For Parents: 5 Ways to Reset Your Day
I've been having one of those weeks. It's Wednesday, my week has been hectic—and I have nothing to show for it.
You know the feeling. You've been harried and busy, up to your eyeballs in work, but your to-do list isn't getting any shorter. I'm a list-keeper, a to-doer, a type-A over-achiever, so weeks like this are my kryptonite. I can wrap my head around days or weeks that I'm taking it easy and ignoring the to-do list—sometimes I need those days and weeks. But when I'm just spinning my wheels, accomplishing little but doing everything? That gets me in a funk.
I'm still working on divorcing the value of a day—or week or month or life—from its productivity.
This has only gotten harder as a parent. My day is her day now, too. This may come as a surprise to you, but I'm not pleasant to be around when I'm feeling harried and busy. Since Jason and I both work from home, we get the benefit of being around Charlie almost all day. On the other hand, if we're not careful, we're around work and stress and to-do lists all day, too.
Some days, I have to shake myself out of the funk. I need a day reset.
When you can't go back and start the day over and there are tears and whining and tantrums (and your kid's crying, too)... it's time to reset. Here are a few ways I hit the restart button.
1. Pick Some Low-Hanging Fruit
If you're like me and you get a rush from checking off a list, you need a win. Choose something small that you've been putting off—replying to that email, cleaning out the fridge, or making a phone call. Get it done, check something off, and enjoy the endorphins, you junkie.
2. Stop Trying
This suggestion is the antithesis of the previous, I know. But here's the thing: I've realized that sometimes to turn around my day when I'm home with Charlie, I just have to stop trying to accomplish everything. I have to rearrange my list or leave it behind altogether for another day. This is especially true when Charlie is fussy and I'm about to crack. Sometimes all you and your kiddo need is to slow down, read a book, walk to the park and stop the madness. You may be surprised to find you accomplish more when you slow down.
3. Get Outside or Get Moving
Nothing gives me a boost like a workout or some activity, especially if it's outside. There have been countless mornings since Charlie was born that I've dropped work, stuffed my earbuds in, strapped her in the jogger, and just took off running.
I'm not sure how these things are connected, but without fail, if I'm feeling discourage I'm also glued to my phone. Maybe I'm trying to escape my funk, or maybe my social media apps helped create it. Either way, logging off and closing the laptop is essential for my mental health on days like this.
5. Call in the Troops
When all else fails, it's time to rally the troops. Send out a desperate plea on Facebook for other parents to go on a walk, or drop by your bestie's place with a latte. Getting out of the house always boosts my toddler's mood, and when she's happy, I'm happy.
Here's to your day—may the reset button be ever in your favor.