Working through a bad mood with one simple question

Today I had to tap into what I’ve been learning about coaching and talk myself through a badittude.

Here is how it went down:

I had a three-year-old who was a threenager today.

I stress-ate taquitos for lunch.

I made a plan with my husband that I would go to the gym right after dinner. I don’t often go to the gym (read: once every two months). But I’m trying to exercise a couple times a week, a goal I’ve been working on since January and my success rate wobbles like my willpower at a waffle bar.

So setting this gym time made me feel hopeful that I would get a break from a tough day parenting. I felt like I was powerful and stepping outside of my comfort zone (going alone!). I felt proud that I was choosing this instead of netflix and wine tonight. #owningit

Then I got a message (at dinner) that Conor would be late.

 

God bless this man who knows to text me bad news because I take a long time to mentally process through this kind of stuff (as you are about to see).

 

So, here are my initial thoughts (this is messy and vulnerable, but it’s true)

  1. I might as well not even make an effort to try and make exercise part of my life, seriously this is ridiculous to even try around Conor’s shift work.
  2. He obviously is putting work before me and my needs. Doesn’t he realize how discouraging this is?
  3. I am just going to eat all the chocolate

 

Then I thought, now is a good time to self-coach through this.

So I ate only some of the chocolate (if you are going to eat your feelings at least make it delicious) and I asked myself if I can’t go to the gym what is the next best thing I could do?

I decided I would do yoga or go on the elliptical. After all, I was already in sweat gear so I didn’t have to muster the emotional energy of getting changed into a sports bra.

My thoughts shifted from ‘why bother?!’ to ‘a short work out at home is better than nothing’.  And so I did a workout downstairs with kids running around and only having to intervene like seventeen times. Still, a work out was done. My heart will thank me and my kids saw me taking care of my body.

When we set goals we also need to plan for the hurdles, we can’t let them succumb to the whims of our emotions.

 

Then I did something I often do when I’m processing some issue I have with my mans. I had an imaginary conversation in my head with Conor. From being together for 14 years I can predict a lot of his responses so I visualized how this conversation would go if I brought all my messy reactions to him.  He would tell me that what I’m thinking isn’t true, and he would be correct.

So I asked myself, what is true?

  1. Conor is always the first to support me when I want to exercise.
  2. He has more responsibilities at work this week and I should give him grace and respect for that.
  3. Working late comes with having a j-o-b
  4. Working late sucks for him. We got to eat tacos on the deck and he had to work! I can definitely be more supportive and respectful of his job.

I sent him a loving text to make sure he knew he wouldn’t come home to someone who is ‘totally fine, it’s fine’ but rather someone who would smile at him and mean it.

 

Years ago I would have clenched onto those initial messy reactions and validated them in every way I could think (super pleasant right!?). Over the years I’ve been learning to really examine my feelings and my thoughts. To ask a lot of questions about why I am feeling/thinking something and hold it up to the light, test if it is true or just a reaction.

There was a point in this day where it could have taken a whole other direction and made this house tense and defensive. All from letting my goals slip away and blaming someone else for it AND from assuming what others are thinking instead of asking myself, what is true?

 

So the day worked out pretty good! I ate taquitos, tacos and chocolate, I worked out, I finished a library book on time (while cuddling my threenager at ‘rest time’ aka ‘netflix on the couch time’), I turned what was an Instagram into this blog post and I will have a husband to give leftover tacos and a kiss to when he gets home tonight.

 

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