We are all human together, with bad days as well as good days

Jun 13, 2017 | Parenthood, Well-being, Women at work

Pulling-my-hair-out-(Sam-James-Coaching)This was me this morning. After a great weekend, the week started with a bump! Early start from child number 1, who wouldn’t entertain the idea of going back to bed. Child number 2 then woke up earlier than I think she wanted to. Remote control missing from the TV in our room. Queue meltdown from child number 2 who wanted to watch Fireman Sam on the TV in our room, couldn’t possibly watch it in the front room. No bread in the house. Not much milk in the house. Then lost the car keys and both of us needed to use cars today. Car seat juggling, calling in favours from my folks, rushed walk to school and eventually we got everywhere we needed to be. Normally, I would have turned into ‘grissly bear’ as our son calls me in these moments, shouting, blaming and generally getting into a flap. Today, I felt it coming, but was able to be kind to myself in that moment and remind myself that blaming me, my other half, the kids, the postman blah blah would not help, it would actually keep us stuck in the ‘aaaah’ place. That the angsty part of me was gearing up for a battle, but I didn’t need to join in. Instead, I found a place of acceptance and patience, and we found a work around, and laughed together. So my day hasn’t continued like this. This was a win for me. I know it won’t happen every time, but with patience, practice and kindness it can happen some times…..I still don’t know where the keys are, and just realised that even after I went to the shop I have still forgotten to get milk!

This was a post I shared on Instagram this week. Inspired, by people often asking me “So does that mean you’re happy all the time and never have a bad day?” I made a pledge to all my clients and followers, that I will be down-to-earth, realistic and share the good stuff and the not so good stuff. In the context of my life, with all the training I have had, the courses I have been on and the books that I have read, I still struggle to implement things all the time, and want to share that with you all. It is hard to take the knowledge, the strategies and the tips, and keep them all going, all the time. So, in answer to the question, no I am not happy all the time, I am human and can be found pulling my hair out, or slumped in a corner of a room wanting the world to leave me alone, on some days.

 

SJC_My Pledge to You_Facebook

We are all human together, with bad days as well as good ones.

This adulting malarkey isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes it can feel lonely, and a place full of expectations that can feel so far out of reach and judgements on everything that you do or don’t do. In the world of social media, it can sometimes feel like a pressure cooker of aspirations, ideals, expectations, interpretations and judgements. Don’t get me wrong, I also think it can be a great way to be inspired, encouraged and feel connected to others.  In reality, it is often our own perceptions that we are placing on things, that is cranking up the pressure.

The last thing I want to do to you is add an other layer of pressure or guilt. The message I want to share with you all is that you really are good enough. That you will have good days. You will have bad days. Sometimes you will be able to turn it around and remember those things that you know can help you. Other times you won’t.

I have days where I feel like a freight train hurtling down a hill, unable to stop it. These are the days that my ‘grissly bear’ routine kicks in. When I shout and blame my husband. When I let rip at the kids, in a tirade of ‘right well then, now you can’t ride your bike for a week, or watch tv for 2 months…’. When I think that I have no real value as a person. When I feel incapable of being effective at anything. There have been many a time that I have berated myself with “how can you help other women when you lose your shit” and every variation under the sun.

I also have days where I can bring myself back from the brink of a ‘grissly bear’ outburst and tap into the things that I know help me when I am feeling under pressure. There are times that I can connect to my heart and understand what is happening for me, and then see that I do have a choice in that moment, and can act on it.

So I am putting this out here, that we are all human. We all have days that we are on it. We all have days that we are so far under it, we feel like we are stuck down a very deep, dark hole on our own with no way out. It can be really easy to focus on the tough days and all the things that you wish you had done differently, whilst barely acknowledging the days you held it together. Together, we can keep the conversations going. Together we can learn from the bad days, so that we don’t feel alone with them and so that you open up to other ways of responding. Together we can be encouraged and inspired by each other when we hold it together through the challenges.

It is time to show yourself some compassion

One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to start showing yourself more kindness, compassion and nourishment. This can allow you to bounce with the bumps more often than crumple up in a heap.
When your friend relives her day from hell with you, what do you say to her? Do you add to the pile of rubbish on her shoulders at that moment in time and push her under that little bit further? No, didn’t think so!

If it is one of those situations that could have been different if she’d been able to react differently, do you point it out to her and make her feel even worse? No, didn’t think so.

So why do you do it to yourself? So many people have a default setting of being their own worst enemy at a time when they really need a supportive shoulder. There are lots of things that can make it hard to be compassionate and kind to yourself. Some of the most common things people struggle with are

  • the internal battle they have with themselves
  • the struggle to accept themselves when they make mistakes or behave in a way that they don’t like
  • taking care of their own needs, and giving themselves a break when they need it.

The internal battle comes from your different experiences, your interpretations of these, expectations you have, how you have then internalised them and formed different beliefs. This then becomes your internal dialogue. Everyone has internal chatter, it just varies in terms of how it presents itself. The good news is, it is possible to befriend this gremlin that chucks things at you in your hour of need (and it can be positive chatter too). There are lots of different ways to do this, a couple of my favourites are:

  • to become more aware of when it is your gremlin, adding to your bad day. Make a note of the things that you are thinking or saying to yourself. Then question the validity of those statements. Is that helpful right now? Is it kind? Would you say it to someone else? Is there an alternative view you can say back to it (a counter-argument).
  • taking time on a regular basis to give yourself some positive team talk, using affirmations. Read more here or check out the brilliant yes mum cards.
  • start a record of your wins. This can be a place that you can go back to, to remind yourself of the things you do well, the times you didn’t feel like giving up. It helps to give the internal dialogue some context to operate within.

Getting to a place of acceptance of yourself, is too big a topic to cover in detail in this blog. But the message I would love you to hear today, is that everyone is human, everyone makes mistakes. It is OK. Even the people you see within your community, or maybe admire from a far, or so called ‘experts’, they will all have moments that they don’t keep it all together, you just don’t happen to see them at that point. So next time you struggle, give yourself permission to be human and know that you are not alone, and do something to nurture yourself. When was the last time you did something kind for you? Nourishing yourself in every way (emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually) builds your resilience – it puts the bounce into your ball. You can read more about this here

It takes kindness, connection, compassion, patience, practice and acceptance to survive this adulting thing. And these things are really blooming hard to do. So, lets work together and show it to each other and remind each other to show it to ourselves too.

If you feel like you are having more bad days than good days, get in touch. Don’t struggle on in silence. I would love to give you the space to empty your head of it all, and find the ways to get your bounce back.

Sam

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