LIVING Self-Care

Another ten minutes invested in the 21 day self-care challenge, refueling yourself for life’s demands.

Psychologists recognize that our thinking affects mood, guilt, and the ability to handle life’s stresses. The word SHOULD is an example of self-talk that leads directly to feeling badly. “I should be more patient.” “I shouldn’t make mistakes.” “I shouldn’t make my mother angry.” Every SHOULD piles unrealistic expectations upon us, increasing guilt and feelings of inadequacy

Today, listen for your “shoulds.” Feelings are a clue. When stressed, breathe deeply and ask “what’s the should here?” Record each should. Take ten minutes at day’s end to examine the list. Challenge the underlying expectations. Who says it’s even possible to be always patient or mistake-free? Who says you are responsible for your mother’s (or anyone’s) feelings?

Practice this mantra: “Who says? I can challenge the shoulds and be easier on myself.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dunnewold and Diane Sanford, authors of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.