March 2012

Your Parenting/Leadership TOOLKIT… [since 2003]
8 Quick Ways 2 Help U Calm Down

– calm parents = calm children –

Dear parents-2-b, moms, dads, caregivers, social workers, grandparents & educators of children between the ages of 0 to 18 years old.

I`m usually not easily overwhelmed, BUT there are times when my kids` exuberant screams reach a decibel level my ears can`t tolerate, when the sound of the soccer game my hubby is watching on tv drives me up the wall, or when facing all these public holidays coming up I open my email to find 100+ desperately in need messages–I feel a meltdown coming on.

You relate?

Be CALM…it is your human right :-)!

I calmly share with you 8 quick ways to calm down.

1. Walk Away

Know your triggers. If a conversation about the high cost of education, the latest on Brooke and the Bold & Beautiful, or the nepotism crisis in Africa is overwhelming you, simply excuse yourself. If you`re noise-sensitive and the scene at Toys-R-Us makes you want to throw singing Barney and his buddies across the store, tell your kids you need a time-out. (Bring along your husband or a friend so you can leave them safely, if need be.)

2.Close Your Eyes

Gently let the world disappear, and go within to regain your equilibrium. Closing your eyes helps to regain balance and proper focus.

The only time I recommend not using this technique is on the road (if you`re driving).

3.Find Some Solitude

This can be challenging if you are at work, or at home with kids as creative and energetic as mine. But we all need some private time to let the nervous system regenerate. Be strong to verbalise to your friends and family that “Nope. Can`t do it. Need my alone time, or else none of you would want to be around me. Trust me.”

4.Go Outside

This is a true lifesaver for me. I need to be outside for some time every day to get my sanity fix. Being a working mom does not make it so easy. But I somehow try to work it into my schedule.

With an hour of nature, I can easily go from being a bossy, opinionated, angry, cynical, uptight person into a bossy, opinionated, cynical, relaxed person.

🙂 And that makes the difference between having friends and a husband to have dinner with and a world that tells me to go eat a frozen dinner by myself because they don`t want to catch whatever grumpy bug I have.

5.Find Some Water

It is amazing how universal the mood effects of water are, and how healing.

“Water helps in many ways,” writes Elaine Aron. “When over aroused, keep drinking it–a big glass of it once an hour. Walk beside some water, look at it, listen to it. Get into some if you can, for a bath or a swim. Hot tubs and hot springs are popular for good reasons.”

6.Breathe Deeply

Breathing is the foundation of sanity, because it is the way we provide our brain and every other vital organ in our body with the oxygen needed for us to survive. Breathing also eliminates toxins from our systems.

Years ago, I learned the “Four Square” method of breathing to reduce anxiety:

  • Breathe in slowly to a count of four.
  • Hold the breath for a count of four.
  • Exhale slowly through pursed lips to a count of four.
  • Rest for a count of four (without taking any breaths).
  • Take two normal breaths.
  • Start over again with number one.

7.Listen To Music

Across the ages, music has been used to soothe and relax. During the worst times of anxiety, I blare the soundtrack of “The sound of music.” Pretending to be Maria, I twirl around our living ROOM, swinging my kids in my arms. I belt out every word of “The Hills Are Alive.”

The gorgeous song–like all good music–could stroke that tender place within me that words couldn`t get to.

8. Let Go And Let God

Letting go allows ROOM for peace and happiness. Long lasting anxiety will only drain you physically and emotionally and can surely affect your health. You will use more energy than you can imagine by keeping on being anxious than you will by letting go.

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