Those of who are in the helping professions are often seen by others as having it “all together” and knowing everything that they are supposed to do. The second part is somewhat true, the first part is not. Let’s talk for just a few minutes about what happens when you do everything you are supposed to do and things still do not work out the way that you want them to.
What do I mean? Right now, most people are struggling with their mood. Therapists and other helping professionals recommend things like, avoid alcohol, exercise, spend time outside, communicate with friends and family, journal, eat healthy, watch funny television shows, and participate in at home activities that you find enjoyable. Even if you do every one of those things, there is never a guarantee that you will feel happy. Why do it in the first place, then? These things that I mentioned here are the best chance you have to feel as good as possible. For some people, these things will work. For some people, they will work sometimes. And for some people, unfortunately, they are just not enough “right now” to help get through some of the difficult times.
This feeling does not have to do with just your mood, either. What about eating healthy and exercising and still not losing weight? Or parenting exactly how the “books” tell you to parent and your kiddo is still have a very difficult time? And what about using all the right words with your partner, and they still get mad at you?
The point is not to say that you should throw caution to the wind and do whatever feels best. The point is that there are sometimes things that we need to do to take the next step forward, and sometimes we need to accept that things may not always work, but if they work 90% of the time, then that is something we can appreciate. There is, after-all, nothing that works 100% of the time every time.
What is a next step forward? If you are exercising and eating right and not losing weight, take a look at other things that you do. Are you drinking a lot? Are you having more snacks that you are actually paying attention and adding up? Have you gone to the doctor for a physical? No one wants to believe that there is anything “wrong” with us physically, but the truth is that our body is very intricate, and if one thing is off, it affects everything else.
Are you doing all the things that the “books” are telling you and your children are still acting out? The first part will be accepting that the books are not going to give you the magic pill, nothing will work right all of the time. The second part of this is to really try to engage with your child to find out what is going on. If something changes for your child, find out what it is! Be curious, and chase the why.
My goal is to remind people not to give up. If you have a bad day, accept that it is a bad day and try to hope for a better day tomorrow. But do not stop doing what you were doing because it did not work for you today, it will work for you eventually, just not today. If your children are having a bad day, then allow them to have their bad day and work with them on it tomorrow. Accept that children are allowed to have bad days too, and they do not have to be happy and cheery “all of the time,” just like we cannot be happy and cheery all of the time.
I want to challenge you not just to think that this is a good idea, leave the blog, and then forget about it. Write down what it is that you want to keep doing, and then post it somewhere. Stick with it, find a friend who can help hold you accountable for it, and remind yourself every day that if today was not your day, tomorrow can be!