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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GMDL Day 11: 10 Withdrawal Symptoms from Doing Less

{photo by Mike_tn}

It’s day 11 on the challenge. While I don’t feel as angry as the Oprah show producer who swore off meat for a week and felt like punching out the vegan in charge, I am having withdrawals. Are you?

Here are a few of the symptoms:

  1. Worry about the to-do list that didn’t get done.
  2. Anxiety about the consequences of #1.
  3. Sadness about dealing with what was under the “busyness.”
  4. Feeling like a failure because you couldn’t do everything.
  5. Waking up in the middle of the night panicked because you feel like you forgot to do something.
  6. Afraid of something you hadn’t confronted in the past.
  7. Worry about your future.
  8. Jumpy and concerned and feeling something is just not right.
  9. You suddenly have free time that you don’t know what to do with.
  10. Or maybe you just feel pure happiness for the first time in a long while.


If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, here are a few tips to remedy it:

  1. Embrace your free time by spending it with loved ones.
  2. Pick up a hobby you neglected you were too busy to do before.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Grab a journal and discover where the anxiety comes from.
  5. Just be. That means let yourself feel sad, anxious and angry. Just sit with it. Sometimes keeping busy helps us cover up difficult feelings.
  6. Be patient. Changing habits take time. If you freak out every once in awhile thinking something must be done, calmly remind yourself that the only thing you need to do in this moment is breathe.
  7. Devote the extra time you have to making everything you do really good!
  8. Use those moments of failure, feeling inadequate and imperfect to practice being kind to yourself.
  9. Every day write down what you didn’t do and the consequence of that non-action. Over time you will realize that nothing serious happened when you let things slide. You might even discover the importance of letting others help you when you stop being in control.
  10. Indulge in the time you have. Get a massage. Spend an entire evening reading a magazine from front to back (I did and found it glorious!).

As always, I would love to receive feedback from how you are doing and get and give support along the way. Please tweet, comment and share the challenge with those you love.

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