Parenting, despite all of it's incredible positives, is hard.
It is something we all struggle with from time to time. Some days we simply wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe we've had far too little sleep or maybe we started the day by stubbing our toe. It's bound to be a bad day from that point on. Our children tend to repeat everything that we say. They feed off our mood and energy and it's something a lot of parents feel guilt over. A lot of parents feel as though they are shouting too much, giving out far too often and generally speaking negative words around their children.
The reality is that staying positive all the time is unrealistic. Some people are very good at faking it but in the face of sleep deprivation it can be incredibly difficult. No matter how long you spend doing the house work it is never quite done. The hours spent cooking are often in vain as dinners are rejected. Toddler tantrums and teething can be enough to send any parent over the edge. The reality is that parenting, despite all of it's incredible positives, is hard.
I've been pro-actively trying to encourage myself to think more positively recently. I genuinely believe that what we think about we bring about. I think that negativity breathes negativity and I really want to be the best me around my children as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, we all have days where we do not want to open the curtains or face the day. There are days where no matter how hard we try we simply cannot shake a bad mood. Circumstances can be out of our control and bad news can throw a major spanner in the works.
Here are some of the things I have been finding useful in my quest to be a more positive person
Realising that those who I follow on social media really do impact my mood. If I have spent 30 minutes scrolling through my news feed reading negative posts and rants I tend to absorb that negativity. I found myself gradually moving from a good mood to a bad one following checking my social media. I now try to follow people who I can relate to. People who are positive, ambitious and productive will rub off on you too.
Gratitude. This one sounds so simple but it is one I had completely forgotten about. As I lay in bed each evening I list the things that I am grateful for. If nothing else it really reminds you that the day had a lot more positives than you might think.
Fresh air. Getting out for a walk with the kids or on my own had done wonders for my mental health.
The foods I am eating have played a big part also. Introducing more vegetables, fish and foods rich in nutrients has made all the difference to me. I had no idea that food could affect our mood so badly.
Talking. I am a chatter box but sometimes I neglect to talk about the things that are stressing me out or getting me down. While I don't think talking about the negatives 24/7 is a good idea it can definitely help in the long run to get things off your chest. Speaking to a friend or partner about an issue you are having might be the perfect remedy. Sometimes when we say the words out loud the answer or solution can turn out to be very simple. For me it usually revolves around writing a to-do list. It keeps me in check.
What do you do to stay positive?
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie
Check out her own blog at love-of-living.blogspot.ie