Long phone call from a very anxious and upset daughter (studying away from home) - usual anxieties of looming deadlines; financial worries; friendship concerns; worries about the future; all crowding in on her; we have all been there.
"How do you do it, Mum; how do you cope with it all?" How indeed!
I started by advising her to eat sensibly, get out for a walk, tackle some mundane chore; then I tried to tackle each worry in turn. Anything I suggested she countered with more negative responses; In the end (and in some desperation myself!) I talked about seeing the world through different coloured spectacles;
The eternal "Polyanna" optimist is accused of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses; everything in the garden is rosy!
In a similar way, my daughter was seeing her world through black glasses – nowhere could she see any glimmer of light that day; As it happened that same day I was seeing the world through grey glasses – nothing was terribly black, but then again nothing was very bright - just a monochrome grey which left me feeling dull, uninspired, listless...
So what colour spectacles are you wearing today? If they are black or grey, can you take them off? If you can't take them off, can you remind yourself that you are wearing them today, but that it doesn't mean you will be wearing them tomorrow, or the next day or next week.
It's like the weather; sometimes it rains, sometimes the sun shines, but it does change; maybe not today or even tomorrow; all we can do is acknowledge the "bad weather" and remind ourselves that it will pass in time.
P.S. As easily happens, she hung up feeling much better – I went to bed worrying about her! And spent the following day wondering how she was – until I had to ring her, only to discover that she was out with friends and that she had "sorted" some of her deadlines and did I mind if she hung up now as she wanted to be with her friends!
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