I’ve been feeling pretty miserable, off and on, for the last 6 months or so. I’ve had times when I’ve been in a mood that I can only identify as despair. And this is new to me – I’ve never in the past been through this. I’d like to call it baby blues except that my littlest is almost 20 months already!
Sometimes I just think to myself – what is your problem? Because the circumstances of my life are really relatively peachy. So why do I feel so miserable sometimes? I suspect all of the following plays a role – hormones, being needed by someone all the time, lack of sleep, busy schedule, lack of time spent alone or doing things I enjoy, constant supervision of my kids, constant bickering between the kids, the list goes on and on.
So in case any of you are feeling similarly, I thought I’d share my tips on how to get through it. Because really, today, I need to remind myself. Here goes:
- Get enough sleep.
- Pray every morning. (oops I should have put this first because I’m starting to believe it’s really even more important than sleep)
- Make sure I have some time away from my kids at least once every couple of weeks. This does NOT include grocery shopping – it needs to be fun and enjoyable. (for me, this alone time is a good time to employ my creativity – then I get a double bonus of feeling like I’ve accomplished something and also some peace & quiet)
- Maintain my friendships. I need to have other moms I can call or talk to regularly when I’m struggling with something. Even better if they are also willing to pray for me!
- Ask for help when needed.
- Listen to uplifting music. Christmas music always lightens my spirit.
- If you keep a journal, read through it. It’s always helpful to me to see where I’ve been and to see how God has been working in my life.
- Help others. It’s not hard to find other people who need a card of encouragement, a meal, someone to pray for them, someone to watch a baby while they get a nap or some shopping done. There’s something really uplifting about stepping out of your own issues to help someone else with theirs.
- Get a grip and realize it’s not all about me. Read Philippians 2:3-11 (below). Sometimes I like to throw myself a pity party and tell myself that I’m the only one doing anything around our house. When I read this verse, it puts everything in the proper perspective:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
I hope this is helpful to you. Do you have something that you do regularly to help you stay on an even keel emotionally? Please share!