This winter has been kicking my butt! Well I guess more accurately it’s been kicking my children’s butts. The kids seem to be catching every darn bug going this year and we are just getting over round 2 of the stomach flu. Yuck!
Those of you who are closest to me are well aware that nothing sets off my irrational worry like having a sick child. When one of my kids goes down with any kind of a virus or infection, my brain immediately starts spinning with the most morbid possibilities. Yes I know intellectually that worrying myself into a frenzy when my little guy barfs all over the floor is ridiculous when there are families dealing with seriously ill children- but my worry can be like a runaway train I sometimes can’t get control over.
After an especially anxiety-ridden holiday season (kids sick = mom worried sick), I decided this is the year that I am going to tackle my fears head on before they morph into something bigger and harder to manage. My first stop was with a friend who is also an Intuitive Counsellor. As I plunked myself down in front of her, I jokingly asked: “Ok so tell me the truth – was I a mom in a past life with 20 kids who all died of the plague?!” She had a good chuckle and then turned to me and said “You know what – you’re not far off.” Dammit- I knew it! ; )
Whether or not you believe in past lives, my session was focused way more on this lifetime and strategies that I can use to relax and be more peaceful and helpful when my children aren’t feeling well. Aside from giving me some practical visualization and breathing exercises to keep myself grounded, she also suggested that once I have sufficiently calmed myself down, I simply focus on one thing that I can do to improve the current situation.
Just breathe, get calm and ask myself “What ONE small step forward can I take in this present moment?”
I thought this was genius advice because I am famous for trying to micro-manage my family’s health. When someone is sick – my mind starts racing with a million things that I should have done or could do better or should be doing right now. Frankly it’s exhausting!
So how did I this use strategy as we wrap up our latest family puke-a-palooza? Well, I caught myself whenever I was on the brink of a freak-out and I remembered to breathe and clear my mind. And each and every time, I simply took one step forward:
– I sprayed all of our door handles with non-toxic disinfectant (I cannot live without my Benefect)
– I apologized to my daughter for acting like a crazy person and explained that I had been overcome with worry and I was working on controlling my irrational fears (this was also a great opportunity to teach her that parents make lots of mistakes and why it’s important to own up to them, learn from them and move forward)
– I opened up to a good friend and let her talk me into getting out of the house for a fun night of socializing (and perhaps a few glasses of vino)
– I washed everyone’s bedding and threw open the windows for 20 minutes (heck yes- right in the middle of a freakin’ polar vortex!)
– I quietly sat and visualized each of my children being happy and radiating vibrant health
And I felt better. Yes I still worried but by the time my oldest son went down for the count – I was actually quite calm about the whole thing. I’m not suggesting that I’ve got this thing beat but I am slowly inching my way forward towards being calmer and less reactive when illness strikes my household.
I’m certainly a work in progress but I do know that simply stopping, taking a deep breath and deciding on one positive and helpful action has already made a big difference in how I’m feeling. Now- my next step forward is convincing my husband to take us all away on a warm sunny beach vacation! Wish me luck!