Tired or Discouraged

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 by Catherine Gilliland | Support Through Rough Patches

When we are tired or frustrated and big emotions swell inside of us, we often forget some pretty important things. Our perspective becomes skewed. Our core values grow dim. Our responses shift from proactive to reactive. Living in the chaos of our own weariness and discouragement requires that we take stock of where we are and make a plan to return to a place where we regain balance and feel good about ourselves once more. From a position of personal balance and strength we can communicate understanding into our children's moments of upheaval and overwhelm, then share our calm with them, eventually empowering them for their future.

Define Personal Worth

To begin with, our worth is never measured by our visible productivity. Being visibly productive is just one measure of how well we are meeting our responsibilities. Consider, instead, your contributions and the value you have brought to those you interact with or care for. 

Observe and Evaluate

Healthy balance requires that we regularly carry out self-evaluations. To find a healthy balance it is helpful to ask yourself two questions: "What do I want?", and "What am I doing?"  When answering the question,"What do I want?", be realistic. You are not Superwoman. You have physical, mental, and emotional limits within which you must function.  When answering the question, "What am I doing?", be objective. Make sure to note what you are doing that leads to realizing your wants and matching your core values, not simply noting what seems to be missing.

Core Values

Our core values act as a compass, enabling us to re-orient ourselves when we become lopsided. What are your core values about the work that you do? When working with children as a parent or an educator, what do you believe about the value of the work that you are doing? Your values enable you to focus on the joy of your work and less on the rewards. As parents and teachers, it may be months or years before you witness the growth and learning outcomes in your children's lives for which you pour yourselves out daily. 

Reorient Your Perspective

Frustration or disappointment is natural when we have experienced outcomes or encounters we do not like or with which we do not agree.  When your situation seems out of control, refocus your perspective on what you can control. Do you have latitude to change a schedule, to change responsibilities, to change your attitude about that which seems difficult or unfair? The possibilities may surprise you!

Be Anticipatory

Instead of being reactive when faced with challenges or disappointments, be on the lookout for possible troubling situations and head them off at the pass. To prevent, forestall, or intercept will leave you feeling empowered. 

It is our job to share our calm with overwhelmed children. They are counting on us to be their guides in life. Growing into better versions of ourselves helps us to feel satisfied and impart to our children the skills necessary for full and joyful participation in their everyday lives.