The curve balls of life are not always welcomed, but I've learned that what is is and we have to deal with it. We cannot curl into a ball and shut down in grief, fear or sorrow. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other whether we feel we can or not. In my family, we have faced job loss, divorce, terminal illness, death, mental illness, challenges with our kids and all the rest that life throws at many of us.
This survival instinct to keep on going, no matter what, is what I worry about for our kids the most. I see many parents insulating their kids from the sorrows of life or sugar-coating them for fear of their children's fear or inability to cope. Perhaps these curve balls come at us repeatedly, at times, so that we have multiple chances in which we are able to build our coping skills as well as our children's. Anytime we avoid an opportunity we are missing the chance to teach our kids what they will need most when they are adults and, ultimately, when we are gone.
I know...this is getting a bit depressing, but doesn't life get that way sometimes? What are the coping skills we can use right now to counter the effects of this newsletter?
- We can take a deep breath
- Go straight to gratitude to remember all that is good right now
- You could journal about this horrible woman who sent you a newsletter that sent you into a tailspin
- You could have a good cry
- We could choose laughter - go watch a funny movie or go to YouTube and watch a comedian perform for a few minutes (this releases happy chemicals in your brain!)
- Go outside and look at the beauty all around you - nature is the most healing tool you have and it's right there all the time
- Go for a walk or a run or go to the gym - exercise releases beautiful endorphins that relieve stress and make you feel happy
- We can sit with the truth and the sadness and trust that things won't always feel this way (Optimism! The ultimate depression-buster!)
Wishing you balance,
Bette Alkazian, LMFT
Bette Alkazian, LMFT
from the April, 2016 Balanced Parenting Newsletter
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