[edited video transcript]

Respond or React? How your approach impacts your self-care.

What would you say if I told you that I felt that self-care is just as much about what you do for yourself is how you respond to what’s going on around you?

If you think about it, it makes sense that your mindset has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself.

But a lot of times, it’s not one big thing that can derail your day. Instead, it’s likely small little daily interactions that can build up and really be detrimental to you. Basically, regardless of how much you meditate or practice yoga, emotional uproars can negate all the good things you’re trying to do for yourself.

Changing my Interaction: Inspired by Kiddo Tantrums

The concept of Respond vs. React really hit my radar one day when my seven-year-old and I were getting her ready for school.

We were just rolling through the morning when we hit a ‘brick wall’ as she refused to put her shoes on. At first, it wasn’t clear why… I just knew she was whining and unhappy. I was about to loose my mind when I finally deciphered that her socks had been hurting her feet when her shoes were on. She was extremely upset and we were going to be late for school.

My initial reaction might’ve been, “come on, dude, let’s get the flip out of the house. I got things I need to do and you need to get to school.” (all of course, with a stressed out and irritated tone)

Instead, I stopped myself for a second. I told myself, she really is in pain, let me reframe this and see how I could help her. So I looked at the clock and at this point we were going to be late to school. So I said softly, “You know, sweetie, let me help you. We’re going to be late to school. We’ll just deal with that when we get there, but let’s fix your feet.”

She actually needed a little bit of a pedicure and needed a bandage on one of her toes. Then, we flipped her socks inside out. So the seam ridge in those damn socks wasn’t bugging her foot anymore.

Sure, we ended up being late for school. (a first for her) Instead of dwelling on the upcoming tardy slip line, we talked about how we’ll see different cars that morning and how she’d get to say ‘hello’ to the school office people.

Carrying the Stress Beyond the Respond vs. React Moment

Yes, I got my little one out of the house and made light of how our morning would be different. That alone was a win, but my decision to respond vs. react paid dividends as I move throughout my day.

How often have you experienced a bad interaction that got your heart racing and head spinning? Then, carried the stress (and anger) from it for the next few hours; feeling completely like crap. I reflected on that after my crazy kiddo morning. If I’d blown-up at her to get out the door, I would have wrecked my morning and felt soooooo terrible. Instead, we had a fun little morning together and I felt great.

And that is worth its weight in gold. Like it’s felt better than, you know, leaving the spot with a hundred dollar facial is because I had a smile on my face. I felt better. And my response was just the best way it could have handled myself care. And it turned my day around. And it’s kind of interesting is if I’ve left in that stress,

I bet you an hour from then, I would have been craving chocolate or I would have been craving chips because it sends your body into a stress response mode.

So the way you respond or react to your world sends you into a mode that makes you think, and I’ve talked about this before, where you’re being chased by a tiger and your body’s like, holy crap, she’s upset. She’s scared something’s going on. And it floods your system with cortisol and all your other stress hormones go up and your body’s like ready to fight. And when it does that, it says, oh, I better buck up and get ready for this fight. I want sugar. I want fat. I want salt. And that’s where your munchies come in when you’re in a bad mood.

So if you can respond the right way in the beginning, part of that, not only does it help your self care just from a mental standpoint, but through the day, you’re less likely to make really bad food choices, because you’ve been able to mitigate that stress response and that anger and the bad feeling early on and that’s priceless. So hopefully that helps.

And you’ll start thinking about instead of reacting, responding, and taking care of yourself and perhaps a new way. So I’d love to hear what you think about it. Give me comments below and I’ll see you soon. Take care.

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