So far in this series of blogs about mental health…specifically what has helped (or not) my own, we’ve looked at sleep (obvs) and meeting our own needs.
Now, clearly in order to have our needs met we actually need to be able to communicate them…with the right people, in the right way. And that’s not something we’re always very great at now is it? I’ve certainly done my fair share of work on this one over the years (and the work continues!) and it’s something we work on a LOT in my 1:1 Journey to Joy sessions…ain’t no joy if we can’t communicate properly.
So…what to do?
1. Be honest
With yourself, for starters. Time to admit we’re not supermum (hint, she doesn’t exist) and we can’t do it all and we don’t feel great. It really is ok not to be ok and it really is ok to talk about it…the more we do, the easier it becomes, for all of us.
So be honest, about how you feel, what you need, what you want, what help you need to get it.
That said, I find so many of us don’t actually know what we need in the first place. We’re so used to rushing around and doing and meeting everybody else’s needs we’ve forgotten how to notice and listen to our own little signs. Our own body and heart communicating with us. She’s doing it all the time but we don’t listen. Or we just assume what we need instead of checking in first. So sit. Be. Quieten. Listen to what you REALLY need in any given moment and honour that.
Get real with them! honestly, the biggest cause of struggle I see anywhere in our motherhood journey is always the gaping void between our expectations and our reality.
Expecting to ‘enjoy’ every minute, clean the entire house during nap time, do all the things, feel great, lose all the weight in 5 minutes….is setting ourselves up to fail.
Be honest about your own and manage other people’s expectations. Of yourself and your little ones.
3. Listen to your language
I am SUCH a fan of being mindful of the words we use. They have such a huge impact on our minds and can make the difference between wellness and wobble single-handedly. The more we talk about how bad things are, the more they’ll continue to be so. I talk about this all the time where sleep’s concerned but it matters elsewhere too. Our brains LOVE a negative, don’t feed it with more than necessary. Find the bright spots, force yourself to notice three positives every day, switch perspective, lead with love over fear, compassion over resentment and let your language match. Moaning minnies stay miserable…and no that doesn’t contradict the first point about honesty. It’s possible to be honest about your feelings, open up and be vulnerable and ask for help, without wallowing and drowning in self pity and continually using words to match.
4. Just get it out
Whether onto paper journalling, talking, counselling, coaching….whatever it is just speak up. Keeping these things in doesn’t help anyone. Don’t worry about being a burden or bothering other people with your shit, if they love you (or its their job to do so!) they’ll listen, without judgement. Just get it up and out. And if you don’t have anyone who can do that for you, find one. Find a women’s circle, a coach, a mentor, form a listening partnership with somebody, join an online community…just find a space where you can speak AND feel heard.
If you need such a space, then maybe the Mothership membership group is for you. You can find out more and join here