Susie throws herself on the floor of the grocery store. Billy won’t get into the car seat. They tantrum for over 10 minutes, although it seems like an eternity. And why does it always seem to happen in public, or when you have some place to be?
We try to reason, bargain, and in some cases may yell, but nothing we do or say during the tantrum makes a difference. We just hope it will end. We hope!
By the time it is finally over, we are left exhausted, angry and frustrated, and with a case of post-tantrum stress. The stress hormones have already been released and are circulating through our bodies. They continue to release, and it is difficult to turn them off. These hormones can take up to 36 hours to flush out. We are left short tempered, agitated, with little patience, and it may only be 10AM! We still have to move on with our day, take care of everyone and everything else. We, ourselves are left at the bottom of the list. But everyone suffers.
Here are some quick tips to shift your mindset and clear the stress:
- Get the kids set up and safe, lock yourself in your room or bathroom and take a moment. Try some long slow deep breaths. Begin by counting how long it takes to inhale and how long it takes to exhale.
- Leave preparing dinner for 10 minutes. Pick up something completely unrelated to read. Leave the self-help books and newspapers and go with something light, easy and pleasing to read.
- Again get the kids set up and safe, and walk around the outside of your house a couple of times. As you walk, it may be hard to focus. So go with something basic like walking at an even pace. Once that gets going well, add in the deep full breaths.
- Put your earphones in and turn on your ipod to relaxing music. Take 5 minutes and sit somewhere alone and close your eyes.
- Do you knit? Pick up your knitting and knit/pearl a couple of rows.
- If you currently do yoga, try moving yourself through a sun salutation. It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember the exact order of poses, just move and breathe. Once you get going, begin to slow down the pace and slow down the breath.
- If sun salutations aren’t your thing, but you like to stretch, get on the floor and mindfully move through a series of your favorite stretches.
Maybe it is only 5-10 minutes, but even a short amount of time can have profound effects on the release of hormones in your system. Basically, the stress hormones will stop releasing and the good/happy hormones will then be released.
As moms, we are at the center of the household. Everything around us spins out and is affected by us. Make your self a priority. Not only do you deserve it, but also it will make you a better mom.