Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coping Strategies for the Frazzled Woman

Hey Friends ~

I'm not sure who called "Summer" a "Vacation" ~ but my sense is, it wasn't a mom!

When do the "lazy days of summer" begin??

(And yes, someone please sign me up!)

I'll be painfully honest...I've been wrestling with maintaining my "joy" in the midst of having a house full of kids home this summer.

I wake up and have grand ideas of fun family play time, fantastic field trips, a home filled to the brim with harmony, peace, joy and laughter....but then reality hits....and it's not nearly as delightful.

Instead I feel like a referee, police officer, Molly Maid, personal chef, and game organizer. I'm exhuasted and frazzled and ready for "plan B".

Can anyone else relate??

One of my precious little ones is meeting with a therapist for some extra help this summer.

Last week she spent her session learning "coping strategies" ~ her mini toolbox of tips to pull from when she's faced with a difficult situation.

Thankfully one of her homework assignments was to copy the strategies and hang them all over the house. The more I've studied these coping strategies, I've decided I am going to be more proactive and put them to use in my life too!!!

**Here are my Top Ten Coping Strategies for the Frazzled Woman**

(adopted from my daughter's list)

1. Deal with your feelings

It's ok (and very helpful/healthy) to share, "I feel......".

Our feelings are our feelings and we need to get them out in healthy, safe ways. And yes, we now use the feelings chart in our home (a lot!)

How are YOU feeling today???

2. Think about the good side

I'm choosing to think on thoughts that are good, healthy and positive. Philippians 4:8 (MSG) has been wonderful to reflect on...

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

3. Focus on what can and can’t be changed

4. Nobody’s perfect

That's freeing, isn't it? I don't have to be a perfect mom/wife/woman (and you don't either!)

5. Take a break

I've used this "tool" a lot over the 4th weekend. Yesterday John and I decided it'd be best for me to stay home from a 4th activity so I could "take a break" before another full week. As hard as it was to miss out on fun, I knew it was best. I slept for 3 hours. I'm learning Moms need breaks too.

6. One step at a time

7. Take care of yourself

The other day while 3 kids were at camp, I made my daughter go with me to the gym so I could get some exercise. Of course, she revolted the whole way ~ but made it (really...going to a gym where you get to play Wii is not that bad!).

I felt VICTORIOUS! It was great to model "Mom needs to take care of herself too"

How will you take care of yourself today???

8. Plan ahead

I'm learning that it is very helpful to plan ahead, but then to hold the plan loosely.

9. Ask for help

Aren't you glad we don't have to journey alone? Who are your 3 people that you could call at 4 AM in the morning and they'd help you in a heartbeat? We all need those people!

10. Pray! (Added by me!)

After my 3 hour nap yesterday, it was GREAT to go for a long prayer walk and lift all of my concerns/needs/worries to God! I'm leaning hard on Him and His Word as I learn how to "cope" with the lazy crazy days of summer!

How about for you? What coping strategies do you have in your "tool belt"? How do you live "frazzle free"? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a Terrific Tuesday!!

P.S. One of my good friends (and graphic designers) turned this list into a pdf file. If you'd like a copy, send me your email and I'll send a copy right to you!

P.P.S. I'm linking up today with Jen and friends at Soli Deo Gloria. Be sure to check out this amazing sisterhood of women! :)

And for more great Top Ten lists, hop over and visit Oh Amanda!

Top Ten {Tuesday}


Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

What a great list! I might copy it and hang it all over my house too. Thanks for sharing.

kendal said...

yes. i can relate, although summer is less stressful to this teacher-mom, it isn't really a quiet, lazy time. add taxi driver to the list and you have my summer. and i can relate toyour daughter in that i have my tool box of coping skills from my time in therapy. learning to say "no" was the hardest skill to put into practice but so so good for me....

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

These are great, and it's nice to see them all written in one place. (LOVE that handwritten list!)

Just seeing the picture of the crazy lady at the top of the post raises my blood pressure! Is that what I look like when I'm frazzled? Yikes!


Great tools.


Jen said...

Oh, you know, you totally blessed me with your honesty! Because LAZY is one word that has not entered into this house this summer. And, I also know what it feels like to have great plans and a fun day planned -- and then the fighting begins. Oh my!

Miranda said...

Really great post. I have a toddler so summer doesn't effect me in that particular way but I'm stressed with the extra work load. I have a garden, my house gets more dirty, laundry needs to be hung outside to dry, yard work, etc. and it all just adds up. I especially like # 10 :: above all I need to trust Him and pray. Thank you for that reminder.

melody-mae said...

I am very glad I found you...new follower. :)

Anonymous said...

What great tools!! Moms do need a break!

sally said...

Great post my friend! I've been thinking many of the same things myself...like being done with trying to be "perfect" in certain areas (and being ok with when others aren't pleased) and focusing on the positive. I love your coping list.
Thanks for this!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

What a great lesson today! I love it! I need to make me a list and put it on my wall also!

Thank you!!!

Marilyn...in Mississippi

Keena said...

I really have not been using my coping tools..EXCEPT the one that says lay on the couch!! LOL Thanks for the reminder! AND, the only person I could call/grab @ 3am is my husband....Kinda low on the friend level.

Shanda said...

"One step at a time" I will claim that one.
I couldn't wait for Christmas to be over so life could slow down as it usually does in January. It is July and it is sitll going flat out. What will I do when holidays come I've been wondering. Now I know. "One step at a time"

Tricia said...

Visiting from Top Ten. Great post. These are such good reminders at any age. I often have to tell myself, "Tomorrow is another day...and this (whatever I'm fretting about) can wait." Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

This is a great list. I'm going to write it down and put up on my desk to remind me. I've been a bit frazzled lately.

Anonymous said...

Wow...this was just what I needed. I'm a disabled mother of 5, that's been out of work for a little over 2 years. I worked really hard to get my degree in nursing when I was 32 and through some really hard times and several deaths in my family I went into a deep spiraling depression. I've been using in-home counseling for about 6 months now and has helped a lot but these strategies are one I will be posting everywhere!!!!
I need to continue to empower myself and my children. Thanks so much for your post :)

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