With 4 kids between the ages of almost 2 and 6, stress seems to come in waves.
Huge, heavy, ‘knock you over and drag you back into the water with it’ sized waves….
Take this morning for example….My youngest has this recent horrible habit of following me around and bellowing at me to refill her cup whenever its empty, NO MATTER WHAT I’M DOING….in the shower. on the toilet. in a deep sleep. And of course, she doesn’t do this to my husband, she only saves it for when she is with me. Or, the other big ordeal of the morning…..the 6 year old has been having a bit of a mean streak lately, and lashing back at her younger siblings for seemingly small mishaps (sometimes with angry words, sometimes with hitting, neither of which is okay.)
And so it begins….
Flailing about like a little crazy person.
Perhaps taking a few swings at your head with a toy.
Or, what the 6 year old now resorts to when shes upset…..rudeness, angry words, and lots (and lots) of pouting. (I’m strongly considering moving out once she gets her period….I kid, I kid….)
And when they are in the midst of losing their shit, you are trying so hard, so, so hard, not to lose yours.
I’ll admit, I have lost it and yelled more times than I would like to admit. I wish I didn’t yell so much, or ever. I am definitely trying hard each and every day to work on this, and it is a struggle!
But I have found a couple of tactics that I employ on myself to help diffuse the situation to relieve my stress levels, rather quickly. These can also work after the fact too (again, if you are like me and you are quick tempered but it takes a while to calm back down after the meltdown madness has ended.)
Single Nostril Breathing
I’m gonna be honest…Simple deep breathing when I am stressed doesn’t work for me. I find it hard to focus my mind elsewhere. However I learned this little deep breathing trick from fellow yogis at the studio where we teach ….so simple, yet effective!
1) Take your thumb and index finger and place on top of each of your nostrils.
2)Depress one nostril with your thumb, and take a deep inhale, before you exhale, lift your thumb off your one nostril and depress the other nostril with your index finger, then breathe out.
3)Then breathe in again, this time, breathing in through the same notril that was open, then switch the nostril that is being depressed before you exhale out….In essence, it should go like this:
Left nostril closed–> breathe in through right nostril–>open left nostril, close right, breath out left nostril–> breathe in left nostril–>close left nostril, breathe our right nostril…keep repeating for at least 10 breath cycles.
Having a very specific thing to focus on (breathing in and out of just one nostril and alternating the side you are breathing in and out of) immediately focuses my mind, slows my breathing, and allows me to begin to allow my stress levels to release a bit. For one thing, everytime I do this breathing, I realize that one of my nostrils is ALWAYS stuffed up! LOL.
Lavender Essential Oil
I have lavender essential oil stashed all around my house, I even have a travel roll-on bottle in my car. I actually use this even if I am not feeling stressed, but if I need a quick mood pick-me-up (Hey, Monday morning……ugh!) But especially if I am feeling stressed, I am rubbing lavender oil on my temples, under my nose, on the sides of my neck, on the insides of my wrists…It’s also great to add a few drops to your bath (oh the luxury!!!), or even in the shower…once it mixes with the steam…..heaven!!! I’ve also recently started taking these lavender pills to help with my anxiety.
Ok, so this one isn’t the best in terms of communication, but I have found that it’s better to remain quiet, rather than saying something that I might regret saying later. (I am still trying to work through this every day!)
If you feel your blood beginning to boil over, (as I do MANY times!!) keeping the mouth shut is actually the best thing to do for even just a minute or two (or even longer if you need.)
I actually used this tactic on my husband a couple of nights ago, and it avoided a huge argument that would have ultimately erupted and spun out of control had I spoken out with the words of hurt that were bursting out of my soul (haha I’m so dramatic!!)
We ended up talking about it calmly the next day, and the situation ended up working itself out perfectly.
When my kids get me to my boiling point, I have to literally seal my lips shut and walk away from them.
Of course, they want to be heard, and might scream and wail even more, but I simply only mutter “Mommy is very frustrated right now and can’t talk with you.”
Then, I let them continue to melt down, while I attempt to continue to cool down. (While doing single nostril breathing. And rubbing bottles of lavendar oil into my pores.)
I have given them an answer to the current situation, and I am letting them know that I am human too, with feelings, that I need to get a grip on before talking out the situation with them.
These are three quick tips that I use to help lower my stress levels when my kids aren’t being angels (haha), and can be employed whenever or wherever you need them. I like to think of them as my personal fire extinguishers to help diffuse stressful situations so bad moments don’t turn into bad days.
What do you do to quickly de-stress and diffuse to relieve your stress?
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