to sort, packing again to move out for 3 weeks at the end of the month (fun!), and a million and one other bits a bobs.
However, despite all this going on lately, I’ve actually felt calmer and less stressed than I usually would, and that’s because I’ve deliberately changed my mindset in a few areas of life, and the results for me personally have been truly AMAZING. I feel so much more chilled out and even happier.
Here’s what I’ve done:
Disclaimer: I love the bones of my children and would walk over hot coals for them, and I really enjoy their company
when they’re not killing each other. But quite often if I was stressed and had other things going on, my mind was totally preoccupied when I was around them. I feel dreadful saying this, but I could sometimes find their inane conversation and the drudgery of the feeding/homework/bedtime routine hard work and a stress in itself. This wasn’t fair on them, and I found myself snappy and at times, disengaged. The past 6 months though, I’ve really tried to use spending time with them as a de-stress instead of the opposite, and you know what? It’s really worked. I let go of any other thoughts I have when I’m with them, as let’s be honest, most things can wait, and the time we spend together has been so much more enjoyable. I’ve been throwing myself into being with them the same was I would with my work- playing more games, reading with them more, and not seeing being with them as an extra task or chore. Our household was fine before, but now it’s even happier and I’m a much better parent.
Food and diet
I’ve spent years wasting so much time and energy worrying what I eat, whether it’s healthy or not, whether it’s low carb or not, without really any significant results- I haven’t lost weight, nor have a gained a ton of weight- so it just doesn’t seem worth thinking about too much anymore. Sure, we still eat well as a family- lots of veg, salads and meat/fish- but I find I’m actually less hungry or focusing on food all the time, well, when I’m not focusing on food. Okay, so I’m pregnant at the moment so wouldn’t be ‘dieting’ anyway (not that I ever did!), but I haven’t ballooned yet either, all whilst not overly thinking what I’m eating. A typical day last week was 2 buttered hot cross buns with a cuppa, eggs and avocado on toast for lunch, and baked sweet potato with cheese and veg, plus fruit and chocolate in the evening. So it’s not to going to win healthiest diet going, but I feel good, I haven’t put on a ton of weight, and I’m not thinking about food all the time and using up valuable brain cells- result.
Adam and I have always had a pretty good relationship, with ups and downs like every couple, but again, because we were stressed, would often take it out on each other and could be snappy and grumpy, well, because who else is there to bare the brunt on an evening? But lately, I guess because I’ve tried to be more ‘zen’ in other areas, I think I’ve been nicer to be around and have actively remembered to treat him as I would another friend or relative, and not be unnecessarily short. As a result we’ve had more laughs, and conversations about current stressful stuff (building work etc) have been positive. We’re also making more time for each other, and planning more nights out together, something we realised we didn’t do enough of even though we have regular access to babysitting.
After spending the last few years feeling slightly awkward and embarrassed about blogging whenever anyone in *real life* asked me about it, this is the year I’m going to ‘own it’ in real life too. There’s a weird thing with blogging that sometimes you’d rather a million strangers read your blog, rather than 40 acquaintances and have someone sidle up to you at the school gate and say they read your post on X! Since I’ve decided to care less, posts are flowing better, readership is up (I suspect because there is even greater authenticity) and there are so many more options to write about because I’m opening up and sharing a little more of ‘me’. #Winning
What do you do to make sure you have a positive mindset?