Goodness knows, we all go through seasons when life just seems to stink. Sometimes it’s a day, sometimes it’s a whole week, sometimes it’s months. Sometimes the circumstances are within our control, sometimes it’s hormones, and sometimes it’s the result of the words or actions of the boss, the spouse or the friend. And it’s easy to get into a rut of seeing all the things that we don’t like.
That’s not helpful, of course.
I frequently encourage clients to focus on what is going well. This isn’t me being a Pollyanna (she is so annoying, am I right?). Rather, it’s me helping them break the trance induced by staring at the garbage heap that appears to grow larger the longer we gaze at it. Instead, shaking it off and switching our focus to the good things that are going on – and there are always good things going on, we simply have to choose to see them – enables us to appreciate the small stuff more, and brings the garbage heap we thought was 36 feet high back into perspective (it’s probably only 12 feet high – or maybe even only 12 inches).
So, that’s a good step, right? Finding the good stuff even when we’re in a bad spot shifts our focus and gives us back some perspective. But you know what’s even better?
Celebrating that good stuff! None too surprisingly, I also frequently encourage clients to celebrate every win! And we can call lots of things “wins” if we choose to! The size of the celebration can depend on the size of the win, like a long vacation somewhere you both like to go for major wedding anniversaries. I mean, making it through another decade of marriage without causing bodily harm to one another deserves something big! Or it could be fancy dinner out for a promotion at work, or landing a new client. Or it could be game night at home for surviving another week at work without spiking your coffee (or lacing the boss’). Or…you could shake things up and go all willy-nilly and take a weekend away just because you’re still breathing, and you know how special that can be in the midst of your current circumstances! Think about a game night at home with or without friends, a special bottle of wine, movie night … there are sooo many possibilities!
Big or small – a good grade in school, a good job review, the fact that you woke up this morning, not filling your co-worker’s desk with grasshoppers, the fact that the sun rose – you can find something to celebrate, and you can creatively come up with ways to do it.
So, go! Start planning your next celebration. And please, come back and tell me what you celebrated, how you celebrated, and how much better you felt afterward!