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Giving Yourself Grace: Understanding Emotional Health Mood Fluctuations

I have been trying to keep quiet and concentrate on the things that I know will help my family stay grounded, like keeping myself focused, trying to keep to a routine and balancing stress and chaos in these unpredictable times.

However, through my sessions with clients and with my own experience with social media, there is so much pressure we are putting on ourselves, even now. To think that we will be able to focus and run at the same pace we were running on before is simply not realistic. So much of what helps us stay calm or grounded has changed or been taken from us (like a normal, moving schedule), and we need to cut ourselves some slack as parents.

Sure, we are all home and hopefully safe and healthy – but we are navigating marriages, working, teaching, cleaning, cooking and tackling home maintenance; all while our family is around 100% of the time.It is important that we remind ourselves that we are all different. Some of us turn to routine management, cleaning, or home projects to help center us. Some turn to TV, sugar or not-so-healthy coping mechanisms. Others turn to nature or working out. While some are thriving in this slower pace, relishing in its restorative nature, I honestly think most of us are challenged with different feelings day by day.

This is where the need for more personal grace lies. Some days you will feel inspired to start a project, exercise or bake with your children. Others, you may feel more tired, sluggish or upset. This is how emotional health works: You have to listen to your body. Keep doing what you know will help you get out of the slump, but don’t be hard on yourself for feeling more negative, grouchy or frustrated.

We are in uncharted territory here. This is something we have never been through as a country, or a world. There is so much unknown. From what we know about anxiety and mental health, feeling “out of control”, scared or facing unknown factors increases our stress hormones in the short term. It has been over six weeks of facing this fear and change, so give yourself some GRACE.

Think positively – even on the days that you don’t feel it. You’ve got this. Maybe your kids will watch more TV, or maybe today you have to throw out the schedule. You are doing the best you can, and that is better than good enough.

If you’re really feeling out of tune, go back to basics: nature. Things like exercise, healthy foods, *sleep* and water are foundational for our overall wellbeing. In therapy, we learn about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which explains that once our needs are met, we can reach to the next level of mental clarity or enlightenment. Most of us today are focused on safety, food and shelter. These are the lowest, most basic needs. Now may not be the right time to focus on self-development, but give yourself grace and if one day you are feeling the urge to fulfill a primal need – DO IT!

Maybe, you are feeling inspired by the slower life being offered to us, and you are using it as a time to re-prioritize. This is great! Focus on what is working now. How can you keep this up when the world re-opens? What are things you need to implement daily that you were missing before? What is restoring you today?

Speaking for myself, I’ve really relished in connecting more with my kids, slowing down my schedule and feeling like I can keep up with my exercise and cooking hobbies that I have let slide due to my business and bursting schedule. But there are days I sleep in, or I am not feeling inspiring, and that’s ok too.

Our mind is programmed to be naturally negative. Please listen to that voice and fight it. Come up with a mantra to remind yourself that you are safe, you are human and you are doing the best you can do today with what you have in front of you.

While this is a slower, more restorative time for some, others are experiencing more mental stress than ever. If you are suffering please reach out for support. Yes – the struggles of quarantine are real, but we have so much space to grow here and explore a better overall living experience.

If you’d like some one-on-one advice, we are offering telehealth sessions now – or we can guide you to a therapeutic support tool what works for you.

Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Give yourself Grace.