Coping

Life is hard sometimes.

I don’t want you to feel like just because you have everything you physically need that it can’t be hard as well. Many of us deal with emotional issues on a daily basis. And it’s just as important. It’s easy to argue with ourselves and list down the positives that we have and therefore, ignoring the things that are difficult for us. I believe that you should definitely acknowledge the positive but instead of ignoring the negative, find a way to deal with them. Find a way to make it better.

Me, I’m constantly struggling to feel my value in this world. My brain can argue with my heart and list 100 different ways I am valuable to many people. But I really need to feel that contentment. I have been diagnosed with depression at least once in my life. I haven’t felt the need to see a therapist again about it but I am aware that I probably am fighting against it constantly.

I cope with this struggle by exercising. Not only does it help me get out from inside my head and heart but it makes me feel good about myself physically. Dance is also a big one for me. Just being able to fall into the music and leave myself for a few hours is really helpful. I’m not thinking about anything except what my body is doing. I’m not really thinking about anything. I’m just feeling.

I have a sister who does a lot of coping by being out in nature. It helps her to deal with whatever she needs to deal with in her life. Whether it’s hiking or traveling, just being outside helps you to realize how much positivity there is in the world. I once did a hike where I had no cell service the entire time. It felt good to disconnect and emotionally recharge.

There are a lot of ways to cope with the emotional anxieties that we face. These are just a couple of examples that work for my family.

I hope you find whatever helps you cope.

Mental Health

Mental health. It’s such a big part of our day to day lives but it is the thing we take the least care of. It’s an interesting thought. We will workout, eat right, and go to the doctor to keep our physical bodies healthy but what do we do keep ourselves mentally healthy?

It’s hard to recognize that your mental health is important, especially if you’re Indian. As a society, we don’t acknowledge that our mental health is something that can be positively or negatively affected. We weren’t raised in families where we talked about the way we felt (although I do feel things are changing now).

It is important though. It’s important to talk about and address what we feel and how it affects our lives.

For example, as a stay at home mom, I go through difficult periods due to all of the changes that happen. Just as I finally got used to managing my life as a mom to my first kid and became comfortable with my life, I had a second kid and everything got thrown off again. Now I have to get used to a new norm and balance. I felt like I lost a little part of me when I had my first kid. It just doubles with a second because now there are 2 people who are relying on you for everything. And as much as I love my kids, I also need to find a way to love and feel good about myself. If I am not strong for myself, how can I be strong for my kids?

The first step is always recognizing that you aren’t at a good balance mentally. Then, you can decide on what you need to do to figure yourself out again. Sometimes, it just takes some time and focus on yourself. Sometimes, it requires help from outside.

There is no shame in admitting that you need help with your mental health. If anything, I believe that it makes you a stronger person because you recognize that you do need help.

So be strong. Know yourself.

Mom Funk

It’s really easy to lose yourself in general. I remember that I was constantly working on improving myself before I got married, before I had kids. Even though I am in a different stage in life now, that hasn’t changed.

Complacency is so easy to fall into no matter where you are in life. I’m pretty sure that I was somewhat complacent when I was in a comfortable job. And every so often, I feel that same feeling as a stay at home mom.

Seeing yourself clearly takes work. And it’s easy for that vision to get blurry when you are always looking at yourself through the lenses of your children.

Your priorities revolve around your kids. When you have some downtime (nap time is a welcomed break), if you’re like me, you are finally eating lunch in front of the tv. As soon as lunch is over though, it’s time to start on your task list. Laundry, dinner, or plenty of other things that are easier done without a child or two hanging onto your arms and legs. All of a sudden, the kids are up and you are back to being Mom.

I was reading an article today and the lady writing it was talking about “Mom Funk”. It struck that that was exactly where I kept falling into. I don’t know if I interpreted it correctly or how to exactly break out of it but the words resonated with how I’ve been feeling.

I have 2 great kids and a great husband and friends and family who are still consistently present in my life. I figure if I still can feel like I’m in a Mom Funk every so often, I can’t possibly be the only one.

So here’s my question to you: For those of you who have visited this land, how did you break out of it? How did you design your life so that you were able to find some personal fulfillment as well as the family fulfillment that you are receiving?

Disneyland vs. The Rest of the Country

I walked through Disneyland with my family yesterday. I love watching different people who have come to visit from all over the world. There are all sorts of different dynamics that go on. Families, newlyweds, friends, babies. It’s a lot of fun to see everyone having a good time.

Normally, I’d take this for granted but in this country right now, I am unable to. I watch people and I wonder how they can have a hard time accepting other nationalities than their own.

Everyone was there for one reason: to have fun.

Realistically though, at least a few of the people that were visiting had to be from areas that weren’t as mixed racially. There had to be a few people that didn’t appreciate different cultures and probably saw those of us from them in a negative way.

It’s so hard for me to imagine though. In such a magical place, where my kid gets so excited seeing her favorite characters, how can there be people who hate? How can there be people who feel differently about someone else based on the color of their skin, their religion, or their language?

I know that it’s probably been going on in this country for a longer time than I’m aware of and right now, it’s coming out more than it ever has before.

But being in the happiest place on Earth makes me forget for a little while that a negative feeling such as hate even exists.

Interest Myself In Me

I know Facebook skews people’s lives so that their seem more interesting than the day in, day out probably is in reality. I’m aware that everyone can’t possibly have a glamorous life where they travel all the time and achieve major accomplishments every other day. Everyone works on a daily basis in some capacity whether it’s a job or being a stay at home parent. I know as well as the next person there are ups and downs in everything.

So then why do I feel so boring? I know that this is a phase in my life where my focus isn’t on myself. I know that raising my kids is important. I know that even if it feels like nothing, getting through each day with them is a big deal.

Still, I wish I was doing something alongside raising my kids that was more interesting. Maybe it’s more that I need to feed my soul. As corny as that may sound, I need to keep myself more well-rounded to make me happy. It’s still work-life balance. It’s a little bit skewed to work right now since my kids are so young but I need to add more life back in so that I don’t feel one-sided.

I remember, before kids, if I ever felt boring, I would try to find something that made me interesting to myself. Granted, my time is a little more limited now but I want to maintain this practice. I want to feel like I can accomplish things. I want to be able to set goals and know what it feels like to achieve them. It might be harder now but I think it’s important for my own mental and emotional health to try.

What do you do to keep yourself interesting? What are your goals and passions?

The Incredible Hulk Mom

I’d like to think of myself as a patient person. I definitely thought I got more pissed off at people when I was in my teens and 20s and I grew past it and learned how to just let things be in my 30s.

That was before I had a 2 year old.

My kid can push my buttons like no other. I don’t know if it’s a phase or if it’s her personality but I become this super angry mom around her. And I hate myself for being that way.

I always thought I’d be this really cool mom. You know, like those moms on Pinterest. And when she acted up, I’d put her on timeout and that was the last time that behavior happened.

I can’t believe how mad I can get. I can’t believe a 2 year old can make me cry. Put her together with my infant and they can make me believe I need to be in therapy all the time.

I don’t know if this is something that will pass or I will learn how to deal better. I read other articles with the hopes of some major breakthrough so I can figure out how to deal with my toddler that benefits both of us. Because screaming at her doesn’t seem to help either of us. I want her to understand the things we ask of her are for her benefit. She also needs to learn how to deal with her emotions because I do understand that she is feeling all sorts of new things. It’s a unchartered, crazy path we both walk on together.

Now we just figure out the way to go so that neither of us has a meltdown.

The Fresh Food Controversy

Are you South Asian Indian? Have you ever heard either your mother or some other Indian aunty (or I guess, our generation now since a lot of us are moms) who says that food has to be fresh and nothing else is good enough? Are you or someone you know the type that will only eat food that has been cooked that day and anything else should be thrown out?

I grew up with a full-time working mom in America which means we were all about leftovers. And we grew up loving them. There’s nothing better to me than pasta or chow mein that has had a day to soak in its grease and spices. It is amazing. Even now, I meal-plan so that we have leftovers for at least a day (I also have no capability of controlling how much I make when I cook so inevitably, we end up with at least 2 times the amount we need).

My sisters and I are some of the healthiest people I know. We don’t get sick too often, are fairly active, and in good shape. So I’m wondering about this whole “fresh is best” idea.

Is there a valid point to be made? Does something lose nutritional value or taste sitting in the refrigerator for a day or two? Or is it just a preference? Other than straight up mold causing sickness, is there anything wrong with eating something for a few days?

Can you even argue with someone who claims that food is only good for that day? Or can you just happily take their leftovers because they refuse to eat them?

I also wonder if this claim is something that is made by people whose strength is cooking. Do they just like the idea of making something new every day? Does their self-esteem depend on it?

I like eating fresh food but I have no problem eating leftovers as well. To me, it’s all food. If it was good before, it’s good after. If it isn’t good, it wasn’t good to begin with.

So….what do you think?