It was one of those days.....
We just unpacked from our 2 week trip at the beach, so our house looked like a legit cyclone went through it.... and then came back for a second spin around.
Unfortunately for the people who live with me, few things put me more on edge than a chaotic environment.
I'm able to remain calm in many situations - even pretty stressful ones - but being in a messy house/room/place is not one of them.
For me, external order = internal calm... and vice versa.
Does that ring true for you as well?
On this particular day, ALL the things were a mess:
Dishes in the sink
Suitcases all over the place
SAND. So much sand
The couch by the stairs full of stuff that apparently only I am capable of seeing or doing anything about
Actual mountains of laundry
Half-eaten food, plates, silverware and napkins everywhere
Single socks - WHY SO MANY, AND WHERE ARE THE OTHER ONES?!
Did I need to bring up 4 bins of clothes from downstairs to add to the chaos?
Did I do it anyway?
You know I did 💃 #whyamilikethis
So, I'm on edge from all this external chaos (half of which I created).... and then the kids started fighting.
You guys... I LOST IT.
I was screaming, the kids stared with wide and unbelieving eyes, the dog was barking... it was a SCENE.
My husband Dave later told me that he (and therefore everyone on his work call 🤗) could hear my breakdown.
Winning my Monday.
The real problem with this is not that I lost my cool, although.... yes.
It's that I don't want to show up like this.
I don't like to lose my temper
I want to handle challenging moments in a way that makes me feel proud
I want to set a good example for the kids
When we have moments/days (years?!) like this where we're not showing up like we want to, it's a great opportunity to reflect on what is actually going on and make a plan from a calm place about how you will handle similar situations moving forward.
So, let's do that together!
SOS For When You're Deep In It
OK, so you're past the point of thinking rationally.
Maybe you are:
Screaming, crying, or cutting your hair with a knife
Throwing things that are not where they should be onto the floor - thereby making a bigger mess than the one you are upset about in the first place. This is one of my Signature Moves 💃
Seeing red, or seething quietly
When the awareness hits that you've lost it... STOP.
Stop: Physically pause your body
Take a Breath: It can be a single mindful breath (through the nose and a long exhale to turn on the Relaxation Response) or a 10 minute breathing practice. Whatever you can do
Observe: What do you notice? Tension in your jaw, clenched fists, heart racing etc... Curiosity is key here, not judgment
Proceed: With a little more intention, just from this simple practice
The real benefit of this STOP practice is the space you create with the pause.
That pause allows you to remember how you want to show up, the kind of person you want to be.
It's a practice you get to return to over and over in times of stress and worry, as well as in times of calm, peace, and ease.
You are planting the seeds for growth and transformation, and opening the doors to love, compassion, kindness, calm, ease, joy, and space along the way.
What a gift to give yourself and those around you ✨
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor E. Frankl
Some other helpful tips for when you're in the thick of it:
Get out of there. Step away if you can. Go for a walk. Sit in the car. Lock yourself in the closet and take three deep breaths (your kids will love this one!)
If a feeling of overwhelm has you spinning, ask yourself, "What is the Next Best Step I can take right now to create a little more ease/harmony/calm? Keep it small. And then do it.
Ask for help. This might come from asking your kids to help with the laundry, your partner to run to the grocery store, a colleague to set up the presentation, or maybe it looks like talking with someone professionally. Asking for help is a sign of strength and self-awareness, don't shy away from it.
Remember, you are not alone. We all lose it sometimes. Learn from it and move on.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin
Some tips below to help you NOT get to the point of Losing It in the first place:
Take care of yourself - Move everyday. Stay close around food. Connect with yourself and others each day. Get enough sleep. Have a glass of water
Practice gratitude. A gratitude practice can help you cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and enhance physical health
Set realistic expecations: Hoo Boy!! This is a tough one. But when our Perfectionist Ideal doesn't match Actual Reality, it's a recipe for disaster
Just Say No: Understand your limits and avoid overcommitting
Keep it clean: Keep your living and workspace organized to reduce clutter and create a sense of control.
Try these 5 No Cost Self-Therapy Tips!
Hope these practices and tools are helpful for the next time you find yourself screaming at your kids in your PJ's... If they stay home much longer, it might be sooner than you think!
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