I know all too well the feeling of drowning in your daily task list, or the challenges for the week ahead. I’ve worked hard to practice mindfulness and staying in the present to avoid too much future thinking and too much dwelling on past mistakes. But it’s not easy. Sometimes that’s not enough. And for moms who don’t have that training yet, or time to learn how, the day can seem like an up-mountain battle.
Here are a few healthy strategies I use daily, and particularly in moments of high stress. Try them out today and see if you can calm your inner task master, the worry wart, the inner critic.
- Breathe. Take a minute to breathe deeply. close your eyes, and breathe deep for a few seconds, like yoga breath. or the calming breath we model for our kiddos during a meltdown.
- Drink a glass of water. Slowly (as much as time permits). Small sips. but a full glass.
- Stretch. Bend down like you are going to touch your toes (a forward fold). Just hang out there for a bit, relax your back. Count to 10.
- Think about what problem you are dealing with this minute. Not 10 minutes from now or later tonight, or tomorrow. Right now. Is it a meltdown? Fixing dinner? Cleaning up a kid mess? Anything at all. Or you might find it’s nothing. Happens to me all the time. My mind wanders, and I start focusing on something else that hasn’t happened yet.
- Write it down. On paper, on your phone, somewhere. “Right Now: calm child” or “Right Now: clean up”. Just one action item.
- Do it. Focus on the one, current problem. You don’t have to solve it right away. But you can’t solve problems that haven’t happened yet. Dinner is later. Bedtime struggles are hours away. This minute is the one that needs your attention.
I did this myself just now too. All those worries and stuff I am stressed about, I said “Right now I need to write this post so other moms can do this too.” And now here it is, and I can focus on the next challenge. One at a time.