Today was the first day of the new year here in Australia. And it started off in a really bad way for me. Last night as the fireworks were going off down the street my son was screaming in pain from his reflux and gut issues. So my husband and I were giving him Mylanta, an adult medication that soothes heartburn. It’s very difficult in moments like that to stay upbeat or to stay positive. When I woke up this morning after what must have been at least 6 or 7 awakenings during the night time hours, my mood was so low and it took a lot of effort to get out of it. I wanted to share today what worked and some of the steps I took to bring myself out of the low mood and try to regain some positivity of which I’ve fought so hard for throughout 2016.
1. I allowed myself a moment to feel low and to sit with those feelings. I’ve learnt in the past year that sitting with discomfort is a really really important part of managing your anxiety.
2. I called Parent Line, a state based parenting and counselling helpline that you can call from 8 am till midnight 7 days a week. It’s fantastic to have someone you can just chat with and who can be empathetic as well as provide some feedback about your thinking patterns. You could call a close friend or someone else that you trust. Sometimes I find it really helpful to have someone impartial to speak to.
3. I went for a 20 minute walk to get my endorphins going.
4. I spent about 10 minutes writing down my feelings in my journal. I feel it’s important to note that sometimes it’s better to do the exercise part first before the journal. In my case trying to write down my feelings while I’m at the height of my anxiety or in this case the depth of my low, is it very very difficult and the perspective of the walk gives me the ability to delve a little bit deeper into my feelings.
5. I then spent some time writing down a plan to improve Ripley’s health.
After all of that I felt so much better. It’s important to note that I also practice minimalism and mindfulness. I believe strongly in gentle parenting and that presence is what children need, not presents.
Let 2017 be the year you let go.