What do you do when you have had ‘one of those weeks’? You know the kind of week I am talking about. It’s the kind of week where you thought you had it figured out. You thought you were ahead of the game. It was planned out and in your schedule. Then the unexpected happens. You get the phone call and then chaos hits.
Your daughter is sick. She was in a car accident. She broke her arm. She skipped school.
In other words life happens. It could be your daughter, or anyone else in your family. Maybe it’s your good friend. Something happened at work. Then life gets crazy and complicated.
One huge reason it’s complicated, is our plates are already overflowing with too much to do. Our culture is characterized by being busy and productive. We rarely have down time. So when the one more thing or the unexpected happens, it feels out of control.
So here is my question to you.
What do you do to take care of yourself when you have had one of those weeks?
Do you push harder?
Mothers are really pretty amazing. I have known so many bionic moms who seem to have super powers when life gets messy. It’s like a mother can lift a school bus of emotional issues, and a maze of problems with one hand.
You can do this short term but it doesn’t work long term. Super Mom may be flying through the air leaping across major mountains of problems but at some point she will run out of fuel and go spiraling down at lightning speed.
Then Super Mom morphs into Stressed Out Mom and no one wins. Stressed Out Mom flies off the handle. She shoots fiery darts at whoever crosses her path. Her eyes blaze with resentment and disappointment. Believe me no one is having fun when Stressed Out Mom walks into the room. Certain family member hide behind TV’s and computer screens and others lock their door and disappear.
Do you take care of yourself?
Why is it so hard for moms to take care of themselves?
After listening to moms for over 20 years here’s what I have learned. These are the top 3 reasons (I call them excuses) you don’t take care of yourself.
3 Big Reasons You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
1. You need to take care of everyone in your family first. After that you can have “your time.”
The problem with this message is that your time doesn’t come.
Take care of yourself while you are taking care of your family. It takes a lot of energy to be a good parent. Take care of you so you can be the best you possible. This is taking care of your family.
2. You are waiting for permission.
You are waiting for your husband, daughter, friend or parent to give you permission to take care of yourself. But your family is not thinking about that at all. They are looking to you to take care of them. They are not paying attention to what your needs are.
But you know if you are exhausted. You know when you aren’t enjoying your life any more. Then claim it. Give yourself permission.
3. You want someone else to take care of you.
When you are exhausted you just want someone to take care of you. You don’t want to have to tell anyone what to do or what you want. You are too tired to figure it out. You want your white knight to sweep you up off your feet and rescue you from all your misery. Then you will live happily ever after.
Of course our loved ones can care for us but they can’t rescue us.
Here is the problem. If you don’t know what you want or need, how do you expect anyone else to know? Again you have to know that YOU are important. It matters how you feel. Knowing this can help you tell the people in your life what you need.
5 Ways You Can Bounce Back After Having ‘One of Those Weeks’
When you have had one of those weeks you get knocked off center. This happens because your attention gets pulled by everyone in your life but you disconnect from yourself.
Reconnect with your body
Go back to the basics. What gets bumped to the curb? Are you getting the sleep you need? Are you getting exercise? Are you eating healthy and enjoying your meals?
I know I am having ‘one of those weeks’ when I am cramming my dinner down in fifteen minutes while shuttling my daughter around in the car. Believe me I’m not savoring my meal.
It’s hard to even hear your own thoughts when you are having ‘one of those weeks’ because so much is spinning through your brain.
You need time to slow down and catch up with yourself. It would be great if you could take a couple of hours but if you can’t then take fifteen minutes. Use this time to reflect on all the life you have lived in the past week.
Try journaling. This is a great tool to reconnect you to your thoughts and feelings. Take 20 minutes and write whatever comes to you. This is just for you so don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
Journaling enables you to name the stress you have been carrying. Ask yourself what’s bothering you. Where are you frustrated and disappointed? Where are you concerned and scared? Notice what feelings are coming up for you.
We carry so much stress in our body and if we don’t release it our bodies crumble. This is why pushing through doesn’t work over the long term. We are just carrying more and more stress in our bodies. It’s like a hundred pound weight is on our back.
Give yourself the gift of releasing. Release all the tension and feelings stored in your body. Let the feelings come up to the surface. Welcome the tears. Your body is letting go.
Pour out your heart and soul and release it to something bigger than you. Place your concerns in the Divines hands. Know that you are carried by God’s love and grace.
When you are pushing through ‘one of those weeks’ you can get stuck in give mode. It feels like it’s all on your shoulders. This is a great time to open up to receiving.
This doesn’t mean that you demand your husband or daughter give to you. It’s deeper than that. It’s opening up to receive help from wherever it comes. It’s expecting the universe (God) to send you angels. These angels can be your friends or other family members. It could even be your ex-husband.
You know when you are depleted. Hint! It’s when you complain all the time or everyone in your life irritates you.
It’s up to you to replenish the good energy that you have poured out.
You do this by being intentional.
This is deeper than eating a bowl of chips and salsa which is my favorite.
Do things that satisfy you long term and feed your soul.
What gives you joy and makes you feel alive?
This could be enjoying a beautiful sunset over the ocean, listening to good music, reading an inspirational book or enjoying a long brunch with a good friend. This could be a time of prayer and meditation. You decide to go on a retreat. You know what brings back the color in your life.
What about you? Have you had one of those weeks? Be kind to yourself and your family and take care of yourself.
Colleen O’Grady encourages and empowers women to live their highest and best life. From her coaching programs to her one of a kind therapy sessions, she has helped hundreds of women and teenage girls uncover their true purpose in life, create more happiness, and move to a place of inner peace. Colleen knows that everyone can create this kind of life.
Colleen O’Grady is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. Her private practice in Houston, Texas has been active for over 20 years. As an approved supervisor on a state and national level, Colleen is sought after to train master-level therapists, psychology and psychiatry residents throughout Houston. Colleen has created innovative coaching programs to give people practical tools for moving forward while also standing on a strong foundation of therapeutic practice.