– Written by Sylvia Arotin
Staying calm in adversity…we are all going through a time of stress and heightened emotions all around us. It is only normal for these feelings to start growing on us and take over. The only problem with this is that it is not helpful to us or to our children. We almost self-sabotage without even realizing it and cover it up by telling ourselves that everything will be okay when you feel the complete opposite! Children also feed off the energy we are giving out, whether you feel it is hidden or not they have magical senses that will know your thoughts and emotions.
It is essential that we try and stay calm so whenever we have these thoughts creeping in we have the tools to try and overcome them. By doing so we are giving ourselves the chance to think more rationally about the situation at hand, practice self-care which is almost always neglected by parents but also teaching our children vital life skills on how to cope with these emotions.
So how do we actually stay calm in times of adversity and distress? Here are a few self-care & calming tips that will help you cope:
- Keep informed but don’t overdo it, select a period of time (5-20 minutes a day) where you will get some up to date information without immersing yourself in it
- Always select the most reliable sources (for eg. Government press conferences or announcements rather than social media)
- Use some essential oils for calming/stress relief either in a diffuser or on the skin
- Drink some herbal tea such as chamomile
- Take a deep breath or do some breathing exercises (5 seconds in and 5 seconds out from the diaphragm)
- Every time you feel negative thoughts coming on try and change them to positive ones and don’t allow the ‘what if’ questions to creep in
- Go for a walk, step outside to sit in some sun, do some yoga or meditation – being in nature and moving your body help to release endorphins and reduce stress levels
- Remind yourself with affirmations that you are safe, you are healthy, you are loved and you have your family around you
- Talk to your partner, family members about it in private (away from the children) so you can work through the thoughts and find some solutions and strategies
- Keep as much routine as possible, adults as well as children thrive with some structure and normality
- Lower your expectations especially of yourself – try not to put added pressure on yourself and just do the best that you can. We have to accept the situation at hand and go wit
- Getting ‘dressed’ for the day, making sure your self-care routines are in place to feel fresh and ready to step into the day
- Embrace your children – they will always help you feel calm and loved with a hug!
This is really an opportunity to look inwards in the time of stress and know that it will not help anyone to have such heightened emotions and allow them to take over your mental or physical state. It is also a time we can really show our children the importance of self care and share some calming strategies they can use if they are feeling anxious or nervous about something.
We are all in this together, the more we unite, the more we support, the more we show kindness and gratitude, the more we help others, the more we can walk the path united and strong to get through whatever is thrown our way.