There are times when everything’s hard work and things don’t always go to plan. Getting through the day can seem like a struggle.
It already feels like it’s been a loooonnnng week and it’s only Wednesday.
One thing I will say though, is that this year my resilience has been tested and strengthened. I repeat the mantra ‘this too shall pass’ a LOT. It helps.
And at the moment it’s helping me deal with the terrible tantrum stage (James’s not mine…although at times it could be either).
This morning by 7am, we had been through several meltdowns. One because there wasn’t enough butter on his toast, swiftly followed by another because there was too much butter on his toast. Dressing him at the moment involves trying to shove a t-shirt over his head whilst he flails and kicks like his life depends on it. Thank-god we’re in spring in Australia now and it’s warm enough not to worry about a jumper or shoes/ socks.
By 8am, I’m exhausted. By 11am I’m wondering if having 4 cups of coffee a day is ok and by 4pm I’m counting down the minutes until wine o’clock and bedtime.
When getting through the day seems nigh on impossible, these are the things I try to remember/ do. And if they help me deal with a tantrum-ing two year old then they might just help with the battles you face:
It’s ok to not be ok
This phrase sums up 2020 and if one good thing comes from this year, it’s that mental health is no longer a taboo subject. We talk more, we acknowledge more and when things aren’t going ok, it is ok.
Yesterday, as I watched James roll around on the floor with tears streaming down his face (because I wouldn’t let him pour a glass of water on the floor), I cried with him. I sat on the floor next to him, had a good cry and when we both got it out our systems, he finally crawled into my lap for a cuddle.
Emotions are nearly always better out than in. One thing I’m learning is that there is no reasoning with a toddler; once he’s in tantrum mode, I’ve just got to ride it out with him. And whilst, as adults, our triggers and the way we handle it may be different, if there is something upsetting us, letting it out helps.
Talk, cry, scream, shout…whatever works for you, do it. Release those pent up emotions and see how much lighter you feel after.
Be kind to yourself
When days feel exhausting, there is nothing wrong with going into ‘survival mode’. What can you do to get through the day in one piece? Now is not the time for attempting the impossible. Keep it simple. Very simple. If you need rest, rest.
When James had his nap today, I went straight to sleep too. I woke feeling more equipped to deal with the next round of tantrums. Instead of taking him on the bus to the shops, we went to the beach and played in the sand.
Life can wait – put things on pause and slow down to a pace that suits you. Nothing is more important than your mental health.
Do one thing
For me, I put on the washing and put clean clothes away. Such small actions but it instantly made me feel like I had achieved something. Little wins add up. Start by making the bed. Then see if you can have a shower, etc. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just think small. Quite often once you’ve done one thing, you’ll feel like doing another. But if you don’t, that’s fine too.
Support is everything. For me, at the moment, days can seem extra hard because I’m so far from home. BUT I do have some wonderful friends here. Meeting up with other mummies who completely ‘get it’ is a lifeline. Play dates for James and grown up time for me. It can turn around our whole day. I also religiously take James to the creche so I can exercise and get a bit of work done. That hour and a half gives me some much needed time out and exercise always makes me feel better.
What would help you? Who can you turn to? Remember you’re never alone.
Tomorrow is a new day
The bad days don’t last forever (even if they feel like they do at the time). Do what you need to and get through the day. Run a hot bath, read a book, watch a film, have an early night. Reset and wake up in the morning ready to have a good day.
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And make sure you have a read of my other blog posts while you’re here. If this one was useful, try reading this one. It’s all about looking after your mind and mental health.