26 Questions to Ask Yourself When Life Gets Hard

I sighed deeply. Why is everything so hard? Well, for starters my two-month old daughter and I spent two days in the hospital after a terrifying mid-night choking spell. My absence hurt my two-year-old son’s feelings (feelings, already so very bruised and banged from the arrival of his sister). As I try to make it up to him (by taking him all over town to go to play-dates and story time WITH A BABY) I exhaust myself. He rewards me by darting onto an escalator. Somehow I scoop him up as he whines, hollers and narrowly escapes a terrible tumble. I cling to both of my babies and my sanity as we climb to the top of a Barnes & Noble. Did I mention I just released a book? An e-book chalked full of lessons, affirmations and takeaways about reporting, motherhood, staying present and learning to enjoy life. It’s sold an unlucky 13 copies. I feel defeated. I am sure you’ve felt this way too. So, after the big question: WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HARD? Here are some follow ups I must ask myself. Maybe you can give them a whirl the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by life.

  1. ARE YOU TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF? This is a biggie. On this particular week I might give myself a C+. I stole some time to stretch, and give myself a nighttime massage on Tuesday. Otherwise, I feel as worn as old bowling shoes and my eye is twitching.
  2. ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH? I think you know my answer to this one.
  3. WHAT’S YOUR INNER-DIALOUGE LIKE? In my late twenties I spent a lot of time in the self-help aisle at Barnes and talking through my inner-dialogue with a therapist. I cannot allow myself to believe mean thoughts about myself or my work. I am a work in progress just like everybody else. This was especially important this week given the lackluster sales and my epic moments in motherhood gone awry.
  4. ARE YOU IN AND MAINTAINING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS? The answer is yes. However, this was not always the case especially in my twenties. I’ve learned healthy relationships are the cornerstone of life.
  5. HOW ARE YOU NURTURING YOUR CREATIVITY? This week my creativity turned cannibalistic feeding on my worries and gnawing on my sense of confidence. Good question! I will focus some attention here.
  6. ARE YOU DRINKING ENOUGH WATER AND EATING HEALTHY FOODS? Eating good healthy foods makes me feel better. The burger I ate on Friday didn’t do me any favors. A tall glass of water right now just might help with my headache.
  7. HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING? I talk about it in my book Reporting Live From Studio B. I need my inner-beauty sleep like whoa.
  8. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD SEX? I won’t answer that. But yes, it’s that important.
  9. HOW ARE YOU EXERCISING? Walking? Running? Swimming? Nope, it’s time to tackle this one too.
  10. DO YOU MAKE ROOM IN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR DREAMS? Yes, I think so. Although, right now they’re hazy and evolving.
  11. WHAT KIND OF RISKS ARE YOU TAKING? Putting myself out there was a big risk and I am proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone.
  12. ARE YOU TOO CONCERNED WITH OUTSIDE VALIDATION? I must answer an unflattering, yep. Even though, I don’t want to be overly concerned with outside validation. Again I am a work in progress. I wrote my book for myself and for my children. It was my therapy when I was going through my new mommy identity crisis. I don’t need accolades. I need to celebrate this great time in my life.
  13. ARE YOU FEELING JEALOUS? Jealousy is a difficult emotion for me to own up to. However, it’s important. If I catch myself feeling jealous I must use the feeling to help me identify qualities I want to bring to my life. After I learn from my feelings I can release them.
  14. ARE YOU ENJOYING THE PROCESS OF LIFE? Too often I wish away the everyday. I can’t do that now. I have two little ones who change every, single, glorious day. They hold me accountable to enjoying the process.
  15. ARE YOU STAYING PRESENT? Once again, my babies hold me accountable to the process and most certainly the moment. I too often get sucked into the world in my phone or a book or my worries. I can’t wander away from what’s so wonderful right in front of me. I say it in the book, “Deep breaths are free all day long.”deepbreaths
  16. ARE YOU GRATEFUL? Of course I am so very grateful for the ride (maybe not up the escalator) but this life is amazing.
  17. ARE YOU LEARNING? It is important for me to take time to learn. I love learning new things and when I stop learning my brain cells grow mutinous and turn on each other. Also, when life is really hard I must accept that there’s something to learn.
  18. HOW’S YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH? Money buys options. My bank account can only bend so far before I feel like I’m running out of options and I’m going to break. A plan helps to ease my anxiety.
  19. IS YOUR HOUSE/PURSE/DESK/CAR CLEAN? Organization makes life a little easier. Yay, for not finding goldfish at the bottom of your purse.
  20. ARE YOU HAVING FUN? This week, not so much. Yet, I found a few little giggle crumbs, to hold me over, while bouncing my daughter on my lap.
  21. DO YOU FIND WAYS TO PAMPER YOURSELF? I am a mother of two. Obviously I need to work on this.
  22. DO YOU FEEL FABULOUS? Again, I might need to dust off the blow dryer and pull out the Spanx. Feeling good on the outside can shoot good vibes inside.
  23. WHAT’S YOUR VICE? Right now it’s technology but during my younger days I dealt with different vices. However, no matter the vice its best if it’s kept in check.
  24. DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE OR JUST REFRAME? Sometimes, life is just hard. (If you’re going through a divorce or caring for a sick loved-one.) I’ve read stats suggesting parents of young children actually see a dip in happiness. Mothering little ones feels a lot like treading water off the coast of a gorgeous private island. It’s a gorgeous view but exhausting and scary. In my case, I don’t need to make a change. I just need to reframe my experience. Let’s call this the learning and development phase of my life. Maybe you need to make a change? Either way it’s an important question.
  25. ARE YOU GIVING TO OTHERS? I know when I do something with a friend or stranger in mind, I feel better about myself.
  26. HOW’S YOUR REALTIONSHIP WITH GOD/THE UNIVERSE/THE QUIET AT DAWN? I think it’s important to ask yourself how you feel when the lights go out. Can I dwell in the quiet without reaching for the world outside of myself or do I immediately go searching for the light by way of the closest gadget. A random google search can’t replace a little soul-searching. Amen! Okay, I need to work on this one too. Why is everything so hard? Too often, it’s because I am not drinking enough water or taking time for myself. I hope by searching for the answers to these follow up questions I can kick the feeling of overwhelm. How about you? Would you add any more to the list?To read more about my struggle to be a present and happy new mom read Reporting Live From Studio B.
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