As a human and mother, I’ve found it interesting how some days I can completely manage a complete sh*t show of terrible behaviour and other days a tiny thing can set me off. Some days my patience is endless limit and other days, even the hint of a whine can set me off on a downward spiral.
I know you’ll be able to relate.
What’s the difference between the days that I have endless patience and those where I don’t? I’ve jotted down some insights and reflections on this as I thought you might find it helpful.
Meeting of needs
When my needs are met, I’m able to be really calm, patient, clear, consistent, playful, creative etc.
When my needs aren’t met, I’m not able to do that to the same ability.
When you feel that your patience is low….
Stop – think – what needs aren’t being met.
Basic needs – food, water, safety…..We all know about being hangry when we’ve not eaten enough. I’d also go so far to say that you need to ensure you’re eating the foods that nourish you. Make sure you’re eating regular meals with good nutrition. And drinking enough water.
What about your social needs? We’ve been in lockdown for a long time. Maybe you need to spend time on the phone to a friend, a socially distant walk with someone or a coffee in the back garden with your mum or neighbour. We need people and we’ve gone a long time with literally talking to our kids and partners but maybe no one else.
What about your need for solitude or thinking time? We need to be on our own too… at least for a bit each day. If I can’t have the chance to finish a thought for at least a bit of the day… I’m frazzled and I can’t parent like that.
Sleep/rest… have you slept enough? If not… what can you do about it? How can you improve your sleep? And REST is so important – each and every day – taking time to rest and re-charge… if you’re bouncing from thing to thing… you can’t possibly have the headspace to be patient.
Daily self care – have I had a chance to have a shower or go for a poo in peace?
Have I done something intellectually stimulating today? Listened to a podcast or radio? Read a book? Something that’s made me think?
Did I get to do something I wanted to do?
Sometimes it’s just not physically possible to get your needs met BUT having that insight can then mean you can start looking for solutions to integrating them.
I know allegedly we’re brilliant at multi-tasking and phones are great for giving us the ability to parent and work AT THE SAME TIME…. but we’re actually not doing either properly. Make time to parent and make time to work but don’t try to do both at the same time. It’s better to put on the tv for an hour and work effectively for an hour and then parent for an hour than trying to work and parent for two hours (believe me – I know this!).
Under the surface
What’s going on with you underneath the surface? Often if we’re not able to be patient… there could be something else going on – maybe a feeling of resentment, helplessness, sadness, guilt, apathy, stress or another emotion…. tune into what that might be. If you can’t label the emotion but can feel something (ie tension in my chest), then that’s something and spend time sitting with that feeling – I have this knot in my stomach and I’m not sure why but I know it exists and it’s probably trying to tell me I feel anxious about something….
Hormones – where are you in your menstrual cycle? If you’re right at the point of ovulation or your period… you might be struggling… therefore up your rest and give yourself a big dose of kindness.
What are the needs of the person you are struggling with? If it’s your child or your partner or someone else – what need isn’t being met which is causing conflict? How can you support them?
Finally, if you berate yourself for not getting something right… it will only get worse…. spend a moment accepting yourself for being human and really doing so well to get so far AND then forgiving yourself.
I hope you find this helpful. If you’re struggling at the moment, you may be interested in my 3 month coaching programme.
Much love, Tricia xxx