I am convinced that moms are like Jedis. We have mind tricks, we can defeat an empire if we want to, and we have abilities that only moms can understand. However, like any Jedi prone to use The Force in favor of light, we can also be turned into the dark side, particularly if you are a mom with anxiety. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be permanent. It all depends on what we do when darkness strikes and understanding that with our abilities we can come back to the light again even stronger than before. Like Anakin.
What to do? How to recover from that state quickly without sinking my family with me into the darkness? It’s not easy but this is possible. These are the 3 rules I follow when I have a dark day.
1. The day will happen no matter what and it will end no matter what.
Someone a long time ago said this sentence to me and it became a mantra when I have a dark day. The day will pass and come to an end and you have to deal with it. So I move through it step by step, accomplishing the little tasks one after the other. No matter how you might feel, you still need to be a responsible parent, co-worker, boss, employee, etc. It’s not like you can just go under the blanket and watch bad T.V. all day. It’s easier if you move little by little and take in the small victories of the day.
2. Doing nothing sometimes is the best choice.
You need to create habits to reinforce positive thinking but this doesn’t happen magically. I usually practice meditation, prayer, journaling among other things. But when a dark day strikes, and it happens because life happens, sometimes my methods make me feel better and others nothing can. Then I just do nothing. I don’t make efforts or try to force my way into excitement. You just need to let it run its course. It won’t last forever, so for a couple of days, I stop demanding stuff from myself. Do nothing. Remain still to don’t stir.
3. Press the reset button in your head.
You can’t let the dark cloud stays stationary in your life. This is what I do. Before going to sleep I use a visualization exercise. I imagine a red button with the big letters RESET. I think about the day and examine it. I ask myself “what can I learn from today?” Then I convince myself that nighttime will give me the chance to recharge my system; that as soon as I press that button I will go to sleep and when I wake up the next day I will basically be rebooted and my system will work like brand new. For me is like telling The Universe: Ok, I had a bad day and I will get the lessons and move on.
Sometimes it takes more than a day or two to get out of the darkness. The longer you are in that state the more effort from your side you require to come back to the light. Every single mom has those days. However, I know that anxiety or any other kind of mental illness makes those days more common and more difficult to overcome. Dark days are necessary because they come like rain as they cleanse us and force us to be introspective, to have conversations with our inner being. Plus, remember that you have the power to turn things around, if you allow yourself to know what works for you, if you believe that you have the power within you and listen to the voice of your heart (or to The Force if it helps!)
Paola’s book is on sale in your favorite stores starting on Monday April 19! Be sure to get your copy:)
Paola Sur is an Award-Winning Author, Momxious Platform Chief Content Officer, and she is launching her upcoming book The Anxious Mom Manifesto. More info Instagram @paobsur and www.paolasur.com.