I've been struggling a bit as I get settled into this new groove involving lecture videos, babysitters, reading, and clinical hours. I realize this will take some time to get used to, but I am ready to be in a routine. Where's the fast forward button? This week has been especially stressful, and it's only Wednesday. To be completely frank, I've been second guessing my decision to take this class at this time. Yesterday I decided that I was done feeling sorry for myself and wanted to get rid of this funk. Here's what helped me:
- Just Dance. I had some kid-free time alone while my oldest was at school and my youngest was at the sitter's. I turned on some good tunes (Ryan Adam's album of Taylor Swift covers) and danced like no one was watching. It was fun, I was silly, and it lifted my mood.
- Hug It Out. Psychotherapist Virginia Satir said, "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." Hugging increases levels of oxytocin (oh haaaai love hormone!), just like milk letdown with breastfeeding. Even a 10 second hug can improve your mood. I saw a friend today while at Target and she gave me a big hug after I talked to her about my tough few days. I felt so much better afterwards. Hug your dog, hug your kid, hug your partner, hug somebody.
- Pray or meditate. Breathe deeply. Focus on yourself, on your thoughts and then let go of them. Clear your mind and feel like a brand new person. By silencing outside distractions, you can really focus on what's bothering you. Tuning in to your sadness, guilt, or anxiety can help you figure out if a specific action needs to happen in order for you to move on.
- Gratitude. I recently began documenting one thing I am thankful for at the end of each day. I write it in my planner and it helps me remember that things aren't so bad. I can go back a few weeks to a particularly good day and remember what made it so good. While I like to keep mine to myself, you may prefer to share your gratitude on social media. Whatever works.