It’s Sunday at 9 pm, do you know where your sanity is?
Moms – and all caregivers – can empathize with all versions of the Sunday scaries better than any demographic out there. Between meal prepping, packing sports bags, and in 2020, setting up our kids’ online learning for Monday morning, we don’t have any gas left in the tank to enjoy much about a new work and school week most Mondays. But what if – hear me out – we stopped every Monday evening, maybe even as we are getting into bed, and appreciated the Mondays in a month that did go smoothly? WHAT IF? So, in the nature of all things bizarre this year, let’s make time for gratitude by stopping to appreciate Mondays we CAN handle!
I’m ending this crappy year on a three-part series of blogs focused on pausing to appreciate one item or concept with maximum gratitude, in a lens we hadn’t used before perhaps. If you don’t (yet) grasp the correlation between reflecting on gratitude and positive mental health, come with me on this journey.
I should start by giving a brief mental health resume to qualify my research because it’s been one helluva process.
16 years of grief suppression and chronic bouts of depression: CHECK!
20 year battle with the scale which has manifested in, let’s say a torrid, relationship with food and exercise: CHECK!
A surprise bout of postpartum depression and anxiety that has led to chronic anxiety likely for the rest of my life: CHECK!
CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!
But I press on…my point is, I know some keys to coming out of a slump. I’ve done it. Like 50 times.
A research study by the CDC in late June showed that 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse amid all the Covid-19 challenges, so keep in mind that number may have risen as the school year got underway virtually in many households.
We need some coping options. Some simple ways to brighten a moment, a mood, a day, ANYTHING!
Appreciation and gratitude are our magic ticket. I tested this new plan for the last two weeks. Here’s what I realized. As I type this, it IS the third Sunday I will have intentionally taken note of my mood and inner anxiousness. Last Monday, I reached the end of the day less tired than I thought I’d be going into it on Sunday evening. I took note of this win. I took note of the fact that the day didn’t really have the calamities I envisioned in my mind as being possible on Sunday evening. Only because I made the plan to intentionally stop and think about the day, did I notice that Monday didn’t create the implosion in my brain that I often think is likely when I turn in for Sunday slumber.
How does that change my long term mental health perhaps?
It has granted me the “Aha!” realization that when Mondays DO go smoothly, it enhances my ability to “believe in the good” for the Mondays in the future. Will there be pitfalls and crappy Mondays to-come? ABSOLUTELY! However, I’ve found a tool that forces me to feel grateful for the good Mondays and the days that start a week on a positive note. It’s, “gotten me out of my head,” so to speak.
Gratitude does that. So this next week to-come, pause at the end of a harrowing Monday, and what your mental wellness receives on future Sundays is sure to be incredibly more relaxing and far less scary than we have always been told to think.