Staying calm can be so difficult, especially with 4 little ones running around! The constant “Mommy! Mommy! Moooooooommmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!” is enough to exhaust you after only a few minutes. Add to that the not listening, the sibling fighting, the crying from a baby…well you get it, I assume most of you are parents, so you understand where I’m coming from. But even if you aren’t a parent, learning to calm down is still helpful. Perhaps you get angry with people in stores especially with how busy they are right now, or maybe while driving, or even coworkers or family. These tips can be used by anyone, all year round.
I think this time of year, being the Advent season, it’s a perfect time to try to calm down a little. I’ve been trying extra hard to not shout at the kids and get instantly frustrated when the same naughty behaviour happens over and over, and staying calm while out in busy stores and parking lots, tiss the season to be jolly, right? And really, what example am I setting anyways, if my first instinct is to yell or get upset? Have you ever found yourself yelling at your kids to stop yelling? Hmmm, I wonder where they learned that from. Likely their tired Momma! I’ve been there, more times than I’d care to admit, and I’m sure some of you have too. And as a Catholic I’d love to show people that through Jesus and Mary all the Saints too, I can be a calm and happy Mom. Because what better way to Evangelize than to share His love for everyone, in a smile, and a calm word.
So let’s start this together, right now! Let’s calm down together.
Step 1: Close your eyes and take a deep breath. It might sound silly, or predictable, but it really helps. It slows your bubbling up rage, and it stops you from yelling right away. Cooler heads will prevail if given the chance to cool down.
Step 2: Adopt a mantra or say a short prayer. Saying something to yourself will also help greatly. I like saying “Mother Mary, be a Mother to be now” because I’m Catholic and know that Mary really can help us out in every day mothering moments. Some other ideas; “Cool the fire before you set the place ablaze” or a simple “Stay calm” or even “I will be calm, 3, 2, 1.”. It can being anything you want! Counting down can help as it gives you more time to be calm before responding to whatever the situation is that is causing the frustration.
Step 3: Evaluate. Look at the situation, is it really that bad? Is it worth get upset over? More times than not, you will probably see it really isn’t worth being so angry.
Step 4: Respond. Now that you have cooled down, respond to what is going on. With children, it’s easier to make a point when you can actually talk to them, well, really with anyone! Most people stop listening to what you are actually saying the second you raise your voice.
I know my kids respond so much better to me talking to them, so why do I yell? I guess in a way it helps with the release of the frustration and you might instantly feel a little better, but then I feel so guilty afterwards, and feel much worse than before!
So as we enter this wonderful time of year, when frustration and stress and emotions can run high, lets all practice staying calm this Christmas season, and all year round!