Tag Archives: survival techniques

yawning therapy

Yawning therapy

So, what is Yawning Therapy?

It’s a natural and simple way to get rid of stress, bad mood and undesired thoughts. Yawning is free, you can do it almost anytime and you don’t need a life coach to teach you  to grab some extra oxygen. Yawning therapy is one of these simple and neglected things people have forgotten (Why? Because most people are busy with other things, that’s why).

Every mom needs to do some yawning once in a while, and when she does is consciously and purposefully, things change: from mere yawning to an effective relaxation technique.

What is it good for?

  • good mood (not a bad thing at all)
  • beauty (some extra oxygen into the cells is a great idea). Tears, that come down by the end of the practice are good for rinsing and refreshing the sensitive eye skin.
  • brilliant ideas and inspiration that come into mom’s head (when the head is not heavily occupied by dirty soup, scattered soup and sock making… sorry, I meant dirty diapers, scattered socks and soup making)

Before you start the yawning therapy

  • you can be alone or among strangers who don’t care about you (like in a bus or in a busy street. But not during family dinner, even if you are with your sunglasses on.)
  • if you cannot be alone, at least put some sunglasses on or turn aside so that your face will not be seen
  • you will not have any make up on your face or at least in the eyes area.
  • You cannot talk or listen to anyone at the time of the practice, it will distract you and reduce the effect (well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I had to say it just in case).

Yawning therapy. Three steps:

Exhales longer than inhales

start breathing 4-6 (or any other number, but make sure your inhales and shorter than your exhales). Keep on breathing and counting: 1-2-3-4 is an inhale, 1-2-3-4-5-6 is an exhale. Continue the same way even if nothing happens: just lie and breath (you can do it in a sitting position as well, even in a public place. Just make sure you have sunglasses on).

Let yawning happen naturally

soon, you will start yawning. It will happen naturally, no need to do anything special otherwise than breath in the 4-6 way. Let yourself yawn as it goes, dont’t try to stop or control it. It is better if you are alone, but if not, as I said, make sure that you have sunglasses on or that nobody sees your face. It can get in the way when someone is observing you while yawning. Also, no need to cover your mouth, forget about rules.

Tears of relaxation

In the third stage, tears might start running down and it’s not because you’re sad and sorry, but it’s a natural process which I cannot really explain. I only know that it occures and that it leaves black traces of mascara, so better remove it before.

When to stop?

You can stop the practice at any moment, no special instructions needed. I would recommend doing it for 10-15 minutes at the least, because it takes time to get to the stage of “tears” and relaxation. 2-3 minutes will not be enough for a proper therapy, but it’s still better than nothing.

stressed for meditation

Too stressed for meditation.

As a mom, I relate to different states of mind. Though meditation has become part of my everyday being, still, there are situations when I’m too nervous, tired and overwhelmed with thoughts that won’t let go. Too stressed for meditation. Relaxed breathing just doesn’t happen that easily in these cases. What to do then?

Observe. I observe myself being nervous and I listen to my fast beating heart. I don’t even try to meditate or relax since it won’t work right away. Observation is the first step: it distracts me from one thing – negative thoughts and brings me to another thing – of moderate tranquility. From there, it is possible to move on to steadier breathing.

Observe also means accept. I accept my state, my craziness, my darkest thoughts and malicious fears.  After accepting, I cut them off naturally with one word. You choose your own word, I have mine.

Now, my favorite techniques on how to get going:

So, where do I start if I am too stressed for meditation?

These are not magic ways or special self-treatments. These are ordinary methods of relaxation that work only because I want them too.

Down count breaths.

As I wrote in another post, counting breaths is a simple and powerful technique. Yet, down-counting is another way to calm when ordinary breath counting does not help. The same down-counting method helps when you are working out in the gym: to do 10 push-ups is easier when you start from the 10th. The same goes for meditative breaths: I set myself a goal of, let’s say, 7 breaths, and start from the 7th to the 1st. A silly mind trick that works.

When stressed for meditation – don’t meditate. Act.

Breathing is good but sometimes it’s not enough. Physical action, dynamic meditation, movement. This movement has to be chaotic, useless, silly, purposeless. Dancing, jumping, shaking, scratching stretching and so on.

Do it alone.

It’s not always possible, but being alone works best for me. What if she cannot be alone at this moment, what if she is surrounded by children who want a happy mom?

Then, I tell them the truth, at their level of understanding. “Mommy is tired. Mommy needs a few quiet moments. Mommy will rest for just a few minutes and then will come out and play/make cookies/stay on her head.

Laugh. Or pretend to.

Remember that laugh scene from “Witches of Eastwick”? I believe, that laughter can do magic wrinkles and if not make you literally fly, then at least give that same feeling. The feeling of freedom, relaxation and transcendent joy. When too stressed for ordinary breathing meditation, mom can laugh or pretend to laugh – the extra short exhales that make the belly work hard and a faint of a smile. Slowly, mom can get used to create that pseudo-laughing image of herself on a regular basis (it is funny when you think about it). Self-irony has lots of benefits when you think about it.

 

life scenario

Breathing techniques for tired moms

The overwhelming, hectic and messy day routine brings mom to hell an unbalanced state. All she wants is to drop down somewhere (bed is the best option but other options such as carpets, armchairs and sofas fit as well). Here is where simple breathing techniques can save the mom’s world.

Imagine this: a mom is surrounded by her dearest little ones. Each kid is in a different mood producing appropriate sounds: loud, demanding, complaining, even crying. Mom’s task: to remain calm, solve the problem, remain calm. Repeat, if necessary.

I’ve learned to catch this tiny moment when “remain calm” mantra stops working and turns into “get wild”. It starts somewhere in the chest, around the 4th chakrah. The breath does not flow as easily as it should. And from here, there are only a few steps to the “wild” state.

Here are three simple breathing techniques I use to retain the balanced mood and prevent anger and frustration to take over.

breathing techniques

 

 

Breath 4-6 – when you are alone

Count till 4 while you breath in. Count till 6 while you breath out. The rule is simple: inhales are always shorter than exhales, even if you choose different numbers. The technique is good for quiet moments with yourself, but not for moments of acute stress. One important thing to remember is to stop for a second between the inhale and the exhale. This is the short moment when no breathing is taking place – this little suspension, the peak, the ultimate point between the ups and downs. As a part of the meditation, stop for a moment and recognize you are there. Relive this turning point when the inhale is already behind and the exhale has not started yet.

Do extra short exhales – for acute stress

breathing techniques

It is a yoga practice, which I like to use when I feel I’m approaching a totally wrong place. In moments of darkest despair and crazy fatigue it is the best thing after chocolate. The inhales take only fractions of seconds. The exhales are also super short and they require the belly to work hard. During this technique stomach works the most, releasing the negativity through the out-coming air.

Breath normally but consciously – for every situation

Watching the flow of air all the way up and down is a great relaxation practice before fatigue has reached its extreme point. When I am not in the mood to count 4-6, the best thing is just to allow the breath to make its natural way in and out. The most important here, is to watch this natural flow of air, keeping thoughts-of-the-day out if your mind.

It’s amazing, how many things can be achieved by simple breathing exercises, if practiced regularly. In the worst moments, it’s good to remember, that breathing is the most essential part of human existence. While it is possible to survive without food or water for a while, oxygen is an invisible companion following us in every life situation, good or bad. A totally basic thought, true. For me, however, these basic things are like beams of light in a dark attic.

third child

How not to spoil the third child?

This article is for parents whose children outnumber them by 1. Or, in other words, parents with three growing heirs. Turning the third child into mama’s boy or papa’s girl is easier than it may seem. No matter how busy and tired the parents are, unfortunately, they still find options to spoil the youngest offspring – their third child.

When number three comes into the world it changes the family life in its unique manner. The first child crushes mom’s familiar world into pieces of happiness, fear and other mixed emotions. The second child brings in this feeling of “now we are a big family”. A different mixture of emotions and, in a combination with the first one, a lot more pressure overall. The third child, however, comes into a calm laguna called experience. Mom and Dad are a team of Special Forces. Neither sleepless nights nor the hectic routines are able to really spoil the day. The big question is now, how to manage the entire team? How to stay afloat with the older kids’ activities, homework, conversations?

Depending on the age differences, older kids can help or become an unbearable burden. Either way, the third child has the highest chances among the other kids in the family to become the infantile little mama’s boy or girl.

I see two ways to prevent that from happening:

It’s not only between the mom and the third child

The new little creature draws a ton of attention (not sure attention is measured in tons but proportionally to its weight, the amount of noise the baby creates around itself is huge).

Remember, that the older kids are still kids . If they are under the age of 15 they are still young children (even if they pretend to be the coolest and most independent creatures on earth). They watch their mom doing all sort of things.

It’s not about what I say to them (how much she loves them etc.) but more about what I do: the mimics and expression on my face, the gestures of my hands or in one word – body language.

What is the constant thought that helps me balance the hugs-and-kisses between all the kids? The idea, that they are still very young and might be jealous. The idea, that this jealousy might reduce their appreciation of the new creature and life itself.

My solution: I let them, the older kids, do the hugs-kisses work. Sing, talk, change diapers, put to sleep, feed – they can do it all. I only let them. My role in this scenario, is to watch and supervise.

Spend enough time with the older kids

Yes, I know it sounds like sci-fi, and it’s quite impossible to keep on with the same routine in the first months after birth.  The phrase “getting back to normal” sounds awkward to me, so I won’t use it here. Instead let’s say, that after some time life is settled into some new form of normal. It happens naturally, but still requires mom’s attention.

Whatever relates to the kids’ education, homework and intellectual activities should be continued just the way it was. Not only after-school activities. Habits, that used to take place before the birth of the third child: book-reading, word games, creative time. The “educational” life of the older kids should stay pretty much the same. If, before, it used to be natural (we sit and read together, no one is disturbing), now, it’s a task to complete:

  • catch the quiet moments,
  • put on hold all other business,
  • organize the older kids,
  • ignore the desire to fall into the bed and die fatigue and
  • just do it.

Sit all together and read some book, as before. Take out colored paper and cut shapes, as before. You get the idea. The older kids should not feel unnatural freedom in this sense, and the little one will slowly get used to the fact that she, sometimes, may enjoy the freedom – meaning, not eliciting the attention of the entire family after a single squeak.

This is the healthy balance that creates healthy dynamics. It teaches the teens, the toddlers and the newborns how things are run in the house. Mom’s attention and energy are precious assets that must not be wasted. This is what kids should be taught from the very beginning, in a loving and caring way of course. This is what the author of this post is trying to master.

Who will save the mom?

I’m so tired I never want to wake up again. But I’ve figured out now that it was never them that made me feel that way. It was just me, all along.”
Maggie Stiefvater, Forever

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/tired

Mom’s routine is mostly predictable. It’s the energy resources that can unpredictably end. Then she, multi tasking super-hero mom, feels on the edge of collapsing.

The sudden wave of fatigue is so spontaneous, I cannot always see it coming.

It’s not exactly that you bite off more than you can chew.

It’s more about the fact that a mom is already in the crazy agenda, moving forward slowly like heavy artillery and every shift to the side adds an unbearable weight to her every day life.

This slight shift can be anything: an unexpected project, an evening with friends that ends late at night, an exhausting day with lots of tasks and no option for anything that resembles rest… and the list goes on.

This post was inspired by an unusual wave of fatigue. It has reached a point where daily tasks and headache coincide into one painful shiny point somewhere between the hypothalamus, the Pituitary gland and the 7th chakrah.

I have created a list of virtues and evils, that help me avoid falling into the trap of self-pitying, misery and depression.

First, comes the “bad” list which consists of one thing – a thing I would almost never do.

Complaining (even to yourself) is useless and is taking your energy away.

Ever time I stand in front of the mirror (I try not to do it in the morning, not to scare the mirror), this feeling of age, time and self-criticism is covering me like a stinky mixture of negative emotions, which I did not ask for (or did I?) So here’s the thing. Every woman – mother or not – is gifted from birth in finding leaks and disadvantages in the way she looks (contrary to men, who never find any, even under a microscope).

The unhealthy self-criticism in a form of passive complaining. Do anything to avoid it, unless you want to find yourself in a loop. As for myself, I use the mirror for practical purposes only – teeth and eyebrows. The rest can wait for better times.

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

Confucius
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/silence.html

Another form of complaining…

…is setting a competition with other mommies discussing whose life sucks more. (Just like some old people like to boast with their diseases). My golden rule is – if there is nothing constructive and positive I can talk about, I shut up. If another mommy wants to share her misery, well, she can do it. I will listen and nod with respect.

Complaining in any form – to yourself or to others – brings you nowhere. It drains you empty without giving anything in return. For me, the mere thought of all the things I could have done rather than complaining, gives me wings and inspiration.

Now for the good list:

Postpone all possible tasks for better times – leave only the most critical ones.

By critical I mean –

    • go and get some sleep
    • pick your kids from schools (unless no one else can do it).
    • buy some cooked food, fruits, yogurts – anything that doesn’t require watching the blue gas (or the red electric stove) burning and your hand stirring, stirring, stirring… they will survive, don’t worry about it.

By non-critical I mean –

    • helping kids with homework
    • cooking (you’ll be surprised how well they can manage)
    • cleaning and doing laundry (you’ll be surprised how fast the house will turn into a mess, but… I still think it’s not critical when it comes to “saving the mom”).
    • A lot of other things I did not bother writing, because they are too unimportant, for example reading this post, checking on People You May Know in LinkedIn or staring into your smartphone.

Breath deeply and count your breaths breathing-suslik

This is a primitive but one of the most efficient, productive and available methods invented especially for exhausted moms. It chases all the junk thoughts away filling you with oxygen instead. The more self-aware I have become through the years of pain and joy, the more precious I find this method to be. It works well no matter how stressed I am and it’s sort of pulling one up by their own hair. Amazing and simple, no negative side effects.

Keep a healthy diet

hot-chocolate

This is more of a general advice applicable at all times, however, it becomes super important in moments of emotional and physical crisis. My living cells, for example, react acutely on any wrong action I take in time of weakness. Therefore, my goal is not to trigger the stomach, pancreas, liver or any other digestive organs. The author of this post uses a golden rule – better eat less and drink more than eat “something”. When I learned to listen to my body and understand what it is trying to tell me, things became a lot easier. This brings me to another rule: healthy does not always means best for me at a given moment. If your body screams for a mug of hot chocolate and a piece of creamy nut cake – don’t torture yourself with salad. Go wild.

Set sleep as your top priority

sleeping dog

How come, that knowing all about the benefits of a good sleep we, moms, still procrastinate and hit the buttons of our smartphones instead of just diving into the world of Morpheus? How can we allow ourselves this forbidden luxury that eats us up, steals our beauty and youth and gives us absolutely nothing in return? (Why yes, it gives wrinkles if you wish). I am not talking about screaming babies, growling stomachs, husbands with a flu or other factors that cannot be ignored. This is about silly and unreasonable procrastination – an ugly habit, that takes away crucial hours of beauty sleep. The funny thing is, that children help mom avoiding this trap once she decides to fall asleep at the same time as they do. Children have this amazing gift of structuring moms’ (and dads’) time. You will not wait till midnight to put them to sleep, therefore, as a mom, you will be obliged to at least pretend you’re asleep, at around 9 p.m.. However, it only works for moms who directly participate in helping their child fall asleep (in my case, I still secretly enjoy it, as I am officially forced to relax).

Minimize communication with people who steal your energy

vampire-bat

Especially Even if they are family members. Yes.

This is a very important and largely underestimated rule. Every mom is different: some need attention, conversations and play dates with other moms and children (because it’s so boring to be with your child on the playground and watch her do things), others crave for silence. However, regardless of these differences, every mom knows exactly what type of other moms and people she should or should not interact with.

Annoying and preaching aunties family members, friends who ask for favors, other friends who constantly complain about life – all these should be kept away at a respectful distance at any cost (yes, there is price for everything, but isn’t your mental tranquility worth it?)

Managing mom’s relationships is a separate topic I will bring up later, while in this post – I only mention what’s based on my own experience: when mom needs a rest, the less people she interacts with, in general, the better.

And the last one, a friendly reminder: remember, that nothing lasts forever – neither the good, nor the bad.

This too shall pass

Persian Sufi poets

money saving

3 things I would never buy for my newborn

A newborn means a lot of joy, a bit less (but still a lot) of expenses and even less sleep.

“A lot of people will tell you advice like “sleep when the baby’s sleeping.” It’s good recommendation unless the baby sleeps when you’re driving! “

http://congratulationsto.com/baby_congratulations/funny_new_baby_quotes.php

I have been wondering recently where lays the root of this uncontrollable desire to spend more and more money on our children? Clothes, toys, educational posters, smart devices… are you in the club as well?

So here is the hypothesis:

The act of buying, the act of spending money on another kid-friendly gadget gives us an illusory feeling of satisfaction. Illusory, because we don’t really gain anything in the long run. Does your child really need all the bunch of toys and educational stuff you buy for him or her? How many devices are really being used for good? How many are stored idly somewhere in dark corners of the apartment? How many are you trying to resell on eBay?

Guided by these thoughts, I made a short list of three items, that I, personally, think parents don’t need. If you disagree, you are welcome to state your opinion in comments and I’ll gladly prove why you are wrong confront it.

1. Newborn swing (jumper, bouncer)

Why? Too expensive and short-termed.

Buying something so expensive (around $100 on Amazon without shipping fee) just for a few months use sounds inappropriate to me. Plus, as an experienced mother, I know a child will not really spend a lot of time in this thing. Why? Because all children really want is their parents’ attention. It’s not like you can relax in peace and quiet once your newborn is peacefully playing and entertaining himself in the swing. You will need to spend the same amount of time and energy as you would if you put your child in a regular baby car seat (you know, these semi-car seats intended for home use to carry the baby around) which can be purchased in perfect condition for 5$ on a second-hand market. So why spend $100?

Final conclusion: is not worth the money and is too short-termed for use.

2. Musical potty chairs –

Why? They are more like toys than real potty-training equipment. Some are even annoying.

Musical potty chairs are just another kind of useless toy and is something I can definitely live without saving myself about $30. Kids (well, my kids) got potty trained perfectly well using these regular cheap plastic potties without musical background and cheering sounds. Why do I think this item is unnecessary? Its cost-effectiveness is low if you think about the initial purpose. Plus, if you made a thorough research like I did, and read the cons and the pros for every hyped and branded potty there is on the market, you would find that the cons are not that negligible as they may seem. For example: slippery potty rings (the part where the child sits), music sounds that you CANNOT TURN OFF (unless you take the batteries out or smash the damned thing on the wall), lids, that don’t shut properly, music, that stops working after 4 weeks of use and so on.

Final conclusion: if you want another toy at home, go for it. But remember, that children learn perfectly well with a regular potty (it doesn’t have to be the cheapest plastic thing that slips and moves under your child, but you can find some decent, stable pot that will stay still and keep itself silent).

3. Baby food makers

Why? A simple gadget available in every human’s kitchen can successfully replace any baby food maker.

Ok, I know it may sounds like a revolutionary product that makes mom’s life much easier (ask any grandmother). However, as an experienced mother who raised kids deliberately not buying all these shaking devices, I’ll tell you what makes me step back when I see those fancy electric bottles, cups and blenders:

a. I want my kids to use their teeth and actually chew the food. Steel fork! A primitive great tool to mash and squash whatever is at hand. Here is a great article explaining why I am not the only weird mom one who thinks so

http://tribecanutrition.com/2015/03/textured-food (if the link does not work please let me know in comments).

b. I don’t want to waste time washing the electric device (yes, I know most are super easily cleaned. And still, to rinse a fork requires less brain activity and less movements).

“If you want to make good use of your time, you;ve got to know what;s most important and then give it all you’’ve got.” Lee Iacocca

http://sourcesofinsight.com/time-management-quotes/

I am sure every mom has her list of must-haves and things-she-will-never-buy.

The three items listed here –are my personal choice based on experience of raising several kids. I believe, that it goes far beyond the child’s list and that we don’t really need most of the things we spend money on (another USB? Another pair of shoes? Another book? Another set of clothes?)

It’s not a sin to buy these useless things that make you happy as long as you are conscious of what you are doing, knowing that it’s for the sake of shopping therapy only. As a mother and a woman I am guilty of that as well –buying stuff I don’t need just because I like to take my wallet out, open it, pay and then put it back into my bag. The only thing I am really trying forced to do is to minimize the financial damage and arise consciousness.

bubble

How to cut malicious thoughts during the day?

Why is it so important for mom to preserve her energy and keep her inner balance all the time?

The answer is so simple, I’m not even sure I have to write it, but, still:

  • Because children need happy mom
  • Because your partner will appreciate a happy wife/friend
  • Because you will feel very good about yourself being content

The order is purely accidental (I’m not saying that children are more important than your partner and you are the last one on the list. It just so happened, that I wrote it in this order).

So what’s the big deal about keeping our level of energy on its proper level?

The big deal is, that there are constant sources (people, events, THOUGHTS) that suck our energy. All the time. Unless you stay in focus on what’s going on, you might find yourself completely drained (sick, annoyed, depressed) by the end of the day.

I took three main sources who steal your energy (or better to say – you let them do it).

1. Energetic vampires: –

People, who are trying to get your reaction (read = energy) by provoking you, consciously or not. When these are your “friends”, it’s easier: just stop being their friends. But when these are your family members, it’s a more complicated case, since you are expected to love and care about your relatives.

There is a good old movie by Woody Allen called “Cassandra’s dream”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0795493/plotsummary?ref_=ttmi_stry_pl

where the subject of “blood relationship” is taken to the extreme point: – an uncle offers two brothers to “get rid of” of an old connection, strengthening his case by “family ties”. The end is sad, but anyway, I like this movie, because it illustrates how far things can go if we don’t learn to stop whatever smells bad.

But there is the price for that.

The result? Some people might feel offended. Some family members might press you very hard, try to manipulate, plead into doing something that you feel that you hate. On the other hand? You retain your comfort, your energy, your good mood and your balance. You run your family the way YOU want, you raise your kids the way YOU want, in short – you are the owner of your life and no uncles, aunts, moms and dads can tell you what to do. It’s not only about learning to say “no”, but also saying “no” and feeling good about yourself.

2. Events.

–Sometimes we are dragged to take part in events we hate: family parties, weddings (this one is particularly annoying), a friend’s birthday party, social gatherings you feel obliged to attend and so on… Events always consider people, so it’s not the events but the certain people you don’t want to see. In cases when you cannot find the right excuse keep it as short as possible. Put a reminder, set an app with anonymous call or simply say that you must go. One hour, forty minutes -– you decide the minimal amount of time you can spend there without seeming to have escaped too soon.

The trap:

We always want to be nice and if nobody is leaving early it looks inappropriate to run away. But remember, that if you stay too long, the carriage will turn into a pumpkin. You will later regret having surrendered to the social pressure and having spent too much time in the wrong place and with the wrong people. So be nice to yourself first and stick to the minimal amount of time you have set to yourself in the first place (unless the circumstances have changed and you feel you enjoy it).

3. Self-destroying thoughts.

This one is almost impossible to control, but with the help of techniques you can tame the monsters and make them pass away slowly, like the wind blows clouds away. The conclusion that I have come to is: bad thoughts are often a result of our own bad physical condition: fatigue, sickness etc., and but not necessarily events. Why do I think so? Because, from own experience, we can take a lot of things easy when we’ve had a good night’s sleep feeling healthy and good about ourselves (how many times did you feel all these good things at the same time? Umm…)

The best way to keep malicious thoughts from sucking your energy is to catch the thought from the very beginning when it is sneaking into your mind but hasn’t done any serious harm yet. You can catch it by its tail and ask yourself: “Do I really want to think about it now? Am I the master of my thoughts or are thoughts controlling me?” If this is not a problem-solution thing but a sticky, disturbing situation, out of your control, that can stretch like a muddy shield blocking the sunshine, better cut it off right away. (Will talk about my own techniques of cutting malicious thoughts later on in this post ).

As a bottom line:

No matter what beast empties your energy, one thing is sure:– you should not allow this to happen. If there is a specific problem: go on, do some brainstorming and look for a solution once and for all. But if it’s a vague situation where you feel you are dragged into self-accusing, self-punishing thoughts  shake it off sharply, without mercy.

How to shake off thoughts that suck mom’s energy?

I use some very simple techniques. The amazing thing about these techniques is, that you can practice them without interrupting most of your daily routine.

  • Count your breath: Breathing is something we do as long as we live, and I appreciate every breath I take. Counting the in-s and out-s is a good method when combined with some automotive task (cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping) or when trying to fall asleep. Make sure you reach 300 (I’ve never made it that far, by the way).
  • Speak mantras: make up your own or take ones that already exist. Any words that help you – work for good, as long as they are not intended to hurt a specific person (words have power, beware). For example: “Do I want to be calm and happy or nervous and sick? Of course I want to be calm and happy!”

These words don’t have to be wise or sound smooth and spiritual. Their purpose is to help you and no one hears and judges your eloquence.

I mentioned only these two techniques, because they are simplest to follow for a busy mom. There are other great ways to empty yourself from junk, but those require a resource most moms can’t brag about –- time.

So, while my kids are small, I choose to save my time and my energy and, simultaneously, be the boss of my own life, as much as possible. Wishing you, my readers, the same.

silly

Absurd self-pitying helps mom survive the day

When I started this blog I had a vague idea what it is going to be about.
I knew there were a lot of things I could share with the world. But I wanted to be selective and not try to please everyone.
Most of the posts concentrate on how to be a meditative, happy and balanced mom, not to burn yourself on silly things, unnecessary tasks and hassle.

So, as a “balanced” and “meditative” mom the big question came up today was:

does mom always have to be happy? And what if she isn’t? Does she have to do something about it right away?

Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?… I don’t know the answer, I know only that I can’t.
Elizabeth Wurtzel

http://www.brainyquote.com/

We are led to think positively, bad mood and fatigue is something not fashionable, not something you’d like to talk about in a social event, party or business conference. Because it hurts your image of success, your brand or whatever you are trying to promote. Successful people must stay cool, isn’t it so?
But I’m not trying to sell you anything, so I have the luxury to be honest.
In the past few days I haven’t felt particularly happy. There is no special reason for that other than physiological exhaustion and the desperate need to refill my energy.
I’m sure there are lots of mom who feel constantly drained out by daily tasks, but they (the moms, not the tasks), would reluctantly admit the fact that they want to drop everything. Just everything. The kids, the dishwasher, the laundry, the partner, the family holidays, the morning routine. And take a rest in a forest, on the beach, on the 30th floor of some luxury hotel or anywhere else you can think of (I, personally, choose the forest, what about you?)

The goal of this post is to remind us, moms, that it’s OK to feel bad and it’s OK not to do anything about it at the given moment. At some point you will have to do something, since you cannot drag yourself on autopilot forever (there is a high price for that in the end). But right now, in the middle of the day, just allow yourself to fall into the weakness.

What helps me in extreme cases of fatigue, when I’m on the verge of tears from my own helplessness, is to bring the situation to its very absurd.
Usually, I hate pitying myself and hate when others do. But in extreme cases, I do pity myself in a derisive way to make things look so ridiculous that it would, eventually, make me laugh.

You can find your own words for absurd self-pity, but remember the rules of the game: it must be totally grotesque, no real pity. For example: “..oh, poor girl, such a poor girl. She barely stands on her feet and she has so many things to do today…  Things she cannot postpone, cancel or delegate… Her babysitter has cancelled, her husband had gone on a business trip and she faces it all alone. What a tough world… time after time she has to pull herself on and never stop for a rest… at night she has to make the laundry, at 5 a.m. she has to milk the cows, then mend shoes and sue holes in shirts and pants… her bloody fingers cannot move from pain, and she also has to cut the woods to make some fire… it’s so cold outside… wild animals run around, she must keep on the fire… oh, don’t let her sink in the sea of her own tears. How sad life can be… Are there words strong enough to describe how much she wants to drop dead on her pillow, close her reddish eyes, let her hand dive into her hair and just stay still like this for about a century? Why, oh why, can’t there be a miracle to let things happen by themselves. Why can’t kids show up home by themselves, why can’t the damned laundry make itself, why can’t the dishes jump out of the dishwasher and settle themselves properly on the shelves. Why, oh why does she have to do it all? There is also some mental work waiting to be done… poor girl, her brain is not working well, she has memory leaks, she is going to lose the job and probably homeless since she is the one who earns all the money in the family… what a shame, and there is no way out…”

The most important part is the intonation. Even if you don’t say it out loud, the merciful song has to play inside accompanying every silly question. I assure you, that after these lamentations, if you work hard enough to bring it to an absurd, you will eventually laugh and find some bits of energy to continue through the day with more optimism. Life is not that hard, after all, and you don’t have to cut the wood to make fire.

Of course it cannot work like that forever. At some point, the sooner the better, you will have to regain the gas in a traditional way (read = sleep). But this surrealistic method has helped me so many times, that I can surely tell – it works! If it’s not new for you and you have your own anti-crush recipes, you’re welcome to share. I’m always willing to learn new survival techniques.