Haven’t you ever had one of those days when something happens early in the morning–a kid’s tantrum, a bad hair day, unfolded laundry everywhere–and it just sets you off?
Somehow the whole atmosphere starts to snowball and before you know it the entire day has gone down with a negative tone.
What if you could stop and reverse that snowball effect before it had a chance to gain momentum? Maybe you could change the course of your entire day. At any rate, isn’t it worth a shot?
You probably can’t pause in the middle of a stressful day to head out for an hour’s massage. But maybe you can spare ten minutes to focus your energy in a different direction.
Here are ten quick turn-around techniques that have helped this mama gather herself in the midst of the storm.
1. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth three times, slowly.
I find it calming to inhale the smell of lavendar essential oil while doing this.
2. Pick your kids’ favorite book off the shelf (the one you’ve read 1,000 times already) and read it together in a funny spot where you don’t usually read–under the table, while they’re in the bath, etc.
A cheerful heart does good like a medicine.
3. Play your favorite up-tempo song and get your groove on with the kids.
Music can help us not take our lives so seriously.
4. Remember what your children were like as babies. Remember what you were like as a baby.
Give compassion to them and yourself.
5. Grab a snack–one that will make you feel better, not worse!
A handful of almonds, a piece of fruit, carrot sticks.
When I get hungry my parenting totally nosedives. A healthy snack helps.
6. Set the timer for 10 minutes and clear your desk or just tidy up.
I tend to think the daily mess will take hours to clear so I put it off.
But when I tackle it for ten minutes I find it’s almost completely gone and I feel lighter in so many ways.
7. Brush your teeth, drink a full glass of water, and put on lipstick.
In other words, spend a few moments taking care of yourself. The effort will be reflected in how you feel.
8. Close down email, Facebook, Instagram, and get offline.
Invest your body and mind in your real life.
9. Grab a piece of paper and at the top write “Things I Love About My Life.”
Set a timer for five minutes and get brainstorming. I promise you’ll feel a little better after you finish.
10. Brew a cup of tea or coffee, giving each step of the process your complete attention.
Sometimes all we need is permission to slow down.
Every helpful technique we discover we add to our mother’s toolbox–eventually it overflows with resources we can whip out and use as needed.
Each one makes a difference in the mothering we give to our little people, and in the care we give to ourselves.
Ready for more calm, less guilt, and quiet joy? Request Jamie’s free self-care list here!