Enough with the snowsuits already!
Wiarton Willie could not have been more wrong. Your neighbours still have their March Break tans and the last vacation you took was… camping last summer. If you could call that a vacation. Your kids have been bickering non-stop, tax season’s here, the seedlings you optimistically planted weeks ago just died, and if you have to eat one more salad on your quest to eat healthy, you’re gonna lose it.
Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive.
We’re working on teaching our family how to grumble less. It’s a work-in-progress, for all of us. A book that’s been really helpful is What To Do When You Grumble Too Much. One of the habits that’s stuck for our six-year-old is to finish the sentence ‘But at least…’ when something crappy happens and he’s trying to flip the negativity on its head.
Of course, nobody can be positive all the time and we’re not suggesting you try. Ever had a day when you wake up to discover the house is freezing because the furnace is broken, develop a bladder infection and have to sprint to the doctor with kids in tow, and during the afternoon school run get the car so stuck in a snowbank that you have to abandon it? Yeah. That day sucked. There was no “But at least…” in our house on that day. Aside from a few extra hugs, the only saving grace was the positivity journalling before lights out.
Positivity journalling is a fancy way to say: keep a notebook and write at least one good thing about your day before you go to sleep. Simple, right? It doesn’t have to be long, and won’t take more than a few minutes to do, but the results are profound. When you’re grumbling about the dishes because you’d rather be… anywhere, switch off the negativity by re-living your day to decide what you’ll write about. Not only will you go to sleep happy, but forcing your mind to consciously focus on the positive will subconsciously affect your attitude throughout the day. Before you know it, “I have to pick my kid up from school,” will become “I get to pick my kid up,” and when he notices your good mood that’ll open the floodgates for an awesome conversation.
Another bonus, aside from those positive vibes, is the beauty of being able to look back at what you’ve written. This is super helpful on those winter-won’t-die type of days for an instant pick-me-up; it’s also amazing to hold onto memories about your children that you’re sure you’ll never forget. Not only are you kinda SAD, but your sleep-deprived milk-brain is in constant multi-tasking mode. Of course you’ll forget! But your journal won’t.
This time of year is tough and dwelling on daily frustrations doesn’t help. At least one good thing happens to you every day. Focus on that to reclaim your joie de vivre.
Email any questions and let us know how this worked for you!