12 Ways to cope when you’re not coping

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lemons 2Do you have those days when you feel like you are not coping with your life?  Your shoulders and neck feel tense?  You find yourself getting more tummy aches than usual?

When it feels like you are not coping maybe it’s because you are focusing on the stress.  Your body goes into fight or flight (keep thinking you need a holiday right now! Or sit there procrastinating?)

When you are in the thick of things you may forget that there are ways to bring joy into your life.  Here are 12 suggestions to help you do just that:

Have a cup of tea
But make its special. Use a teapot or your favourite mug.  Remind yourself that you also deserve some peace and quiet and that you are important too.

Commune with nature
Sit on the grass.  Walk barefoot.  Lie under or hug a tree (you have no idea how comforting that can be if you’ve never tried it).  Feed the birds.  Work in the garden.

Look up
Spend time looking at the clouds, the shapes, shades, contrast of colours. Watch a sunset or a sunrise for some peace and pleasure.

Do some exercise
Get those endorphins going.  Often we don’t do anything when we are feeling low but that is the time to work it because you will feel so much better.  What I do is jump on my mini trampoline while watching reruns of my favourite comedies. And talking about that…..

Do funny
Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.  Laughter changes the chemicals in your body so make it happen.  Children laugh 200 to 300 x a day and adults laugh about 15 x a day.  That’s just sad.  Don’t be a statistic.  Even forcing a smile onto your face changes what happens in your brain.

Throw a tantrum
Not in front of everybody else, just by yourself.  You didn’t want things to be happening this way did you?  So say so and stomp it out.  Try not to scare anybody while doing it though, it doesn’t have to be loud.  And then accept that this is part of life and you actually can cope if push comes to shove.

lemons 1That’s what Friends are for
Contact a friend. You’ll be amazed at how many people are going through or have gone through something similar.  If there’s no-one you can think of then contact a coach, a psychologist, a social worker or go and have your hair done and chat to your hairdresser.

Meditate or Pray
I find that when I meditate before I pray I’m much more focused and connected.  These two activities alone have volumes of positives written about them – just ask google.   Slow conscious breathing also works to calm a person down especially when you feel as though you are panicking.

Find a hug
Often a few moments of loving touch will do wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Dance or sing it out
Listen to your favourite music, it will get those dance moves happening.  Even if you don’t feel like it just dance anyway for one song.  Or Sing.  Sing out loud.  Who cares what you sound like?  If your voice is really bad then close the door.

Pets
I can’t stress the value of a pet.  I don’t know what I would do without my dog and cat.  They are an endless source of healing.

Be grateful
Be grateful for what’s right in your life.  Not every single thing is going wrong.

Turn your life around.

With love
Eve

Seeing yourself with Loving Eyes

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self-love-what-you-see“They” say – Love is in the eyes of the beholder.  To me this means it doesn’t matter what you are like because if somebody loves you they will not notice your flaws or at the very least they will ignore them because they love you so much it won’t matter.

What about you?  Can you look at yourself and see someone beautiful?  Someone kind, loving, loveable, capable, strong, courageous?

It’s easier to love someone else and ignore their flaws than your own.

However, don’t despair, loving yourself is a skill that can be developed and it’s to your advantage to work at it.

When you live each day like the one before and don’t grow yourself you will most likely notice that you are unhappy or uneasy.  Those uncomfortable feelings are a sign to you that it’s time to do some inner work.

How to start

Look at yourself and what you say and do with loving eyes – the way you would do if you were looking at someone else that you love.  If you are able to do this, you will start to be less hard on yourself, be more forgiving towards yourself, get up after you fall down, not worry about others’ opinions, be more free.

eyes-grapefruitsMay you have a week where you remember how amazing you really are.

Eve

The Peach and the Pear

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peachYesterday I was sitting eating a bowl of fruit for breakfast.

The first bite of the pear was lovely.  I tasted that real pear flavour and felt the grainy pear texture.  After that bite I was staring into space thinking about everything that I could think of, things that I had to be doing, things that I had to say to people and it was filling my mind.

Before I knew it, the pear was finished and I hadn’t even noticed eating it which was quite disappointing because it was really a beautiful pear!

I sliced into my cling peach next. I noticed the colour – at least two different shades of orange.  At that moment I decided to eat the peach consciously.

Sonotice-dr-seuss I stopped thinking about everything that has to be done and I ate my peach with concentration.  It was sweet and juicy, delicious, the colours so bright.  I was suddenly struck by the miracle of it.  This peach is amazing!  It has been plucked off a tree!

I marveled at how the world and everything in it has been created with such beauty and functionality.  Wow.

All that for a peach that I took the time to notice.  I encourage you to try this sometimes and don’t stop at fruit, take notice of people too.

I wish you a beautiful day.

Eve

Decisions Decisions!

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decision-signsFor some of us making decisions is extremely difficult and can paralyse us into doing nothing or lie down staring at the ceiling and talking in tongues ;).  From something important like choosing a career to something small and innocuous like choosing what to cook for your guests for dinner.  How do we decide what to do?

I was listening to Rabbi Tatz’s lecture on decision making and here are some ideas he shared.  I thought they were on point and useful.

When you have to choose between two things for example two job opportunities (we should all be so lucky) but can obviously only take one, which one will you take?

Divide your page into two columns.  In one column write JOB 1 and in the second column write JOB 2.  Under each column write the pros and cons of each job.  (Yes this sounds basic but wait……).

Now, next to each pro and con, put a score out of 10 (see my example below).  10 means it appeals to you and will make a positive difference to your life, 1 means it does not appeal to you and will make a negative difference to your life.

JOB 1 JOB 2
PROS CONS PROS CONS
Tea lady brings drinks throughout the day
4/10
1 hour drive in peak hour traffic
2/10
Fancy coffee machine in a sociable area
6/10 (love fancy coffee)
45 minutes drive in peak hour traffic
4/10
The staff seem quite nice
7/10
The office I will get has no window
4/10
The staff seem motivated and professional
7/10
The office I will get I have to share with someone who has strong political ideas 2/10
Good salary
8/10
Not much responsibility
5/10
Excellent salary
10/10
There’s a lot of badmouthing among co-workers
3/10
The hours are 9 – 5

7/10

High turnover of staff
2/10
I would be responsible for 5 people which would be good for my growth and CV
8/10
The hours are 9 – 5 but it’s expected for you to work overtime without extra payment
4/10
26 13 31 13
Total 39 Total 44

decision-scalesAfter this evaluation, according to Rabbi Tatz, you would choose the highest total which is JOB 2.  Obviously you would go into more depth with the pros and cons – I have only typed up a few examples.

Now here comes something interesting that he says…. If both of them add up to an equal number i.e. 50/50, you just choose any one.  You can even flip a coin because in reality they are both equally good for you.  That one was a “wow” to me.

Did you find this helpful?

Wishing you a good decision making week.

Eve

Instant Disease

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illness-spots-on-pillow

I heard a true story a couple of years ago about a man and his son who had inhaled dry pool chemicals when servicing their pool.  The chemicals damaged their lungs and they spent months in rehabilitation trying to recover from this disaster.

So…. Yesterday I was living* for a swim and spent the entire day looking forward to it only to find that when I finally had the opportunity there were piles of chemicals on the steps.  So being a person who tends to look for solutions I asked some advice and then went to scoop the chemicals into a bucket of water for later use.

While scooping the chemicals up I had a fleeting thought that maybe standing in a cloud of chemicals was probably not that healthy and then I smelled some chlorine fumes off the top of the water.  Of course having suddenly remembered the story of the man and his son I immediately started to worry that I had damaged myself.

My mind started working overtime and I created an “instant disease”.  I started coughing intermittently and I even felt a bit tender in my lungs when I breathed.

This is the power of the mind!

Fear can bring on symptoms even when there’s nothing wrong!  It reminds me of one of my favourite sayings:  What we focus on expands.  The more we think of something the bigger it gets.

So how did I change my mind?

I checked in with myself to see if I had really been injured and tried to think about it logically.  All I had smelled was the chlorine that was in the water but because I was standing so close it smelled quite strong.  Then I asked my most logical friend (my husband) for his take on it – I can actually laugh now thinking of the look on his face – he assured me I hadn’t done anything to endanger myself.  After that I did the most important thing which is to make a choice to believe that I am safe.   Once I did that and repeated the words to myself a few times, I went on to do something else and forgot about my “symptoms” which of course disappeared.

I am so in awe of the power of the mind and how it can take us either way depending on what we choose.

By the way I decided not to swim until the chemicals had dissipated so I had a cool shower instead.  I could have just done that in the first place but then maybe I wouldn’t have had anything to write about 😉

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Eve

*I always say I’m living for something instead of dying for something because quite honestly I wouldn’t want to die for a swim 😉

My Perfect Partner

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perfect-partner-statueAt some stage of your life you have probably looked at other peoples’ relationships and thought “Wow, they look so happy all the time / respectful of each other / in love / thoughtful / romantic”.

That’s the part of their relationship that they show to the world.  The rest is hidden.

Most peoples’ ideal partner is based on unrealistic expectations which come from stories, movies, songs and books.

So, is there a perfect partner?

Yes.  In front of you.

Look at the person you are with because that is most likely your perfect partner, the one that’s right for you to help you grow and become a better human**.

The way to realise the perfection of your partner is to firstly love and accept yourself as you are and then do the same for your partner.  Love and accept them as they are.  If you make this choice to work on your relationship you will notice how gratifying it is when things work out well.

Relationships never happen in a straight line.
Sometimes they are easy and sometimes they are hard.  Every relationship requires effort and self growth.

Think about what you want in this relationship and then make it happen.  If you want flowers but your partner is not that way inclined there is no point in getting upset about it because that won’t change things at all.  Ask for the flowers so that you get them.  If you want more talk time together, initiate it. Let your partner know how important they are to you and how when you spend time with them you feel loved.  If you want to be more appreciated, show appreciation for him/her.  Take a look at yourself and be honest.  How often do you really show appreciation for your partner?

The perfect partner is most likely the one you’ve got.  The perfect person however, does not exist.

I wish you a week of growth and love, accepting your partner for who he or she is, noticing the beauty in their eyes and realising how lucky you really are.

With love
Eve

**I’m not referring to abusive relationships

If you are not currently in a romantic relationship this can also apply to any type of relationship in your life.

The Blind Spot

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judging-before-you-assume-ask-squareDo you ever wish that you would have just kept quiet and asked questions rather than jump to conclusions?  Whenever I jump to conclusions it doesn’t end well.

I think the reason for this is that we judge a situation by our perception or experience of it from our point of view and how can we know what is really going on unless we are in the other person’s mind?

So many disputes take place because of this blind spot which is basically misunderstanding.  We can think we know why the other person does what they do but it’s not based on reality, it’s based on guessing.

gavel-3I have regretted talking too soon so many times in the past that it has almost become a silent rule to ask first.  I hate making the mistake of judging someone wrongly and then having to apologise afterwards.  Do you ever feel this way?

I can feel the feelings of anger welling up and my tongue about to spit out it’s defamation when suddenly I stop myself because I notice the signs.  The signs are my feelings of anger.  I just know I’m going to make a mistake if I don’t ask first.

Once it’s out.  It’s too late.

So that ‘s what I do (most of the time).  I ask first.  I’ve learned my lesson.  I hope.

With love
Eve