It’s Sunday – a day of rest, a day to find stillness and calm, and a chance to be with my family. My day should be full of joy and contentment, but I’m tired, anxious and feeling like there is never enough time in the day to do all the things I need to complete, and instead of being calm I’m picking fights with my family and we are all grumpy.
Does this sound like your Sunday?
Last night I didn’t sleep; I found myself in constant thought and I was “shoulding” all over myself. I know better. I know how to calm my mind. But last night the “shoulds” were stuck in my brain:
- I should get up do yoga tomorrow morning at 5:30
- I should eat more plant based food
- I should spend more time with kids, and make sure they are reading 20 minutes every day, and practicing piano, and doing their chores, and also just being kids, and…
- I should get rid of all the chemicals from my house and use more natural products including essential oils
- I should write more in-depth comments on my report cards forall my students
- I should make sure my next lesson plan is really inspiring and meaningful
- I should get a blog post up soon
- I should make sure my website looks polished and ready to share
- I should contact all my friends and make sure they know i’m thinking of them
- I should take my mom for lunch, she’s so good to me.
- I should make sure the bills are paid and the groceries are ordered
All these thoughts took a span of maybe ten minutes but the pressure and anxiety I felt was enormous. How will I have the capacity to do all these things? How can I sustain a healthy life, and work full time, and be an entrepreneur, and be a good mom, and…? These thoughts overwhelmed me and I spiraled so much into an anxious experience I had to get myself out of bed to remind my mind that I was safe, and to stop the fight/flight response I was having in my brain and body.
Do you have nights like this too? As a parent, an educator, a wife, I feel so inclined to have to do so much for everyone that often it takes a toll on my own mental health.
So instead of letting my day get away in a negative spiral of worry, anxiety and more “shoulding” on myself… I am practicing the habits of wellbeing that can cause a wave of upward thinking instead of a downward spiral.
Today I paid attention to all my “shouldy” thoughts and practiced self-compassion instead of negative judgement. The practice of mindful self-compassion is to be aware of your thoughts and instead of meeting them with judgement, expectation and frustration, to meet your thoughts with kindness, softness and gentleness.
I know there is a lot I want do in my life, but I will practice being present and patient with my life instead of rushing.
So today, I took the time and cuddled my kids, I gave myself a coffee and a structured work time and I went swimming to get some exercise; habits that helped me be kinder with myself and my kids.
I also know that I have regular connections to wellbeing – weekly yoga classes, friends i can count on and retreats that help nourish me.
AWE has a reatreat coming up on April 28th!
Register here for the AWEsome Wellbeing Educator Retreat so you can give yourself time and space to breathe in all the good thoughts and get rid of all the “shouldy” ones.
I hope you can find some strategies each week that help you remain present and help you from “shoulding” on yourself. Comment below and share your favourite thing to do on the weekend to calm your thoughts.