How often do you just sink into bed at the end of the day, thinking “well, I survived…ugh, gotta get up and do all that again tomorrow”? As a working mama of little people, the day can be a gigantic blur of: scrambling to feed and shuttle children, a speedy commute, hustling through work projects, kid pick-up, the whirling dervish of dinner, bath, bed, packing bottles and lunches, possibly back to work, and then collapse.
Behind that whirl, though, – if you pause to think about it – is plenty to celebrate in any given day. And if you don’t reflect back on your many wins, you LOSE much of their benefit! My friend, Dr. Megan Hughes-Feltenberger, a clinical psychologist and herself a new mama, introduced me to an idea I’ve come to love that basically says: if something good happens to you, everyone gets more benefit from that something good if you actually talk about it.
In positive psychology, it’s called “capitalization”, and the theory says that “communicating personal positive events with others [is] associated with increased positive affect and well-being, above and beyond the impact of the positive event itself and other daily events.” (You can read more about the theory here and here.)
Since learning about this, I now spend a few minutes during my commute home thinking about the wins – even tiny ones! – that happened during the day, and I share those with my husband in the evening. The great thing is, it doesn’t have to be a monumental, life-changing victory. “I got a meeting with that prospect I’ve been trying to connect with!”…or “My boss really liked my approach to a problem!”…or even “I got to work on time today!” is enough to give your brain and emotions a positive boost.
While I have your attention, I’m going to practice “capitalizing” right here: my blog had its first birthday! A few weeks ago, I happened to notice it was the anniversary of my first Mindful Return blog post. This felt monumental, but I don’t think I celebrated it properly. So I’ll share some fun numbers with you now. Over the past year, I’ve managed to post 34 times (this makes 35!), as of today have had 14,850 page views, and I taught my Mindful Return e-course to more than 100 expectant and new mamas. Hooray! (Mmm…that felt good:)
So the lesson here is: don’t waste those wins!! Tell someone about them! Don’t wait for major milestones to celebrate, but rather get positive emotional benefit of talking about your wins (with someone who will appreciate them) every single day.
Go ahead – capitalize below under “Leave a Reply”, and we’ll all celebrate with you!
Want more advice on getting your head in a better place for your return to work after maternity leave? Check out the Mindful Return E-Course here. New sessions start soon.