There are so many things I “should” be able to do, yet I can’t seem to manage to pull off these days. I’ll admit I’m overwhelmed, even on a good day.
The new puppy ate our stair, which led my husband to look for replacement wood in our guest room closet. He realized the closet was soaking wet and the bathroom upstairs had flooded into the downstairs guest room. This “shouldn’t” have happened.
I “should” be able to train the puppy. After all, I have a pretty extensive knowledge of behavioral theory. I can spew off facts about Pavlov, Skinner, Little Albert (look this one up & don’t do it to your kids), classical conditioning, operant conditioning, applied behavioral analysis, Premack principle, and the list goes on. I put together detailed behavior plans for kids at work on a regular basis, yet I can’t figure out how to get the puppy to stop jumping on my daughter.
I “should” be able to get the kids to sleep without losing my mind each night. They “should” be able to block out the loud fans blowing to dry out the mess from the leak in the bathroom. After all, it’s pretty much white noise like we played in their room when they were babies. They “should” listen to me. I “should” write them their own behavior plan, like I have been planning to do for months in my free time.
My shoulder “should” be better by now. I “should” be able to resume my aerial practice that I miss more than I can put into words. I “should” be able to watch videos of others or past videos of myself without the urge to cry. It’s been over 5 months… I “should” think about what I have gained from this experience besides 7 pounds, a met deductible, and a blog.
The one thing I “should” do is to stop thinking about all the things I “should” be able to do. Just like I talked about having unrealistic expectations for my children on special occasions in my last post, we (myself included) need to stop having these delusions for ourselves. This kind of thinking just sets one up for failure, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression.
10 Things you “should” do:
1. Breath- take a few cleansing breaths before reacting. 4-2-4 breathing is one of my favorites. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 2, and breath out for 4. The world looks different when you are calm.
2. Take a break- run, swim, walk, sit outside, garden, nap, write, read, do nothing, whatever works for you!
3. Accept help from friends and family
4. Hire help if financially feasible (cleaning service, puppy trainer, etc)
5. Treat yourself! My favorite treats recently have been wine and dark chocolate, both of which have been wonderful in moderation. Red wine happens to be an antioxidant that has been linked to helping with circulation, improving cholesterol and healing your body at a cellular level. Dark chocolate has also been known to have to similar benefits.
6. Spend time outside – vitamin D is a natural mood booster
7. Exercise – endorphins from working out can enhance your mood within minutes
8. Take medication if it helps your body and mind
9. Talk to a professional if you need it
10. Accept your imperfection and not think about everything you “should” be able to do