In some things it turns out that the stereotypes are true.
I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately. There is the end of semester build up, compounded with my husband’s new job which has thrown our previous schedule for a loop and for a few weeks in there, our babysitter was in America.
I wanted to share a few things that have been working for me.
- Sharing “stresses” with my husband
- Being really really there when I am spending time with my son.
It turns out, breathing is something you can do everywhere. It’s actually amazing. The trick is, turning off the part of the brain that notices your mind has been wandering away and makes remarks like “oh, I knew you wouldn’t be able to focus on that for more than a minute.” That’s the hard part. I have found that if I can just give myself permission to be kind to myself, and tell those mean brain voices that it’s okay and they can have a hug or whatever it is they need, the breathing really, really helps.
John Gottman in his book Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work discusses the idea of a stress reducing conversation where couples sit together and take turns for a timed period of time, discussing any and all stressors from outside the marriage. It really works. I recommend the whole book, but this activity in and of itself I find incredibly helpful.
Finally, I get a lot of relief just using play time as a time to let myself be truly present. I think it works especially well because I have son there showing me exactly how it is done! He could be the poster boy for The Power of Now, he’s so in the moment. I find that just letting myself release whatever thoughts I am having and focus on the play and accept whatever feelings I am having without needing to control them is very healing. It also stops me from getting overwhelmed by frustration when I sing Old Macdonald for the twentieth time in a row!
It’s very much a work in progress, just like I am. I wanted to share these ideas because they helped me, but I am equally excited to learn more things that can help one achieve calm during the busy seasons of life.