Skip to main content

When All Else Fails . . . Eat Ice Cream

For many of us the COVID honeymoon is long over.  Isolation, loss of routines, access to the gym, financial worries, working from home and changing school schedules has had us stretched too thin too long.  We'd rather eat an entire loaf of bread than bake one and if we hear how much someone enjoys the extra time with their kids we'll scream!  This is COVID Stress.  We've all experienced it.

Last week after a particularly stressful day we ate ice cream for dinner.  Not dessert -- dinner!  It was OK.  We didn't die in our sleep or put on 15 pounds.  But we can't do that every night.  Good ice cream (think Mocha Almond Fudge) gave us the brain power to drum up a list of alternative coping skills.  

  • Validate each other's feelingsCOVID life is really hard!  Difficult emotions like grief, fear, anger, conflicted and isolated keep us grounded in reality.  Sharing them with Tom is being honest and can allow these feelings to pass over like storm clouds.  A few tears and a warm hug is a bonus.
  • Be intentional with your wordsChoose words that are affirming.  Our day was not a disaster; it was challenging.  We didn't fail at dinner.  We gave ourselves a much-needed ice cream break.
  • Affirm your spouseCheck out John and Julie's post, The Super-Power of Affirmation.  Help your spouse change self-doubt to self-trust with an attitude of "You've got this!" or "We can do this!"
  • Identify activities that bring you downSocial Media can be full of toxic positivity.  It is OK to not be OK right now.  Negative news adds stress and not being able to do anything about it whacks your self-esteem.  Replace these activities with a new skill, game or an old favorite movie.  Or adopt our New Year's resolution and go to bed early, make love and recharge!
  • Give each other the gift of timeTime to rejuvenate physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is essential.  If your spouse goes and goes until he or she is spent offer the gift of time -- down time together or alone, both are important.
  • Plan for the futurePlanning is almost as much fun as the event itself.  So, if you are bored -- plan a date, a vacation or a backyard party.  But don't set your heart on the details.  Tattoo your heart with "Blessed are the flexible for they will not get bent out of shape."
  • Finally, be gentleSet judgment and perfectionism aside.  Plain Ramen is comfort food.  It doesn't have to be gourmet Ramen to be comforting!  Shift your focus to all you have done.  Be gentle with yourself and those you love.  Gentleness enables you to be strong for others in ways they most need it.
Stress is normalDepression, burnout, and disengaging is not.  (Learn the difference and know when to seek help.)  Sometimes simply staying the course is heroic!  Be gentle with yourself and your spouse.  Remind yourself Good is Good Enough and then celebrate with a bowl of ice cream!


Other Popular Posts

3 Steps to End the Bickering

  Even the best marriages succumb to nit-picking over how to do the laundry or load the dishwasher.  We differ over asking or not asking for directions and bicker over who's to blame for being late or how we spend money.  While these quarrels may seem trivial, in reality, they matter and getting to a solution beats bickering any day.

April 19th

MICHELLE : For many people, distinct moments in their life stand out as frozen memories.  For example, my dad can remember the smells, the sounds and the clothes he was wearing on the day that John F. Kennedy was shot.  For me, that moment came on April 19, 1995.  I was a student teacher in Norman, Oklahoma.  As I used the restroom early that morning, I heard a loud boom and then tiles began coming loose one by one off the wall onto my lap.  Rushing out of the restroom and back to the classroom, my mentor teacher and I prepared for what we assumed was an earthquake. 

Ready for a Marriage Check-up?

If someone asks, “How’s your marriage?” how would you answer? It’s hard to give an objective answer. This week, we offer a short quiz you can take to evaluate how things are going in your marriage.   Before we can move toward the goal of a better marriage, we need to know where we are currently.  Doing this Marriage Check-up exercise helped us take stock of how we were doing. Here’s what we learned... 

KFC - It's What's for Mother's Day!

 JULIE: Dandelion bouquets.  Homemade breakfast in bed.  Handmade cards splashed with crayon hearts.  Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Wait, what? Let me explain…  Growing up, Mother’s Day was my mom’s annual day off, her well-deserved reward for all she did the other 364 days of the year.   It was also the one day of the year that she didn’t have to figure out what to cook for dinner for 7 hungry mouths. We always got a bucket of KFC, a rare and welcome treat.

5 Things Men Want

1. RESPECT: (KEN) : When a man is asked, 'Would you rather be respected or loved?' most would choose being respected.  In his book Love and Respect , Dr. E. Eggerichs explains this tendency.   (JANINE) : For years, I didn't appreciate how important it was to Ken that I treat him with respect.  I also didn't understand how hurtful it was when I dis respected him.  When I show Ken respect ( by affirming his decisions,  avoiding sarcasm or by not using a demeaning tone) it translates (for him) into feeling 'loved.'  Another way to say this is: when a man is dis respected, he receives the message he is NOT loved. 2.  SEX:  

7 Tips to Improve Your Sex Life

Is sex a priority in your marriage? Sexuality is an important ingredient for a healthy marriage. Here are 7 tips to help....

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

The 5 "P's" of Constructive Feedback

Photo Credit:  Ian Schneider (Reprise of post originally published on 09-16-2019) We once read an article on criticism in marriage.  The Author's bottom line was "don't do it."  Even asking: "Can I give you some feedback?" was cautioned against.  Sometimes suggestions given with the best intent with regard to work, chores, relationships with the kids can back fire.  Think back seat driving.  Experience has taught us 5 Key Points for when we just want to give each other a little suggestion.  These 5 simple points set the tone and enable us to let down our defenses and be supportive of each other when offering a little constructive feedback.   

What Can’t You Afford to Edit out of Your Story?

Michelle: When I was a teenager, I remember coming home after breaking up with a guy and my dad asking me how it went. I gave the inevitable teenage response, “I don’t want to talk about it.” My dad responded, “You don’t have to. But you do need to remember that there are some things in life that you can’t afford to edit out of your story. Is this one of them?”

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.