Joe has been working longer and longer hours thanks to the busy summer construction season. His overtime doesn't make me happy at all.
When I get stressed out and ticked off about his hours, I become less patient with the kids at their most difficult part of the day - the late afternoon. I get tense and angry.
I don't often come totally unglued but I become a totally unpleasant person. Subsequently, my kids become totally unpleasant people.
Then we're all miserable.
When I divert my attention, when I can fake joy, I turn my day around. I am in control of my feelings, not a victim to them.
Here are a few ways that I fake joy when I'm about to come unglued:
- Hug your kids and tell them I love you.
- Look up silly kids' jokes on the internet and have a chuckle.
- Read something to your kids.
- Let your kids watch some tv with absolutely no guilt whatsoever.
- Or play with them. Tell them to shove over, get in the middle of whatever they're doing, and play along. Barbies, dollhouse, trains, blocks, whatever. Play is good for your soul.
- Sing along to some upbeat music.
- Read an upbeat devotional.
- Read a Psalm or three. Stay away from Lamentations and the sad, lonely ones.
- Or read some of Jesus' words. If you have a red letter Bible, they are easy to find.
- Reading Philippians 4 has always brought me comfort, too.
- Get a book from Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection is my current favorite) or Patti Digh (Life Is a Verb is very good) and read a few pages. You can get the Kindle app for free on your smartphone or computer if you don't have an actual Kindle, and you can have the book in less than a minute.
- Draw mandalas, do a Zentangle, or print other grown up coloring pages and have a big art therapy session with your kids.
- Find your gratitude journal. If you don't have a gratitude journal, find a blank journal to designate your gratitude journal. No blank journal? Get a piece of printer paper or whatever paper you can find. Make a list of things you're thankful for. It might be hard going at first, but the longer you stare at the page, the more you'll remember.
- Paint your fingernails and toenails.
- Get some fresh air - open the windows, go outside, take a walk. Just get out of the still staleness of your stuffy house.
- Find a garden and walk around in it. Flowers are an instant pick-me-up for me.
- Text someone. When I'm in a funk, there's no way I'll pick up the phone, but I have a safe person I can text who always answers and always cares.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes or more. Endorphins are good for your psyche.
- Pray. Ask God to remove these thoughts from your brain and help you embrace the joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior.
- Clean something. Seeing a messy before and a clean after works wonders for me.
- Take a long shower.
- Rub Joy oil from Young Living Essential Oils over your heart and breathe in the aroma for a few minutes.
- Do some deep breathing exercises.
- Write a thank you note to someone who's been nice to you.
How do you fake it?