It seems that patience has become an extremely scarce commodity during these stressful times. When people are stressed, patience is one of first things to go out the window. Thinking about patience made me think of how each simple act of patience can leave others with hope. It made me realize how much I struggle with providing it to others. And it made me realize, anew, that patience is more valuable, and more difficult to provide, when we all need it the most.
Like most commodities, the value of patience increases with its scarcity.
When times get stressful, patience often goes into hiding. It gets lost in the shadows. As our minds try to wrap themselves around a world turned upside down, we begin to lose sight of what it means to love others and ourselves.
If we’re all at risk of losing our patience, how can we increase our ability to hold on to it for the sake of our loved ones, especially for the sake of our kids?
Take good care of yourself by setting limits with others.
When we try to do too much for others, we often end up with very little to give. Establishing healthy limits allow us to remain loving, and limits keep us from becoming resentful. Examples that we can use with our kids include:
- I’ll be happy to help you when I see that you’ve already tried to figure it out for yourself.
- I’ll listen when your voice sounds calm like mine.
- I allow kids to keep the toys they pick up.
Take good care of yourself by setting limits with yourself.
Keep in mind that when we’re critical and demanding with ourselves, we tend to share the favor with others. Few of us do it on purpose, but we do it nonetheless. We set unrealistic standards for ourselves, stress ourselves out, and then find it difficult to provide patience to others. If this applies to you, here’s a question you may need to contemplate:
Would I feel okay treating others the way that I am treating myself?
As you approach this holiday season, with all its unique stresses, remember to take care of yourself so that you can give the gift of patience to others. For some tips on how to keep cool and not lose your patience, listen to our audio, Keeping Cool When Parenting Heats Up.
Thanks for reading!