This article is part of the Mommy Overwhelm series. We looked at the signs of overwhelm, and shared self-care activities to lower parental stress, food, herbs and supplements to strengthen your resistance to stress and battle depression and some positive parenting affirmations.
In this mommy overwhelm series, I have been focussing on some things you can do to nurture yourself, like eating food and herbs that strengthen your resistance to stress, affirmations and self-care activities, but I haven’t tackled real in the moment solutions to overwhelm yet.
Most of the quick self-care tips are things that can be don in the moment, but they’re mostly things you do on your own. Now there are obviously thing you can do with your kids when you are feeling overwhelmed. Things that heal your soul without disconnecting you (and chances are, if you are in need of healing, so are your children).
So without further ado: some activities that you can do in the moment with your children to fix this unbalanced state you are in.
- Do yoga together. You don’t have to be an experienced yogi, or even very bendy, just practice a couple of poses together. Doesn’t matter if your kids do it right. They’ll probably be more than happy to join in and it is the fact that you’re doing something that will be an invaluable lesson to your child later in life. Your child will integrate that when you’re stuck and feeling less than, you can take action to actively change things around.
- Cuddle. No matter how angry or sad you may be, physical closeness will make you feel better. It may seem counter intuitive at first, you’re probably feeling like pushing your child away, but what you need most now is closeness and connection. A lot of the sadness and frustration we experience as parents is a direct result of isolation, so at least be close to your child, and let this physical bond heal you.
- The family nest. The fight, flight or freeze reaction may leave you unable to do anything any more. That’s ok. It’s completely understandable that you don’t find it in you to be active, so don’t force yourself. Forget about the mess and dinner, and throw a mattress on the floor. Make sure you have drinks and healthy snacks standing close and some entertainment for all of you to enjoy. Close your doors and hibernate for a little while, until your brain has rested and you feel rejuvenated. We all need some down time now and again, another thing that isn’t acknowledged in our society that focuses on action and growth and striving. Just set it all aside and enjoy the stillness. You can watch a dvd, or play a game, or simply rest... whatever suits your mood.
- Join in the crafts. You don’t have to engage in anything complicated or pinterest worthy, but get out the art supplies and join in. Physically engaging in arts will get the stress out of your body. Playdough and clay have long been used as therapeutic tools, and so has paint. But if this isn’t to your or your child’s liking, you could also decide to do some coloring, which can be just as therapeutic. Maybe color in a mandala or two.
- Bake together. Just like the crafts, baking is a very sensory process, which is sure to heal your soul. And you have the added bonus of a lovely piece of yumminess.
- Take a bath together. It may not be the restful, candlelit bath you would like to take, but relaxing the muscles in a warm bath will relieve tension, even if your children want to wash your hair and splash the water.
What is your go-to activity when it’s all becoming a little too much?
This post was shared with the Tuesday Baby Link Up