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Making Room for the Grumps

Frayed ends

I have to admit that it’s been difficult to stay like this =) when I feel like this =(.

It’s been hard because my grandma recently passed away.

It’s been a challenge with my relative’s recent surgery.

It’s been annoying cause of the weather.

But if I was honest with myself, there are always reasons excuses to be frustrated with my current situation. There’s illnesses. There are getting older reminders. There are bad days filled with unlucky situations, toxic people and difficult circumstances that can get the best of me. The key is to create a toolkit to lessen the pain of the situation so that external circumstances aren’t stronger than my internal resources such as:

1) Surrounding myself with positive people.

Good friends who have been through difficult times remind me that challenges make people stronger and should make them wiser. They inspire me to harp less on pain and more on what’s working in my life.

2) Taking a break.

This means many things. It could mean leaving the dishes unwashed, turning off my laptop or giving myself a vacation from my inner critic. When the tough gets going, I need to get going too-towards rest and away from work.

3) Practicing self-compassion.

As any mother knows, you could always be doing better. But instead of comparing myself with a false ideal, I spend time working on self-forgiveness, acceptance and compassion. Yes my kid isn’t “gifted.” I may not be a professional chef or a breadwinner. But on some days, I can clean the house like nobody’s business. And yesterday I made my son smile. Did I mention I make a mean “healthy” brownie? Be the kind of friend to yourself that you’ve always wanted in another person. Forgive yourself for losing your patience. No one’s perfect. And thank God, you can always try again tomorrow.

4) Immerse myself in positivity.

It’s extremely rare to find a successful person who whines, complains, and frets about his or her circumstance.” – Richard Carlson

I love reality TV shows. I know that seems like an anomaly, but there are positive TV shows like The Little Couple and Super Soul Sunday that promote a positive perspective of gratitude and hope. Because I’m not there yet, it continually inspires me to live and be better.

5) Laugh until you cry.

I believe there is a thin line that connects our emotions. Sometimes to get out our pain we need to do something that feels more socially acceptable like laugh. Joy and sadness are just energies that need it’s day in the sunshine. To free them, watch a funny movie or make a date with a friend who’s great at making you laugh.

6) Make room for the grumps.

If all else fails and I’m one grumpy woman, I let her out. I don’t try to stifle her, distract her or criticize her for not being more positive. Life is hard and sometimes one needs to vent. And while I don’t always do this right, I aim to let her out on paper, or while I’m alone and save my loved ones from her wrath. Let the grump be the grump. Let your emotions be heard and eventually they will simmer. Ignore, distract and pretend they don’t exist and they will bubble up to the surface erupting into hot magma flow that will burn everyone in its way.

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