Deborah Smith is a positive psychologist specialising in the science of happiness and mindfulness.
She has more than 25 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and is here to help, so email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I do to stop comparing myself to other parents to seem to have their lives a bit more together than me? Neema Agarwal, Leicester
The problem with comparing oneself to others is that firstly, people appear to have their life more together than you only because you don’t know them well enough to be aware of the reality of their lives. It’s easy to make judgments about other people based on appearances, however if we were to ask about those people if they really are the way you perceive them to be, I’m sure they would tell you otherwise.
Secondly, we subconsciously choose to compare ourselves to people who appear ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than us, depending on how we feel about ourselves. When we aren’t feeling good about ourselves or our life, we compare ourselves to others who appear to have the things we feel we are lacking. So the best thing you can do is let go of comparisons. Life with young kids is messy!
Also, question what it actually means to have life ‘together’. Are you managing to feed, clothe and get your kids to school? Are your kids happy and healthy?
Write a list of all the things you’re managing to do and another of the things you wish you were able to do. How important are the ones on the second list compared to the ones on the first? I hope it helps you realise you’re doing so much better than you thought you were, and you’re being hard on yourself unnecessarily.
My best advice? Relax and enjoy your kids while they’re still young.
THREE WAYS TO MAKE FRIENDS AS AN ADULT
Friends are important to our sense of wellbeing and life satisfaction, but when we relocate to a new area or start a new job as an adult, it can be difficult to make new friends. Try these ideas…
TAKE A CLASS
Find something you’re interested in, or would enjoy doing – that way you’ll meet like-minded people who share your interests.
JOIN A SPORTS TEAM OR CLUB
This is another great way to meet new people who share an interest with you. Being part of a club or team allows friendships to develop easily and naturally.
SAY YES MORE!
Push yourself to say yes to things, even things you wouldn’t normally go to or do – you might surprise yourself and find you have a great time and meet some lovely new people!
Mantra: Celebrate the good in every day
Enjoy all the little things this spring. Take pleasure in that morning coffee or afternoon walk – it can make all the difference to your day.