“It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”
How many times has someone said this to you? Indeed, it comes from a place of love, comfort and I’m-not-sure-what-to-say-but-I-see-you-are-on-the-verge-of-a-mental-breakdown concern. However, if you’re anything like me, you are looking for a solution to your problem rather than a simple phrase.
This short, yet powerful, list is a compilation of tips I’ve learned over the past few years as I experienced marriage for the first time, lived on the road with my husband, pregnancy…enough said, became a mother, all while dealing with the uncertainties of the baseball industry. Learning to accept difficult days was crucial for my personal growth and physical health. Although our stories may differ, we have all experienced frustration, embarrassment, exhaustion or hopelessness during a tough day. I will never claim to have all the answers, but I hope to encourage and remind you that tomorrow is a fresh start.
Okay, enough of the sappy encouragement…here are some realistic, simple and crucial tips to bring relief on a really, really bad day.
Hot water + holy basil ASAP. Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is considered the strongest cortisol dissolving herb on the planet. Cortisol is a stress hormone that when experienced in excess can lead to a plethora of emotional and even physical issues. Obviously, an herb won’t be the answer to helping calm your stressful days, but it’s a powerful tool that should absolutely be utilized.
Give yourself a break, 20 minutes is all you need. This is essential for you’re well-being, especially when you feel like you’re on the brink of a meltdown. It’s our tendency as busy mothers to ignore our feelings and keep on trucking, but I encourage you to give yourself a break. You’re allowed to put your hands up for 20-60 minutes. Listen to your thoughts, assess the situation and sit with your emotions.
Eat your favorite food(or make the healthy version of your favorite food). They call it comfort food for a reason. I’m not suggesting that you cook a full batch of cookies and eat them all in one sitting, but make something that will nourish your soul.
Communicate. Tell your husband, your kids or your mom that you’re having a hard time. You’re not complaining as long as you stay honest and avoid playing the victim. It’s not weak to tell people you’re struggling. It’s honest, courageous, an opportunity to humble ourselves and seek guidance. We need community to uplift us and help us in times of trial.
Write down your thoughts and express gratitude. This may sound silly to you, but when you write out your thoughts, it helps you mentally organize everything that's running through your brain. You can also pinpoint what’s triggering your emotional turmoil. Not enough alone time? Do you need more sleep? Do you need a date night? Once you have labeled your emotions, write down ten reasons to be grateful. Nothing too tricky, but you will quickly notice a mood shift when you chose to focus on the positives.
Yes, these tips are realistic and useful, but there’s one more tool that exceeds all of the quick fixes to your bad day. It’s the gift of prayer. It’s not a fix; it’s a practice. Bad days humble me, but only when I let them. I’ve had many bad days where I’m self-seeking, mean, short and snippy towards others and even to myself. What seems to always help me, whether I’m about to fall or have already fallen, is praying intentionally — asking for forgiveness, asking to be delivered from pain and anger or just reminding myself how patient, forgiving and kind my Heavenly Father is. It comforts and redirects me in ways I can’t do myself.
I’m so sorry you had a rough day. Truly. You are strong, your frustration is temporary, remember to give yourself a break, and if I knew where you lived, I would send a pizza immediately. EXTRA cheese.