As a frazzled mum at Christmas time, I thought it was time for me to take stock and give myself a to do list of what to do when the going gets tough over the Christmas holidays.
Much as I love my husband and children, there are times when things can get a little fraught… and I wanted to find ways of coping that didn’t involve disappearing into a bottle of white or booking a flight to Spain… so here goes…
1. Time Out – it goes without saying it can get too much when you are all in the same place at the same time for a period of time. So when it gets too much, if you burnt the bloody Turkey, the kids are arguing over their toys/the remote/refusing to go to bed – one good way to defuse the pressure cooker is to take a mummy time out. Sit in a quiet room for 10 minutes. Close your eyes, take several deep breaths and pay attention to your breath. This app can help you get started if you need something to guide you when meditating.
2. You really make me wanna – Shout! So this is a great one when you start to eye the kitchen knives. Now is the time to cleanse your throat chakra. Try this at home, or get in your car or go for a walk – find somewhere you can get loud without feeling self conscious. If you are in the car I find its even better if you have a music track you can scream along to! This one is as easy as you like – just take a deep breath and say “HAM” for as long and loudly as you can. Another enhancement to this one, is to have something on standby that you can throw – preferably away from other humans and in a place that you know you can’t break anything because you’ll kick yourself later – trust me I know… (note this should be, plastic, something that bounces, not a plate… thrown at a window (!)
3. Shake it off – I learnt this tip after attending the amazing Rise Sister Rise.. What amazed me is how simple this ‘therapy’ is. Of course you can get yourself out and into a club, but that’s not what I am talking about. This is a case of good old fashioned dancing round your lounge, or round your garden or anywhere ever really… just put on your favourite tracks and just let go, let it all hang out, shut your eyes feel the music and just shake it off! 19 people dancing like no one is watching!
4. I Love to Laugh – so I read a stat somewhere that said adults only laugh like 15 times a day, to the 200 times a toddler laughs. And its quoted everywhere, the sure fire way to defuse arguments, lift your spirits or generally just lighten the mood is to laugh – not ‘titter’ but really belly laugh. There are even classes in it… I found this link to a Laughter Yoga video that shows you it is proven to relieve stress. Of course if you think that’s a bit creepy or not for you, just go find videos on YouTube that do make you laugh… babies giggling, people walking into things, playing ‘pie face’ or just an old episode of Fawlty Towers – whatever gets you belly laughing.. It really helps!
5. When all else fails… punch a pillow, pour yourself a big glass of something, grab the chocolate, sink into a hot bubble bath and lock that bathroom door!
I am pretty sure these are all tried and tested by parents everywhere, so if you have any others you want to share please do…