I decided to create a Toolbox of Calm. Something I could quickly access when I felt a full-blown Mama Meltdown coming on.
I filled a cardboard box with emergency supplies:
CDs of feel-good music, meditations, card decks containing words of wisdom and mantras for mothers, a candle, crystals and stones that felt soothing in my hands. (Even though I know nothing about crystals and stones!)
Plus my essential bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy. (They don’t call it Yoga in a Bottle for nothing. If you haven’t got any, good grief – get your hands on some now!)
I kept my Toolbox of Calm under my bed.
When I felt myself spiralling out of control, I’d give myself a Mama Time-Out.
Retreating to my bedroom, my Toolbox of Calm was filled and ready.
A few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy on my tongue then some deep breathing in and out as I chose a card from the deck and read it to myself. A quick rub of a crystal stone for inner strength – then I’d re-enter the fray with a fresh sense of perspective.
The new, calm voice in my head said:
- ‘I am the adult here, they are the children. I will behave like an adult.’
- ‘My child is not being a problem, my child is having a problem. How can I help?’
- ‘No one can make me feel anything. I choose my feelings – and I choose peace.’
Then I’d guzzle down a full glass of water, put on one of the CDs as background music and feel more like my Best Version of Me again.
When I did my amazing Parenting Skills course with the Parent Practice they taught me something I’ll always remember.
Think of your mind as being like the eggs in this diagram below. In a normal state, you have a nice balance between thinking and feeling. But as soon as you get upset, the egg (your mind) gets too filled up with emotion and there’s literally very little (or no!) room left for thinking. All rationality goes out the window!
This is why, even when we know what we should be doing, we can’t access it when we’re too filled up with emotion.
See? There’s a scientific explanation and there’s actually nothing wrong with you!
It’s good to also note that the same goes for our children. It’s pointless to try to reason with an emotional child. Wait until their egg has evened out before attempting to talk sense with them or you’re just wasting your time and energy.
Prepare your Toolbox of Calm when you’re in a normal emotional state. Have it all packed and ready in a place you can find it fast.
Then when emotions run high, whatever tiny bit of rationality that’s left in your brain will tell you: JUST GET TO THE DAMN TOOLBOX!
Head there fast before your egg completely fills up with emotion and lose your ability to think.
In the comments below, tell me how you feel about having a Toolbox of Calm. What would you put in your box?
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Mixing practicality with self-awareness, Kelly helps mothers get on top of their endless to-do’s, set goals and improve their lives one small step at a time.
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