We all have those days, where everything seems to be on our very last inflamed and irritable nerve. From the car breaking down to the kids flipping out, everything feels like it’s all just too much! While we can’t control the fate of the universe, what we can do is be prepared with a few tricks to help ourselves cope.
First of all, time outs aren’t just for kids. When you feel yourself about to boil over, go ahead and step right behind that baby-gate and tell the kids, “Mommy needs a time out.” If you’re in the car, pull over and step outside for a second (because let’s be honest, everything seems harder when you’re trapped in a hunk of metal with two kids arguing about the pronunciation of a cartoon character’s last name).
While it sounds facetious, in actuality, when you do this you are setting an example of positive ways to employ self control as well as showing the kids that time outs aren’t so much a punishment as a means to deal with our honest emotions without taking them out on other people.
Once you’ve escaped to the peaceful solitude of your room (or the bathroom, or the pantry, or anywhere you can be alone), take a few minutes to regulate the biorhythms of your body. Most of us experience a rise in heart rate, blood pressure and body heat from tension, anger, frustration and the like. To calm yourself and return your heart rate back to normal levels, take five deep breaths counting to ten as you exhale. Use an aromatherapy lotion, like calming lavender or mood-brightening sweet orange, on your hands and arms. Then, place a cool gel mask over your eyes for five minutes to help regulate your body temperature. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to handle things with a better attitude and more patience.
Flip the Script
When you join everyone again, do not return to the exact same setting as before. Light some Aloha Bay aromatherapy candles, turn on your favorite song and sing it at the top of your lungs, or dive into an uplifting task (gardening, a walk around the block, making your favorite dish for dinner). After your brain has had a chance to reset, then you can go back to the ambiguously worded homework assignment or scraping gum off the bottom of your best pair of work shoes.
How to Help Your Kids
Time outs, breathing techniques and redirection are all great ways to help your little ones through a tantrum, as well. And by helping your kids master these coping skills at a young age, you are giving them tools that will last them a a lifetime. We’ve employed these tactics regularly enough that my four year old will ask for the eye mask and some “cheer up” lotion when she goes into melt-down mode.
Remember not to be too hard on yourself even if you lose your cool from time to time. Tell your kids you’re sorry and try again tomorrow. We all have bad days and you’re doing a great job, Bombshell!