The weather is a lot cooler now. The sun sets before 6 pm. We are still in a pandemic and it does not look like the country is opening back up to normal status any time soon. Do you have Fall Fever yet? Are you tired of being indoors? Have you had enough Netflix, social media scrolling, and movie nights? How much more can we take? I thought I was going to lose it, like seriously. I had Fall fever like a mutha! 😂 The walls started to close in. I had binge watched every binge worthy show on Netflix. I had re-watched too many movies. The kids seemed to be more irritable, did not want to do chores, did not want to obey, did not want to do school work… I thought we were all going to lose it.
Have you experienced any of these things during this pandemic? Are your children behaving better or worse? I think that the kids have it worse than adults right now. Structure and normalcy is important to children. Depending on a schedule and routine provides comfort and security but that was snatched away from our little, vulnerable, innocent people! They need social interactions with their friends. And for some, their only solace and peace may have been the classroom. They are suffering. This is hard on them. I realized very early on that my attitude and behavior dictates my children’s, for the most part. Yes, they have independent thoughts and choices to make. But, they will mirror what is taught. When I keep my cool, they usually can too. When they see my pause and take some deep breaths, they know to do that when feeling stressed, too. If they see me get upset and yell, they will react the same way.
Are your friendships suffering? Is your social life dwindling away? Have you found yourself feeling down more often? Angry, sad, frustrated? I have a solution! Yep, I told you this is where you can get something you need to get your life! So, here are a few things to do STARTING RIGHT NOW, to immediately get you on track to better days!
The first thing we need to do is remind ourselves that we are human and allowed to make mistakes. I know. It sounds very simple to do and seems easy enough, right? WRONG! We are often times our worst enemy. We do not praise ourselves, we do not celebrate ourselves, but we are quick to speak negatively, speak doubt, and speak down to and about ourselves. What we need to realize is that mistakes do not make us failures. Mistakes, in fact, make us successful. How will you perfect a craft if not to try, try, and try again? The key to success is making enough mistakes to get it right! So, please, let’s allow ourselves to make mistakes, learn, and grown into the best version of ourselves. And in the meantime, we have to show ourselves grace! When you make a mistake, instead of,” That was dumb.” Or, “How stupid can you be?” Think,” That did not turn out as I had planned. Next time, I will…. to get a better outcome.” Or, ” That sucked. But I’m a bad ass and I can do better! I will…..”
Next, we are not claiming a situation or experience as an identity. When someone asks about you, do you immediately identify yourself based on your experiences? Do you describe yourself as a father, mother, husband, or wife? Let me remind you, that you were not born from your mother’s womb or cut from her belly, as a wife, husband, or as a parent. There was a FULL blown identity of you BEFORE you met your life partner or dedicated your life to little people. The basic values that dictate your life were probably pretty much in place before you became a parent, married, or both. Maybe you’re not married or not a parent but you identify yourself as a Domestic Violence Survivor, a Sexual Abuse Survivor. STOP! Right now, today, let the last time you identified yourself by what happened to you, be the last time you reduce your greatness to that. Your story, your journey, does not define you, unless you let it. You are more than what has happened to you, so step into that! You are greater than your experiences and bigger than your problems, start believing that.
And the third thing, being self-first is not selfish. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite writers, Audre Lorde, is,” Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is an act of self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That is a whole word right there! We have to realize, and I will continue to emphasize, that it is extremely important to care for ourselves, love on ourselves, and fill ourselves up, before we consider giving to someone else. To deprive ourselves of love and care, is selfish and cruel. To think that we can give someone something that is not even ours, makes no sense. Taking time to intentionally put yourself first is self preservation and that is a necessity. One thing I love is art and water. I love being close to the water and if I can be on the water in a boat, that is even better! Last weekend, I went down to the Wharf and then to the National Harbor in Washington DC, where I live if you did not know, and it was amazing. I ate at a great restaurant called Nick’s Riverside Grill on K Street NW, walked along the waterfront, and had great conversation. It was a lot of fun. The river was beautiful, glistening as the sun set behind the sky high buildings that fill DC. The wind was blowing slightly, causing a little chill, but the weather was beautiful and my soul was happy!
Can you make a commitment today to put yourself first, love on yourself more, and give yourself the care you deserve? I know you can. Even though the weather may be getting cooler, depending on where in the world you are, bundle up and get outside for a walk or hike. Play a board game or card game. Jenga, UNO, and Monopoly are a couple of my family’s favorites. Try something new off YouTube. Get on Pinterest.com or Google.com and you can search for all kinds of things to do in your area or at home, and yes, free stuff! Whatever it is, commit today to not letting Fall Fever get you down in a dump, and commit to loving you more.💚
Leave a comment below if you are willing to make that commitment to yourself!