The majority, if not all of us, have been forced to deal with a new idea of normalcy. We've been forced to become homeschool teachers, stay at home parents, work from home, manage limited resources, and of course social distance. This new sense of normal has impacted many mentally and emotionally. Young and old, adult, and child; we are all combating the urge to return to what we knew to be routine.
I have dealt with the stressors that come with maintaining a 10yr old and 4yr old in the house, doing school work, and working from home. It has proven to be rather challenging for not only myself but also for my kids. My 4yr old fights for my attention, nonstop. She longs for the opportunity to return to school, the park, or any activity that includes her being able to play with her friends. My 10yr old is struggling tremendously with online learning. He prefers to build LEGOs, watch YouTube videos, and fake like he is recording his own. The arguing between the two of them is non-stop from dust to dawn. Add in me playing referee and well you have a daily tug of war!
Needless to say, I have been stressed juggling all the things that come with single-parenting during a pandemic. I am in need of some serious me-time without hearing my name yelled or my phone ringing. My kids are stressed dealing with mom being a teacher (who isn't the most patient) and constantly being told to quiet down so that I can work. Where my patience for noise, a messy house, helping with school work, etc. was typically good; it has been at the lowest level these past few weeks. So much so, I had to increase my therapy days. However, I was reading over some of the practices that I detail in my book and I realized I have to do something different that will fit the mold of my life right now. As I was reflecting and meditating, I birthed the technique; POUR.
POUR stands for Pause, Observe, Uplift, and Resume.
Pause when you find yourself beginning to feel overwhelmed with emotions, allow yourself to step away from the task at hand. Once you step away, allow yourself a moment to take some deep breaths and re-center yourself. By doing this, you can begin to release the negative energy that was trying to overtake you.
Observe once you have re-centered yourself through breathing, take a moment to observe the task at hand. Ask yourself: Why am I (the emotion you’re feeling)? What about the task that made me feel this way? What needs to happen for me to complete the task and/or move forward?
Uplift this part is two-fold. You should find a sense of understanding of what your observation revealed to you. Once you find some understanding your next step is to uplift yourself. (Now, this may also include uplifting your child, spouse, or whomever you may be needed to complete the task.) By doing this you allow yourself to further release any negative thoughts that may be clouding your mind. Negative thoughts yield negative outcomes and that is something that is not needed at this time. Use this stage of the technique to speak life into yourself, the task, and all other individuals needed. Positive thinking yields positive results.
Resume once you have completed POU, you are officially ready to R (POUR, baby). At this point you should be in a place to reset and resume the activity/task and/or your day. It is important to note that the process of resuming does not mean that you will resume in the same manner you were previously working. After observation, it is expected that you will discover a changed way of executing the task. Do you know the saying, "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity"? Well, that would ring true when using this technique.
The amazing thing about the POUR technique is its versatility to be used on yourself, as well as, on others. Specifically, during this pandemic with kids and schoolwork (huge for me). This technique can be done solo or in a group setting. Historically, the idea of pouring into others has been deemed exhausting and draining. However, this technique allows you the ability to pour into others, as well as, yourself without feeling depleted. This POURing allows you refill your cup daily.
POUR with me!