I've always been a big believer that having a positive attitude can affect everything in your life. Moreover I love being surrounded by positive and uplifting sayings and quotes because I've seen in my own life how repeating positive phrases to yourself can not only affect mood, but also an entire situation.
A couple of months ago Runner's World magazine ran a story about developing a mantra to use during races (and even in life) when things get tough. I've thought about this a lot over the last weeks trying to develop a mantra that would fit every aspect of my life. I could think of great words like "Powerful" and "Strong" but I couldn't seem to weave those into a short saying that seemed to fit me. I guess the trouble is that I have a lot of confidence and I already know I'm powerful and strong and capable so repeating those words just seems empty and even trite.
It wasn't until this last week that I came across an old WWII poster issued by the British government that I found my perfect mantra.
I now have a bookmark with this phrase on it and have doodled it at least a dozen times in notebooks, on letters and in txt messages to friends. I even shared it with the nurse in pediatrics before we left.
It applies perfectly to me for several reasons 1. I tend to be a little bit high strung, so a reminder to stay calm is always appropriate. 2. Because I have a lot of confidence I don't need to be reminded that I'm strong or powerful, I just need to be reminded that I'm already doing what I need to be doing, I simply need to keep going. 3. It's short enough that it's not easily forgotten. 4. It applies to any situation, weather I'm dealing with an out of work husband and two sick children or I'm hitting the wall at mile 18 of a marathon. I simply need to remind myself to "Keep Calm and Carry On" and suddenly it's like I've hit the reset button. I take a deep breath to stay calm and reconsider what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
It may sound simple and very cheesy, but I swear it's helped me get through the last few days. And now that we're back home trying to keep kids healthy and sink back into real life, I find myself repeating those words over and over again, "Keep calm and carry on" as I deal with a fussy baby, a mountain of laundry, stress over the job and bills, an active 2 year old, my jobs at church and a million and other things. And it helps. It always helps. It might not work for everyone, but at least I've found a mantra that works for me.