When I was a child I was going to be a teacher and children’s book author. Then an author and illustrator. Then I just knew I was going to be an artist. But what ends up happening to most of us is that we get going on a life path and have little time to look around to see if we are have landed in a destination that we planned on. It’s easy to get sidetracked. Some of us have ended up in careers that we never thought about. Others are focused on the fact that they are not doing what they love. Now that you are at a point where you can breath and see a little more clearly, are you feeling fulfilled? Do you feel like you have purpose? A purpose gives us a goal. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Some people are fortunate in that they have found purpose with their career; however, many people are working to pay bills and do not think of their job as one that is meaningful or serves a purpose. Today, I offer you strategies to begin creating a more purposeful life.
Parents are often burdened with responsibilities spanning from work, social events and family responsibilities. Often times struggling to manage it all. When we are at work we want to be home with our families. When we are at home we find our mind swirling with to do lists and unfinished projects. If we finally get a chance to carve out time for ourself we often feel guilty about it. Mom guilt. Dad guilt. We worry that we don’t spend enough time with our children. We worry that we gave them fast food. We worry that we let them watch too much TV. I am here to tell you (in a loud and confident voice) that your kids will be fine. They will be happy and they will thrive.
Today, parenting is intense. There is research and advice floating all over the internet and social media. We are left confused as to what the right thing to do is. But there is no “right” way. It is not black and white. Parenting, as in most of life, is a gray territory. I encourage you to do what you think is best and let the rest go. Ensure that you are engaging in activities that you enjoy and lift your mood so that you can be a better person and better parent. Setting aside time for yourself sets a boundary. You are showing your children that you need alone time, which is important because so much of parenting is the behavior that you are modeling. The goal is not to model a perfect person and make all the right choices. The goal is to model that you are doing your best with what you have and if things go wrong then you troubleshoot and make the best of it. It can be a disservice to your children to pretend that you can manage it all without taking breaks or saying “no” every once in awhile.
I encourage you to enjoy the time you have with your children. Time flies by so fast. Soon your children will be leaving the nest and the best thing you can do is arm them with the knowledge that you love them unconditionally. The rest will work itself out. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about doing what you think is best.
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it becomes harder and harder to keep a positive mood. It feels natural to want to snuggle under your covers and hibernate. You can keep your mood positive as stress and responsibilities increase during the holiday season it just might take more effort than usual.
5 Strategies To Reduce Grinchy Feelings:
You did what you thought you were supposed to do. You studied hard in school, got a job, bought a house, but instead of relishing in your accomplishments, you find that you are not happy. You may feel like you have not done enough or that you are not good enough, yet. There is a message out there that if you do everything right, then you can have it all. You can balance work, family, friends, life, hobbies and feel great. Can we have it all? What does that even mean?
We are all unique individuals and “having it all” looks different for all of us. It may mean being in a great relationship or having a great job. The more you add to your juggling act, the more difficult it is to manage each day. I discourage my clients to compare themselves and their successes with others. I believe it is more important to take the time to relish in your own accomplishments. Praise yourself for the progress that you have made. Then shift your focus to the present. Let go of yesterday and do not worry so much about tomorrow or next year. Try to live each day as it comes. As you do this you will find that you will not be so preoccupied whether or not you have accumulated “it all” or that you are successfully balancing everything. Focusing on each day allows us to be free of comparison.
Happiness comes from feeling good about yourself and your choices. I encourage you to continue to seek small bits of joy each day. This gives you focus and adds up to a happier life. Joy helps us through tough times and allows us to focus on the good. It helps boost our mood and gives us the energy we need to be there for the important people in our lives.
I am a mental health therapist practicing in Henderson, NV. I have found that most of the people that I work with have lost themselves on the road to success. A key component of my treatment approach is assisting people in rediscovering their passions and restoring balance to their lives. This blog contains slivers of wisdom that I continue to discover while assisting people become mentally fit.