Write me: rebecca@positive-parents.org
Photo Credit: Creative Child Magazine

Motherhood is beautiful and joyful. It’s also exhausting and monotonous. Taking care of the ever-present needs of little ones often leaves little time for taking care of our own which can leave us feeling drained, dreary, and down in the dumps. If you’re feeling a little blue, try these tips to turn that frown upside down.

1. Check your focus.
My boys are all about Star Wars lately, and when I heard Qui-Gon Jinn say, “Your focus determines your reality,” I wrote it down. This is not just Jedi wisdom. Mamas need to understand that whatever we direct our thoughts and energy toward will determine what we live each day.
Are you focusing on your child’s flaws or her strengths? Are you paying more attention to his negative behavior or are you seeing his heart? Are you thinking more about the drudgery of every day, or are you looking for miracle moments? A simple shift in focus can pull you out of that dump.

2. Start off on the right foot.
If you can rise and shine before the kids get up, good for you! That’s certainly helpful, but it isn’t necessary for a positive start to the day. Whenever and however you wake up, remember L.E.A.P. This stands for lights, exercise, air, and protein. First thing, turn on a lot of lights or open the blinds. Next, get a bit of exercise. Stretch and move around to get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing through.

Also try to get some fresh air. Step outside, look up at the sky, and take a few deep breaths. Hello world! Finally, grab a bit of protein. Your body is ready to convert that into energy for your day, so don’t skip breakfast.

3. Reframe the negatives into positives.
Give thanks for the things that irritate you! “I’m grateful for these dishes. My children have eaten.” “I’m thankful for a hectic morning. We are alive and able to move around.” “I’m grateful for this huge, ginormous Lego pile scattered all across the living room floor, one of which I just stepped on because it means childhood is happening here.”

4. Pump up the jam.
Play upbeat music first thing in the morning while you make breakfast or get dressed. Studies show music actually improves your mood and has a lot of other benefits, likes lowering stress and anxiety. For added benefit, shake your booty. One study showed that dancing improves mental health.

5. Get curious.
Curiosity is a stepping stone to mindfulness, and mindfulness improves mental health. Ask yourself questions like “what am I noticing about my feelings today?” or “I wonder what is going on inside my child to cause her to behave that way?” or “what small step can I take toward that goal?”
By being curious rather than judgmental, notice how the energy shifts. Approach life with a child-like sense of wonder. See things in a new perspective, notice things you haven’t noticed before, and ask a lot of questions.

For more of my Positive Parenting articles featured in Creative Child Magazine, click here.