Go from stressed mama to calm
As a parent most of my days feel like a wild roller coaster. The day can go from happily playing and having fun to my toddler getting into the toilet again, someone getting hurt, the kids getting everything out that I just put away (and more), the dogs chewing up another stuffed animal or toy that the kids left out or even worse. I think most parents can relate.
Whether you're a parent or not, negativity can get out of control quickly and it can be easy to let it ruin your whole day or night. It's easy to focus all day on what has gone wrong. When you learn how to re-focus after you get to that place of stress and overwhelm your days will get better. These are 10 of my favorite ways to fix my attitude, stop my stress and come back to my calm. Depending on the day and situation, I use 1 or several of these at a time.
1. Take a time out
Let's be real, sometimes we need to put ourselves in a time out before we lose it. I like to go in my room, close the door, lay on my bed for a couple of minutes and calm myself down. If you're in the car or out in public try to turn on your favorite song or find a quiet place for a few minutes to re-focus.
2. Deep Breaths
Next time you're feeling overwhelmed stop what you are doing and take a minimum of 6 slow deep breaths. This will help you re-focus, calm down and release the tension and stress from your body. This can be done anywhere at any time.
3. Put everything else away and play on the floor with the kids
We can get so caught up in our phones, cleaning, doing dishes, laundry, working or one of the other many things we have to do on a daily basis and it can quickly take over the time meant for spending quality time with our kids. I notice that I get the most irritable when I'm trying to do too many things and not just enjoying the moment with my kids. If it's possible to stop what I'm doing, put down my phone or computer or put off the dishes and cleaning until later then I will do that and go play with my kids. This can change the way you're feeling pretty quickly and your kids will love it.
4. Take a bath
If you have a bath tub this is a great way to relax. If not, try a warm or hot shower for a few minutes. In the evenings after my youngest son has gone to sleep is a perfect time for me to take a bath. I love to add Epsom salt, baking soda and Lavender essential oil or a bath oil to help relieve some tension from my body and muscles. Get a glass of wine, turn the lights off and turn on some calming music too to enhance your relaxation.
5. Go to bed early
When you're worn down mentally and physically, your body definitely needs some rest. If you can get to bed early, do it! Don't feel guilty about the things that didn't get done that day. Self care needs to be a priority on a daily basis also, so if that means the vacuuming gets done the next day then that is OK. Do what HAS to be done and then get to bed. If you need help to turn off the to-do list in your head try turning on a guided sleep meditation or calming sounds (there are many free options on YouTube and free apps for your phone).
6. Ask for help
Do you have a friend or family member nearby that can give you a short break from your kids when you're feeling completely overwhelmed? Ask for help! You may be surprised to find that many people understand and are willing to help. No one will know that you're overwhelmed and need help if you put on a facade that everything is great and you never need help. Ask for what you need. Don't expect other people to read your mind.
7. Dance it out
Who doesn't love to dance (especially when no one else is watching)? Turn on some upbeat music that you love and dance out some of the stress! Your kids may want to join in on the fun too and suddenly everyone is happy, laughing and having fun. Music is great for the soul!
8. Make a list of things you're grateful for
This can be a mental list, verbal list or you can write out a list. Choose at least 10 things you are grateful for and why you're grateful for them. Examples: My home because it provides shelter and keeps me warm in the cold winter and clean, warm water to bathe in because I can get clean and feel refreshed after a shower or bath. When you look around and realize how many things and people you have to be thankful for, whatever it is that caused you to be so upset will seem like it isn't that big of a deal. If you have the time, don't stop at 10 things - keep going!
9. Use Essential Oils
One thing I use daily to help my moods and stress levels is essential oils. When you're feeling low, sad, angry, stressed, overwhelmed, etc. there is always an oil to help. I like to apply topically and breathe the oils in deeply several times or put them in my diffuser for a long lasting effect. Some favorites for my different range of emotions are Peace, Cheer, Forgive, Passion, Motivate, Console, Citrus Bliss, Lemon, Bergamot, Peppermint, Wild Orange, Lavender, Petitgrain, Balance, Vetiver, Frankincense and Serenity. I can use many of these on my whole family!
10. Get out of the house
Sometimes we just need a change of scenery when everyone is feeling upset and acting bad. It might just be a car ride for 15 minutes to get out of the house. Maybe a trip to an inflatable play center like Monkey Joes. Maybe you go get some food everyone loves or go to the park to get some fresh air. Getting out in nature and sunshine is always one of the best ways for me to get grounded and relieve stress.
There are so many great ways to get out of a bad mood or bring stress levels down. I hope you found value and some new ideas in this list that will help make your days better. In the comments below let me know what your favorite way is to come back to calm.