Literally as I am starting this post, the weather outside is trying to figure out if its going to snow or rain. So far, it's done both, back and forth. It's ironic that the weather here in Indy seems to be aligning with the sentiment many of us have right now. It seems as if there's so much gray and sadness about us right us know triggered by uncertainty and fear. How do we keep ourselves from circling down the funnel where at the bottom of the darkness lies sadness, anger, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and any other emotion that makes you lie awake a night?
One day we were riding in our truck, all 6 of us. The oldest two sit in one row and the youngest two in the other. That day was not unlike days we've had before. The stench of irritability was in the air. There were a few tempers, well, not necessarily flaring, but starting the flicker. In the way back, our oldest two were having a minor disagreement. You know the typical, He won't stop doing this! and She won't stop saying that! Nothing that required the immediate intervention of us parents. So in attempt to allow them to work on conflict resolution, which we often do, we ignored the complaints. The youngest was fussy. I believe he may have skipped a nap that day. Rough. My husband and I were a little annoyed that the children weren't being the well behaved children that we were raising. I mean we followed all the instructions in the manuals they came with at birth. Your kids came with manuals too, right? Anyway, annoyed, yes, but not enough to do anything other than an occasional You all need to chill out. Then there was our youngest daughter, smiling peacefully looking out of the window singing quietly to herself. She was not at all phased by the grungy presence of aggravation about her. She was pretty much completely tuned out to what was around her. She was in a happy place and nothing going on outside of that space could sway the joy she had at the time.
In general, this kid is one of the most joyous people that I know. No matter what's going on around her, if it's in her at the moment, she's happy. How do we know she's happy? She singing. That day we were in the car and manageable chaos was abound, her sister asked her to stop singing. I immediately intervened. I let her know that if she's singing, she's happy. She has the amazing ability to find her happy place in any situation. This little girl is always singing and dancing. She seems to find joy all the time. We are Christian and have been teaching her about God and Jesus. These discussions have made her joy grow even more. She was ecstatic to learn about such immense love, and she carries it with her. It's the most heartwarming thing to see. Does she have her moments? Uh, yes! But we all do. I would say however, that chooses to be happy more than not. It's motivating and invigorating. How does she do it? It's simple. She makes a choice.
We all have choices to make each day. When deciding how to deal with what is happening around us right now, we can choose how we handle it. We can choose our focus. Are we going to focus on the negative or the positive. Currently, some of us are home with our families all day and every day. You can choose a positive perspective: What a blessing to be able to spend this time with my family. We are always so busy running here and there but now there's time to focus on each other. Or you could choose a more negative perspective. What am I supposed to do with all this time at home with these people? This is not going to go well. Realistically speaking, I imagine most of our experiences will fall somewhere in the middle of both. There will be times where we feel happy and stressed about the time we have with our family's right now. That's fine. It's about choosing on what attitude you want to focus, and when you deviate, re-focus your energy. Finding your happy place in our current situation, I believe, is about choosing where and how to focus your energy and thoughts. Here are some tips that I've been using over the last several days.
1. Choose to focus on what's certain. In all this uncertainty, focusing on what you can rely on to be certain in your life can be a breath of fresh air. I know the love we share as a family is certainly a gift. I know that this time we are getting to spend together is certainly precious. I know that God's love is certainly awesome. Find the things and people in your life on which and whom you can rely.
2. Choose how you plan to spend each day. Having purpose can help the positivity inside of you blossom. Write down or mentally plan each day. For example, my days right now for the most part are get up before everyone else for a few minutes of peaceful work, followed by getting dressed. I think its important to stay in the routine of showering and dressing even though we aren't going anywhere. I'm not dressing in anything fancy, just usually a hoodie and sweats or leggings, but I get out of my pajamas. I cook breakfast then get the kids up to eat and start the E-Learning, etc. You get it. The moral: Get up and have things planned to do with your time.
3. Choose to take time for you. You will need mental breaks. Take them. They are important for your mental health. Do whatever positive activity you enjoy doing for you. Exercise, watch mindless TV, read, write, paint. Exercise is another great use of your time. I have several family members that have used this time to add exercise into their daily regimen. It's been great to see them post their progress in our family group chat. Whatever it is that you find, just make sure you're doing it for you, and it makes you happy.
4. Choose to allow yourself to feel however you feel about certain situations. Wait, what? I know it seems a bit confusing or contradictory. What I mean is that you will have negative emotions sometimes. That's normal. Allow yourself to feel how you need to feel. THEN, you need to shift your focus. Do not harp on the negative emotions. Figure out how to put a positive spin on the situation. There's usually a silver lining hidden in there somewhere. When my husband and I have disagreements, we gain an understanding of from where the other person is coming, but then still allow each other to feel how we need to feel in the moment. For me, it seems to make things easier and faster to let go or get over. No one is forcing anyone to do it. You feel how you need to feel then are able to move on.
5. Choose positivity. All in all the message here is when faced with a choice, choose positivity. All you can control right now and always is your reaction to a situation. Choose to be positive. Choose to find happiness. Choose love, kindness, and joy. I know. I am getting a bit touchy feely. However, what I am trying to drive home here is have the choice. Why choose to stay sad, angry, and fearful when you have a choice to feel otherwise?
I hope that you are able to find your happy space in all this. Redirecting your focus to that space may take some exercise as events continue to play out. Just don't forget where it is and how to get there. Keep positivity in the forefront. We all need it.
Always striving to help,