Even just the act of acknowledging I am having a Soft-Shell Crab Day can be enough to soothe me a bit. And while my knee-jerk reaction is to be a bit like a bear disturbed during hibernation when I’m having a Soft-Shell Crab Day, I find it helpful to let those nearest and dearest to me know that I’m having a Soft-Shell Crab Day. I also know it is super important to be as gentle with myself as I possibly can be on these days. Here are a few of my favorite things for Soft-Shell Crab Days:
- Self-compassion: Am I talking to myself like I talk to my friends and loved ones? Am I reminding myself that everyone has struggles and makes mistakes (even if it doesn’t seem like that at the moment)?
- Time in nature: walking my dog, sitting in a horse pasture reading a good book, or even just standing barefoot with my feet in the grass in the backyard
- Getting it out: talking it out with a friend, writing it out in a journal, or dancing it out to a good song
Parents can typically start to recognize when their daughters are having a Soft-Shell Crab Day as their daughters’ behavior may take the form of withdrawal, or gals preferring to spend time with themselves, or lashing out, whether in actions or words. I typically encourage parents to focus less on the behavior itself and more on the emotions, such as fear, disappointment, grief, or jealousy, that are driving the behavior when they initially respond to their daughters. Sometimes talking about Soft-Shell Crab Days during a calmer moment and then later asking in a tentative, curious tone when the big feels are coming up, “I’m wondering if you might be having a Soft-Shell Crab Day,” can go a long way towards helping girls to start to sort out what may be going on and what they might want to do about it.