From Tension to Tranquility: How to Relax & Recharge in Moments of Anxiety
There are days where everyone just feels anxious and stressed out! Honestly, there are moments of major tension every single day in my own home. Sometimes this is caused by kids fighting with one another. Other times, it's just caused by lack of sleep or a to-do list the size of Mt. Everest. Regardless of the situation, these are often the moments when I raise my voice or get angry at my kids. This results in even more anxiety and stress for everyone. On days like this, I go to bed thinking how awful I am and how my kids are going to remember me as a grouchy mom. If you ever feel this way, here are some things you can try to give yourself, and your kids, a breather. It may just help everyone relax and calm down.
When your kids are feeling extra grouchy, give them a bath. I’ve found that bath time tends to make everyone feel better. A warm bath can help your kids calm down, enjoy some time playing in the water, and come out feeling nice and clean. If possible, have your spouse or partner watch your kids so you can take a bath after they’re done.
Sunshine & Fresh Air
I’ve found that being cooped up inside can contribute to my short temper. Kids also tend to fight more if they feel like they have nothing to do. Getting exposed to fresh air will help you calm down and “breathe”. The exposure to sunshine is also incredibly beneficial. Sunshine causes a release of the hormone serotonin in your body. This helps decrease feelings of depression and anxiety while increasing your feelings of peace and happiness. Whether you go for a walk, travel to a playground, or simply walk out to get the mail together, getting some fresh air and sunshine should be at the top of your list when tension strikes.
Go for a Drive
Whether you take a quick trip to the store to get out of the house or just drive around for a while, getting in the car can help everyone relax a bit. The gentle movement of the car combined with some calming music may also help your kiddos fall asleep for a while.
If you have more than one child, sometimes it’s nice to separate them for a while and have everyone take 30 minutes for some quiet time. When my daughter turned 3 and had extra grumpy days, I’d often try forcing her to go take a nap. This often turned into an even bigger temper tantrum. I have since found that if I say, “Let’s have some quiet time for a little bit,” she is more willing to comply and take the time she needs to recharge and relax. To make your quiet time a success, make sure you help your kids find things that will get them excited about it. My daughter loves to grab her sleeping bag, favorite blanket, and stuffed animals and snuggles up in a corner of her room with her favorite books. You could even build a small fort that they can relax in. More often than not, this quiet time turns into a much needed nap time.
There’s something therapeutic about coloring/drawing. Pull out some blank paper and some crayons and draw some pictures together with your kids. Creating something can bring a sense of peace and fulfillment.
Audio Book or Calming Music
If you have a chance, turn off every other distraction and turn on an audiobook or podcast to listen to. In order for this to help everyone relax, make sure your kids have something to listen to as well. I like to have my kids turn on the Toniebox in their room. This encourages them to listen to a story quietly, while I can get some peace myself.
Doing a little yoga together is not only fun, but can help you take a moment to breathe and slow down. Kids think yoga is the best thing ever. There are tons of great yoga videos online that you can enjoy together.
Take a Trip to the Library
Libraries are inherently calm and quiet. Taking a quick trip to the library allows kids to wander and find some new books to check out. We like to bring these books home and read them together. Not only does this force me to slow down, but it gives us all a chance to enjoy something together.
When your kids are throwing countless tantrums or just being loud and crazy, sometimes we can lose our cool with them. But if we take a deep breath and find a way to relieve the tension we all feel, we can move forward with our day and create positive memories together. If you still lose your temper, remember that we all have days like that. Parenting is downright hard. And some days we may feel like we are constantly failing. Just keep moving forward--we all have days full of regret and wish we had done better. And that doesn’t make you a bad parent, it just makes you human. The desire to do better and try harder shows that, in reality, you are a pretty amazing parent after all.
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