Survive and Thrive through Family Pressures
What good is a routine or a system if they blow apart under stressful times or family pressures?
No good, that’s what.
Which is why I’m back at my desk today, doing the work, despite my own serious and traumatic family pressures this past weekend.
I’m not going to go into details… sorry, but I just can’t. Suffice it to say that an old and ugly issue has reared its head rather strongly again, and I’m in bits over it.
The crux of it came on Sunday, though it had been building for a while. On Monday, myself and Jon took a mental health day.
Coping with Family Pressures – The Mental Health Day
In the morning we went and did some errands that had been bothering us for a while, small easy stuff to take care of and enable us to feel a little in control of the day. I did some self care things, such as a repeat prescription for my meds (which is usually a pain in the hole for me first to find time for, and then to actually get out of my comfort space and make happen).
We talked a lot, and once the day to day stuff was under control, we made a joint decision to invest in ourselves, in our health and in our future happiness. We went and bought bikes.
After that, we shopped a little for things to improve our home space, including both indoor and outdoor plants. I was working away in the garden when our friend arrived to share a dinner, tea and chats – so we got to hang out with someone who understands the family pressures, and supports us.
To finish up our evening, we headed in different directions to unwind and relax in the ways that suited us, which we both needed individually.
He built things and took care of his dinosaur ‘family’ in a virtual world (playing Ark on the Xbox), and I headed to a Rose of Tralee watching party with family and friends. It’s an Irish ‘lovely girls’ pageant that’s in it’s 59th year (in 2018), and I’ve never watched it before, would you believe? Maybe you would believe.
We have a horse in the race this year though, so to speak – our friend Kirsten Mate Maher is the Waterford Rose, and she is an amazing person who I would truly love to see representing Ireland world-wide.
The whole experience was strangely soothing, helped along of course by the Rosé wine, and hilarious readings from Irish Twitter’s reactions to what was happening on screen.
All in all, the day worked exactly as we needed it, to ease those family pressures somewhat, at least.
Taking a deliberate, considered, mental health time-out when something big hits is absolutely essential.
When you struggle, as I do, with those pressures on a day to day basis, there is a very real danger that a stressful event can tip the balance toward something very negative.
But if you can press pause, do things that you know will provide relief and support – both short term and long term – ask for help if you need it, and use that time to ground and regroup, even a little… the next day becomes a bit easier.
SUGGESTION – Keep a running list of those things, or even make your own mental health time out plan in your Bullet Journal, so that you have something ready prepared to fall into, if a stressful situation hits you suddenly. Nobody needs to be trying to make a healthy and sensible plan in the midst of a crisis, right?
And once you’ve taken that time out – that’s when the routine kicks back in.
I know what work I need to get to get done today. I have my monthly and my weekly plans and master tasks to simply fall into, without having to think about it too much.
I also know that my work might not be completely productive or entirely perfect this week, this month, this year – depending on how the family pressures continue to play out as we go.
However – I have a system. I can press pause, reset, and slide back into this routine any time I need to. As many times as I need to.
Because I will survive, and eventually, I will thrive. And I hope I can help you to survive and thrive too.