The red mist descends.
My hands are clenched, my shoulders are up past my ears.
And I am about to explode.
And the cause?
Well, last week because I had like two spare minutes in the whole day to clean and the vacuum cleaner wouldn’t do what I wanted …
… and so I shouted at it!
Yep, I shouted at the vacuum cleaner!!
Because obviously the world is so totally going to come to an end if the floor’s a bit grubby and there are dust balls on the stairs …
And the real cause?
Deep seated “mummy stress” which builds and builds until the tiniest little things, which in the grand scheme of things just do not matter, make me mad.
I know there’s some super big stuff I need to work on to manage my stress better.
More sleep, less coffee, more exercise and a better diet would be a good start.
And really letting go of the “mummy guilt” about being a bit rubbish at everything would be even better.
But these are not overnight wins.
And in the meantime I need … really need … not to shout at the vacuum cleaner!
So I’ve been working hard the last week to use 3 super simple tips that helped me relax in the past and they have made a big difference.
Relaxation tips for stressed out mums
1. Tummy Breathing
Do ya’ remember tummy breathing from pregnancy?
Inflating your tum like a big balloon as you breathe in and deflating it flat as a pancake as you breathe out … or at least as flat as you can post baby 🙂
Well it’s THE best instant stress relief!
And there’s some science behind it … as you breathe slowly, your heart rate falls and as your heart rate falls all that pesky cortisol that makes you stressed disappears.
And without the cortisol, you can suddenly can see that the world won’t actually end because your daughter won’t clean her teeth or put her pyjamas on, however annoying it may be.
2. Counting Stinky Elephants
This is one of my daughter’s fave ways to calm down when she gets mad.
I’ve written about it before here but you basically just count stinky elephants very slowly … one stinky elephant, two stinky elephants, three stinky elephants …
Again it works ‘cos it slows my breathing and heart rate, but it also makes me smile as I think of my daughter smiling as she counts all those stinky, stinky elephants …
And when I’m smiling, the whole world may not quite all smile with me but silly stress about the vacuum cleaner doesn’t stand a chance.
3. Face Massage
Oooh, what wouldn’t I give for a daily massage to smooth all my troubles away!! But even a basic face massage with coconut oil as I’m taking my make up off helps.
I started using coconut oil this year after totally decluttering my beauty regime.
And as soon as I massage it in I feel my shoulders relax and the physical tension of the day fall away.
It’s the simplest thing but those few minutes of calm before bed does wonders in helping me go to bed calmly and to let go of the day’s little trials and tribulations.
It’s certainly not an out and out cure for mummy stress and anxiety but it does help me sleep better and there truly are few things better than good sleep for reducing stress.