We are all aware of the benefit of gratitude and being positive. I am fully aware that if I look at the glass as half empty, then that is how my attitude for the day is going to be, and to be honest, it usually ends in disaster. By being positive and by practising gratitude on a regular basis it enables us to be happy and appreciate the good in life, but at times, what I really need, is for the glass to be half empty to make me actually do something about it. Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to be miserable and look at the dark side of everything, but if you ignore how you really feel and what you are thinking then you are doing yourself a disservice as it prevents change and suppresses any motivation you have to make things work for you.
As a human, we have the ability the feel, think and react emotionally to our environment. We can control this with positivity and our attitude, but we do need to acknowledge how we are feeling and what this is ultimately doing to us. If we blindly keep looking at the positive and ignoring something that isn’t working, then we waste a lot of energy and time.
During the 1st lockdown, I tried to carry on working in exactly the same way than I did previously. I tried to give as much energy and time to my job as if I didn’t have 3 children at home. I tried to home-school my children and give them the same opportunities as if they were in school. I tried to carry on as if nothing had changed. I tried to remain positive. I knew that if I sat and cried it wouldn’t change the situation so I carried on pretending. I became snappy, irritable and burnt out. I didn’t concentrate at work, I didn’t have fun time with my children and quality time at anything was non-existent. I didn’t really succeed at anything. I felt miserable, stressed and anxious. My attitude of remaining positive didn’t work. By pretending that everything was normal, it meant that nothing actually worked effectively. This time around, I am listening to my feelings, and I am taking time to review the situation.
To really think about what works for me and my family isn’t just about doing a tick box exercise of completing work, completing school work and making sure that everyone is fed and survives the day. It’s about thinking about the purpose and value of everything that I am doing, and why I am wanting things to happen. What do I really need to achieve and fit in to a day, and what actually isn’t important now. It doesn’t mean that it won’t ever be important again, but at this moment in time, what can drop down the to do list? Am I actually happy about what I am doing, or is there another way?
By getting my children to do their school work what do I want them to learn? Time with my family is important, but the value of that time is lessened if it is full of tension and anxiety. Putting some thought into what is happening, and why I am wanting to do something, can really change my attitude. I can take something that is difficult and negative, and by acknowledging its purpose I can make it work. Take the time to pause and work out what you want. What is really working, and what are you pretending is working? Be positive and grateful, but be realistic. It is only then that you can make a life that works.
I have learnt that reflection and taking time to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings can really benefit my attitude. There may be times that it is painful to acknowledge feelings and thoughts and it can be harder work than just going along with what is already happening, but I can promise you that it is worth it! If you would like any help in understanding and reviewing your situation please get in touch. Life isn’t normal at the moment, but by pretending that you can do it all, you may be denying yourself the opportunity to do the important things well. Take control over what you can control, and accept the things that you can’t.
Thank you for reading.