I’ve always liked the idea of being a grown up. I tried to act mature as a teen, being responsible and getting good grades. As a young adult, the trend continued with graduating early, getting married, buying a house and having a baby before many of my friends. It’s kind of fun to do the adult thing.
I pin quotes to Pinterest all the time and forget about them. But, this one has been stuck in my head for a few weeks.
Sometimes the simplest things are the easiest to forget. We take so much care and caution to treat our children just right, to raise them into joy-filled little humans. We use gentle discipline and kind words to shape their thoughts and behaviors. We plan their days to prevent meltdowns and encourage creativity and play.
As adults, are we doing the same for ourselves? Here are a number of ways I keep myself from getting cranky. (I’m writing this list more as a reminder for myself than anything.)
- Schedule recess. Pick a time that is mine for exercise. Make a date with myself and keep it. Pack my gym bag the night before. Exercise my body after a day of exercising my mind.
- Plan meals and snacks. Make sure quick, easy, healthy foods are at my fingertips. Bananas, almonds, yogurt, edamame (I’m slightly obsessed right now), salmon, etc. Plan for the day or week ahead to avoid energy slumps and sugary temptations.
- Lights out. I often struggle with bedtime. There’s always something more to do, whether it’s washing the two-day-old dishes (boo) or flipping through a new magazine (yay). An early bedtime makes for a much easier morning, and a better overall day.
- Nap. Yes, really. Weekend naps can be the best gift of all for adults and children alike. No book, movie or TV show can replace a good old-fashioned mid-day snooze.
- Choose your influences wisely. I try to surround myself with positive, uplifting music, words, environments and people. (Though, I admit, I’m still a sucker for Sons of Anarchy and rap and rock when I run.)
- Make time for alone time. Some days after daycare, Annistyn wants nothing more than to sit by herself and quietly play Barbies. I give her the space, because I can relate. People (especially introverts like me) need time to be alone with their thoughts. In the world of constant chatter, it’s important to give yourself this time.
- Allow yourself to feel. Let me tell you: toddlers feel. They feel boo-boos that are nothing more than a scratch. They feel tired and cranky and everything in between. I’m not suggesting we have adult temper tantrums or kick and scream because we don’t want to put on our shoes or brush our teeth in the mornings (can you tell what stage we’re in?). But rather than always sucking it up and moving on to the next thing, maybe we should give ourselves a little more time to feel the moment. Feel sad when we’re sad, and feel full, child-like joy when we’re happy.
If you think about it, we’re really just big-kid souls in adult-sized bodies. Every one of us was a child at some point in life (and some of us still are). Children are pretty brilliant. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from them?
What would you add to the list?
(…and now I’m off to honor my bedtime!)