Thanks to Oprah we all know how important it is to remain calm in our daily lives. Dr. Oz has shown us the dangerous impact that stress can have on our bodies. And yet, when it comes to parenting, we still find it hard to calm down after an emotional interaction with our kids. Here are seven ways to calm down before, during or after “one of those days”!
We’re always breathing, but how we breathe is key. There are two ways to breathe, upper lung breathing and deep belly breathing. When we breathe just into our upper lungs our breaths are shallow. This is how we breathe when rushing around, upset or angry. Upper lung breathing is shallow enough to make you feel like you aren’t able to catch your breath. Deep belly breathing, on contrast, forces air into the top and bottom of your lungs, making you feel calm and energized at the same time.
Deep belly breathing: Slowly inhale to a count of five until your lungs are full of air. Hold your breath for one heartbeat. Then slowly and fully exhale to a count of five. This type of breathing lowers blood pressure, sends oxygen to all of your organs and calms you, all at the same time.
2. Breathing for Kids
Circle of Moms member Bebe B. shares that when her son doesn’t get his own way he gets angry: "I have to walk away…I don’t know how to get things back under control.” One way a child experiences stress is when they’re experiencing intense emotions. When a child needs to calm down, have him use deep belly breathing. You can explain it like this:
Mom: “Imagine an escalator going up, it’s showing you how to take in a slow deep breath. Then pretend you forgot something and have to go back down the escalator. That shows you how to slowly let out the big breath.”
Create your own mantra that expresses: "There is nothing as important as my health. I can be one minute late. I can do this later. I don't need to be perfect" and use it! You’ll be amazed at the results.
You need to take care of you in order to be there to take care of your child. Remember what flight attendants say, "Parents give yourself oxygen first THEN give it to your child."
Pay attention to what you’re doing in each moment, only. Stop thinking about the next moment. The next moment will arrive and you can think about it then. When you find yourself reacting to all that’s on your plate take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I’m washing dishes now, nothing else, just paying attention and washing dishes.” This WILL slow you down.
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier and get up 30 minutes earlier. Even if you’re sure you can’t, try it anyway.
Can’t fall asleep? Go to the doctor. or the health food store and talk about melatonin, Valerian root, or sip Sleepy Time Tea. Use the extra 30 minutes you gain in the morning to prep for the day ahead. When women feel like they’re prepared and organized for the day, they relax and don't react as often.
7. Take a Hot Bath
The daily stress we all feel isn’t just robbing us of time and making us feel pressured, it leaches our bodies of the nutrients we need to battle the stress. To replenish the lost nutrients, forgo 30 minutes of TV time after the kids go to bed and take a hot salt bath. Pour 1/2 cup of regular table salt, Epsom Salt or bath salts into the bath and mix. SaltWorks.com says it best, “Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. The magnesium [in salt] helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.”
We call benefit from more calm and relaxation in our lives. Give these ideas a try, then comment and let me know how it goes.
Sharon Silver is the author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding: 108 Ways to Discipline Consciously and Become the Parent You Want to Be, and the monthly Online Skills Class. This is a local, national and international anytime e-class that provides parents with solutions for correcting behavior, outbursts and more, to create the parenting instruction manual you always wished came with your child! Find Sharon on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to receive 2 FREE tips from Sharon's book.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.