How Not To Lose Your Cool
How Not to Lose Your Cool
when things don’t go as planned
I bet you’ve been there too - having a busy day ahead or a full to do list. Never ending chores, things to do and lists running through your head. You feel stretched in a few directions, but (pretending) you’re still going strong. Some days forgetting about yourself, some days reminding yourself of a little selfcare. Winging it, being on edge, coping, surviving, managing ‘just fine’. Feeling like you never finish anything or doing some things with less heart in it; or feeling like you’re less present than usual.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the daily grind and not notice the first signs of stress. That feeling of being on edge, not having enough headspace and being more snappy has been familiar to me lately! Can you relate?
Recently things have got a little crazy for me with schedules, new school/ work routine , commitments, all between some traveling and settling in the new home. Last weekend I was hoping for some headspace and catching up on a few things around house and work. And then, of course, my kids decided to become little cling-ons, with snotty noses & with some weird gastro issues. What was my initial reaction? You guessed it: ‘fu**, whaaat? why?’ And then I realized that maybe I’m being told something important here so I better tune in and listen. What if it meant to be that way?
How to Turn It Around
So how do we flip it around, when things get hectic and you’re feeling close to losing it all together? When all feels like just too much? There are a few things that usually work for me, depending on situation and environment. It’s my stress management and selfcare Bloom Power Kit: pick what would work best in the given moment - action - move on.
MY MAGIC MANTRA- let go and surrender: don’t make it harder by wishing it was easier. Days like that are hard as they are; accept it, surrender and trust that things will fall into places.
ACTION- do something, ANYTHING, just for yourself when it feels like too much. The first step is to recognize that you need it, so stop, tune in and ask what would feel the best right now (beach and mojito always speak to me too, but be a bit more realistic ;-)). I usually do the check-in first thing in the morning or - on a busy day with the kids - while hiding away in the toilet (don’t laugh, I am sure you’ve done it too!). What worked for me that weekend were soothing and delicious oils in my diffuser, good Bloom Power coffee, homemade apple crumble & big glass of red in the evening when all the snots and tantrums went to bed. Find yours in those edgy moments - can you get outside? can you read 1 page of your book or listen to a favorite song? Or maybe call someone that will be happy to give you some space and just listen?
STAY IN THE NOW- bring yourself back to now by switching off and putting away any distractions. I accepted that I won’t open my course book that day and that my iPhone won’t get much loving (the latter being actually a good thing, right?). Once you do, a magic shift happens - it somehow becomes easier, as those other things stop fighting for your attention. They become less important and you realize you can always do them later or tomorrow. And if you manage to get in anything extra done, that’s an awesome bonus.
BREATHING- the best, natural, quickest and free medicine. There are so many breathing techniques and you could start by testing a few to see what resonates. What works for me are a quick mindfulness meditation (I close my eyes and observe my breath, even for 1 minute if I am short on time) or 4-7-8 breathing method (it’s so powerful! if you’re a beginner, start with 3-4 breaths and build it up from there).
ESSENTIAL OILS - those can be truly essential! By inhaling essential oils, powerful brain responses are triggered. It’s essentially a form of healing (love it). From calming to uplifting and grounding, you will find a smell and combination that suits the circumstances. My favorite ways are to diffuse them or use topically on my wrists or temples. Or rolling some stress-away blend by YoungLiving on my wrists and sniffing it every 5 minutes :) The natural concentrated herby and fruity fragrances can transform your day, so don’t underestimate power of aromatherapy! Make sure you use good quality natural oils, with no synthetic additives, especially around or on kids (let me know if you have any questions about the oils, happy to chat!).
REMINDERS- it all shall pass, eventually and things aren’t as bad as they seem. We have a tendency to magnify bad and stressful things in our lives. Here and now is important, whatever it is. Sometimes things happen for a reason and you need to look carefully to find opportunities in obstacles. Easy to say, I know, but look at your past experiences and assess how many stressful days brought something interesting or taught you a good lesson? Also, how many of those bad moments still seem so terrible and stressful when you look back from where you’re now?
WHAT CAN YOU CONTROL? When you realize that there’re only a very few things in life you can control, things truly change. You can’t control your weekend plans, your kids’ mood or amount of snot coming out of their noses, or the weather. But what you can is to be in charge of your thoughts and your reaction to what is happening. Knowing that, how would you rather feel? Letting go of control and accepting it has been a real breakthrough for me (still in progress, always #inprogress). It reminds me of the short dialog that I made a habit of having with myself in stressful moments:
‘There’s a problem.
Can I do anything about it?
Yes? Then do not worry.
No? Then why worry?’
Try to start there and see if you notice any difference in your stress levels or in how you feel.
It can be easy to get more stressed and annoyed as things don’t go as we envision. And yes, my last weekend might have been all about snot cleaning, nappy changing and moody cuddles - far from the planned ‘catch up’ weekend. But you know what? We only have control over very little number of things in life and understanding and accepting it is the key. Using techniques or tools helping you to stop, notice, bloom and overcome the obstacles can be life changing. Looking back it was actually refreshing to break the to-do-list chain and, at the end, I was doing my most important job - to keep my kids feeling happy, loved and healthy. And, I feel that somewhere between the breathing, apple crumble and the mantra, I nailed it!