Written by Paula E. Bird, copyright 2014
Good Morning, everyone. Another Monday in the year's march toward December. Today is the 9th Monday in 2014, if that helps anyone to feel that fire lit beneath them.
Today is a stiff day for me for many reasons. Usually my life rolls along with interesting things happening nearly every day. I enjoy my students and my life. On occasion, however, there are times when unpleasant things or people appear in my path, and I am forced to reckon with the problems that they represent. I find these times and situations to be extremely stressful. I am sure that others have similar difficult moments. How do we handle these situations and moments and the pressures that come along? How do we get through these sticky wickets and move on? Here are three things that I find helpful and remind myself about during these difficult times.
Keep focused on the big picture. Remind yourself what your purpose is. Stay focused on the big picture and not the muddy potholes by the side of the road. Do not let someone else steer you down a road that you do not wish to travel. Resist the temptation to wallow and complain. Get up, get motivated, look where you want to go, and get moving again. I have a fearful little boy who wrestles with perfectionist issues on a frequent basis. I played the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers number about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting all over again. He loves it and sings it regularly back to me whenever he makes a mistake. We adults need to do the same thing. If you want to see Fred and Ginger, click here).
Watch your thoughts. When we wallow about hurts and disappointments, we dwell on negative ideas. This negativity takes a toll on us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Stop those dangerous negative thoughts in their tracks and immediately refocus your thinking on something positive. Look for something that you can do that will make a positive difference.
What are your strengths? Foster those. Find a person that you can uplift and help in some way. Take your head out of your own head and put it in a different place that will lead you to the sunshine, not the darkness. This step is probably the hardest step for most people. Despite efforts to stay in the positive, the negative thoughts creep back in relentlessly. Be disciplined about cutting off and veering off those thoughts. Write them down if you must think about them at some point (I use the 750words.com site for this purpose), but be sure to get these thoughts out of your head. Replace them with more positive ideas.
Be sure to surround yourself with good things and good people. Find your peeps and stay with them, not for purposes of complaining or whining, but to absorb their happy energy. You need injections of positiveness and enthusiasm, not dumping grounds for your negativity.
Stay healthy. Get plenty of rest, eat good food, and move yourself with an exercise program of some sort. Do not succumb to any desires to do something otherwise. Losing sleep will stress your system and leave you prone to infection and illness. Bad food, even if labeled "comfort" food, is bad for you. Food is fuel and you need good fuel in moments like this. Do not give up on your exercise program. Moving yourself with exercise will help to eliminate the effects of stress and release endorphins that may help you to feel better. No matter how busy you are, make the time to stay healthy so that you can fight this battle from your strongest vantage point.
Times of disappointment are tough to handle and difficult to experience, however, they are a part of life and will rear their unpleasant little heads often enough that it behooves us to get a good grip on how to handle these issues when they arise. These three tips above are my top three ways to get myself through these moments and come through the other side with my goals intact, my attitude upbeat and useful to uplift others, and my health strong and supportive of my life.
Have a good week. That is my plan.