Episode #106 Sick of feeling crappy all the time
Question of the Day:
School has started and I’m excited for my kids to be out of the house and in the classroom. As I was walking toward the school at the end of the day to pick them up, I saw a class out on the playground. These kids were running, playing, laughing, and having a great time. Some of their masks were on, some half on/half off, but they were living in the moment, having fun.
Instead of appreciating that these kids were happily playing together, I kept focusing on their masks! I was thinking about how they were too young for vaccines and that as soon as Covid starts spreading around the school, they’re going to shut down and send kids home again. I’m worried about how contagious the Delta variant is and even vaccinated people can get it and spread it. I can’t even deal with my relatives who are illogically refusing to get the vaccine. I’m worried things are never going to return to normal.
I want to enjoy life again like the kids at recess were. I thought returning to school would help me feel better, and it has a little, but it seems all anyone wants to talk about is COVID, masks, vaccines, and I’m just sick of it.
What can I do to stop feeling so crappy all the time?
Life Coaching Answer:
Good News! You’ve already accomplished the first two steps to feeling less crappy!
- NOTICE that your brain is focused on negative thoughts.
Our brains are constantly running commentary inside our heads without us even realizing it. We might go from happy to sad to mad to crazy, all in the course of a minute, because our brain is jumping from one thought to the other.
We THINK that we feel happy because our boss gave us a compliment, or we feel sad because there was a dead cat in the road. We THINK that it’s the circumstances we encounter that dictate our emotions, but it isn’t. ALWAYS, it’s the thoughts inside our head that are creating how we feel.
You already noticed this! You didn’t say their droopy mask wearing was making you crazy. You said seeing their careless mask wearing caused you to THINK worrisome thoughts! This is a huge distinction!
We cannot control other people’s mask wearing, conversation topics, vaccine choices, or state mandates. Believing that these circumstances can make you feel a certain type of way, will cause you to feel powerless. You are already feeling shitty so let’s not add powerlessness to the mix.
You feel shitty because the thoughts inside your head are negative. Guess who has control over the thoughts inside your head? YOU DO!
2. A desire to feel better.
Once you notice how you feel, and the thoughts causing it, the next step is to spend time thinking about how you want to feel.
The circumstances are going to remain the same: People are still getting sick and dying of COVID. Some people will still choose not to get vaccinated. There isn’t a vaccine approved for kids yet. Masks still do a great job of protecting people.
Even without any of that changing, you still get to decide how you want to feel and what you want to think about.
You say you want to feel joyful like the kids at recess. But it’s hard to go from shitty to joyful without sounding like a fake motivational hallmark card. “Every day, in every way, life is getting better and better!” Our bodies/higher selves will reject any thought that doesn’t resonate as the truth, so we can’t just make up happy thoughts and convince ourselves they are true.
When you have a circumstance like Covid that is such a trigger for negative thoughts, you’ll want to think more generally in order to feel joyful in the present.
Right now, in this moment, all is well. I am healthy. My kids are happy and healthy. We have air to breathe and food to eat. In THIS moment, it is safe to relax, take a deep breath, and appreciate the things I see around me.
Covid is a virus. Our world has seen many viruses. This is not the first or last, just one of many. This isn’t new, it’s just a part of being a citizen of the human race. I like being part of this human community. If Covid is the price to pay for having a human experience, I’m in. It’s worth it.
You did the first two, now it’s time to focus on step #3.
3. Give equal time.
How much time have you spent thinking about the negative aspects of COVID? A third thing you can do to feel less crappy is for every minute you spend worrying and thinking scary thoughts, give equal time to thoughts of love, safety, and beauty. Fear and love are in two different parts of the brain. You cannot be in both at the same time.
For every minute spent in fear, deliberately spend equal time in love and safety.
Right now, in this moment, are you safe? Look around you. Is there any immediate threat? If not, sit back, close your eyes, and relish in the enjoyment of safety.
What do you see that is beautiful? Kids playing at recess? Flowers blooming? Vaccinated people wearing masks to protect the health of strangers?
How has Covid increased the love people have for one another? Which TV shows remind you about the importance of love and beauty? Can you think about people (or animals) you spend time with who radiate love? With whom do you feel safest?
Remember Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs from your high school psychology class?
Level 5 – Self Actualization – Achieving one’s full potential, morality, non-prejudice, Creative, Best Self
Level 4 – Esteem – Status, respect, freedom, recognition
Level 3 – Love and belonging – friendship, intimacy, connection, family
Level 2 – Safety – Health, property, security, income
Level 1 – Physiological Needs – Air, water, food, shelter, clothing, warmth, rest
We are currently living in a world of rapid change, unpredictability, and declining mental health. This “global weirding” is dropping many people down to level 2. When people feel unsafe they can’t self actualize. They can’t be in fear and love at the same time. They don’t get to feel respected, free, or intimately connected because safety comes before levels 3, 4, 5.
When people say “wearing masks takes away my freedom” they are operating from fear. Their brains are screaming “lack and attack!” If they could feel safe, loved, and connected, they would realize that they are free and always have been.
In order to feel less shitty, we’ve all got to let go of fear.
In order to reach our full potential, we’ve got to let go of fear.
In order to feel respected, revered, and free, we need to let go of fear.
In order to feel love, belonging and connection, we need to let go of fear.
You have a choice.
You can choose to respond to global weirding with fear: watching the news, worrying about the world, getting frustrated with those who don’t think like you. Clinging to the past, or thinking things should be changing more quickly than they are, creates stress. Getting mad at people for not thinking like you creates stress. You don’t have to manage your brain, you can let other scared and stressed people dictate your emotions.
Many people are responding this way. You will be in good company. You will feel justified and righteous.
But there is another way to respond to our “global weirding”.
You can choose to use these uncertain times to become a better version of you. Instead of joining in the group anxiety, you can become an emotional leader. Deliberately choosing to feel peaceful and loving, no matter what the circumstances. You can focus on beauty, safety, peace and joy, all of which surrounds you all the time. You can hire a life coach to help you illuminate your blind spots and step into a higher version of yourself. You can manage your mind, deliberately choosing what you want to think about, how you want to feel, and take actions that reinforce the belief that you are loved, free, respected, safe, and beautiful.
If you want this, but don’t have a community around you that supports these ideas, you’ve got to step outside your comfort zone and start taking the lead. It’s too important to wait and hope that your mom, your sister-in-law, or your partner is going to self actualize so that you don’t have to.
You have already taken the first two steps. You know you feel shitty and you know how you want to feel. The next step is learning to manage your mind. That’s what I’ve been trained for. I help people use their minds to get what they want. Not just a career you want or a peaceful home life, but how to create the world you want to live in by changing how you feel and think on the inside.
Supermom Kryptonite: The Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Have you heard this quote? When I heard it, I felt terrible but it made me take a long hard look at the people around me. No wonder I felt so crazy!
Think about the people you spend the most time with. It’s easy for their little voices, emotions, and opinions to start dominating your brain! If you’ve got a partner and 3 kids, that doesn’t leave a lot of room left for positive, uplifting people!
This makes our media diet and our online community that much more important!
Be very careful to take in only positive, uplifting news, people, movies and information. Notice who or what lights you up and makes you feel like the best version of you. Notice who or what drains your energy, makes you worried or anxious and AVOID IT.
Supermom Power Boost: Be around other people who feel crappy
Like attracts like.
If you feel crappy, the last thing you want is to be around someone who thinks everything is great and looks at the world through rose colored glasses. The best match for you is someone who feels shitty like you, but wants to feel better.
Invite them over, have a glass of wine or a cup of tea, commiserate and notice how you feel after. If you feel seen, heard, and felt, great! Schedule a time to see them again!
If you feel connected to this person but disconnected from others, then it’s not a good match. Righteousness or sharing a mutual enemy gives you a false sense of connection. “We’re right and they’re wrong” is not at the top of Mazlow’s self actualization pyramid. It’s actually a level 2 fear. When people aren’t open to hearing other opinions, get defensive, or become close minded, they are scared and need to focus on safety and security.
Want to be around other people who are sick of feeling crappy? Sign up for the free group coaching call by getting on the newsletter list at www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/10Q
Quote of the Day:
“Believe something and the universe is on it’s way to being changed. Because you’ve changed, by believing. Once you’ve changed, other things start to follow. Isn’t that the way it works.” Diane Duane, author.