Today, I began listening to an anxiety reducing program. Why? Because my daughter has suddenly started losing her mind over bugs and blood. If she sees bugs, she completely freaks out and has tried jumping out of her booster seat. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened while I was actually driving yet, but I’m not sure how long that record will last. The last time she saw blood, she turned completely white, broke out into a full body sweat and made it clear that she would throw up. She kept yelling “Aaaacckk, aaacckk!” Now, I don’t even want to think about what will happen if both of those fears were to happen at the same time! We’d need a Xanax... not for her, for me! She’s scaring the holy out of me every time it happens because there is definite screaming going on. Everything is fine, then all of sudden, someone lets loose a banshee and I turn to see that the banshee is in fact, my daughter. Yikes!
So back to the anxiety program... Part of what I needed to do in order to teach my daughter how to handle her anxiety, is to look at myself. The author asked for the parent to spend 10 minutes writing down what makes him/her feel bad. After a full 10 minutes, I came up with this list of horrid things:
Cooking, cooking, cooking x 1,000,000
Putting away leftovers
Always having to be on the go
Homework (my kids’)
The kids bickering
Not being around my family & friends ( we moved away from my close family/friends 5 years ago)
Balancing the bank accounts
Tight spaces/Crowded spaces
Being interrupted when I'm on the phone
Gardening/Lawn care-- All maintenance in general really
Feeling like I have to do it all
Cold weather or rainy weather, cold & rainy weather is even worse!
Waiting for the school bus in the cold, rainy, cold & rainy weather
Now that I’ve accomplished reminding myself of all the yucky things, I’ve determined that all of that makes me hurt in my back, neck and shoulders. Well, wasn’t that a fun thing to find out. On to the good stuff! What makes me feel good? I was pleasantly surprised to find these thoughts really flowing out! Here’s what I jotted down in 10 minutes:
Watching movies with the kids
Reading to the kids
Alone time with husband
Playing board games as a family
Playing Rock Band with my son
Batting in the backyard with the kids
Our pets (or small petting zoo if you were to ask my husband)
Backyard campfires with Reese’s s’mores
Being with my family
Waking up and seeing my wall of goodies the kids gave me
Fishing with husband
Laying on the couch, watching our shows with husband
When my husband cooks... I love that!
My dogs! And how they follow me around unless there’s food around elsewhere
Back rubs and I get a daily hug from husband that is actually an attempt to crack my back-- it’s a blessing really!
Going out with friends
Reiki (I’m a practitioner)
When my kids succeed or are enjoying themselves
Sunshine, and hot weather
Weekends out and about for fun with my husband and kids
That greenhouse feeling I get when I sit by the glass door in the sunshine waiting for my kids to get off the school bus.
Just thinking about all those joyful moments really lit me up from within. It not only felt good to remind myself that I have these events in my life, but I physically felt lighter. I felt my muscles loosen, my shoulders drop, and the weight I’d been carrying on my shoulders flow away. I looked at that list three times and smiled. You know what... this could be a way to smile every day. Look at the “good” list and maybe add to it from time to time. And you know that first list of the “bad” stuff, I’ll just have to find a way to not have to deal with those things quite so much. Now where’s the take out menus? Ahhh, take out... no cooking... Say, why there’s another smile already!