The art of chilling
I’m an anxious person. I don’t like to be. In the sense that a lot of the time- there is no choice. But sometimes fighting those oncoming doom feelings can make them even worse. So, Im learning how to navigate through the process with as low turbulence as I can.
*Though successful coping mechanisms in my 20’s* I can no longer lay in bed, shop online, or eat the kids “bribe candy” every time I’m feeling overwhelmed.
A deep breath and some realistic/positive self talk are always a good start, though.
When I became a parent- I had to reinvent my concept of chilling out. How do I take a break and not get even more anxious that I’m not attending to the 823749425 tasks left to do? What about the girls? They need to be happy, supported, and most importantly- busy.
This morning started with spilled cereal. Zara is also fully committed to her role as house cat; scratched poor Lela right in the face. I forgot to change the clothes in the washer over to the dryer because I was too busy making SALSA yesterday, so I had to rewash them all again. Everyone needed a clothes change and an extra diaper change after the milk situation. I was having terrible cramps, I wanted to just sit down and cry a little. I could feel myself disliking the whole day before 9am.
Amer came to the rescue: “Who wants to go outside?” Everyone does, they always do, swing that door open and don’t forget the dog. He’s headed out to chop some more wood for the pile, and get a fire going. It will buy me some time to clean up, woosah and get dressed. I change and shoe everyone up, and off they GO!
This winter we plan on transforming the backyard into a playscape: a fairy playhouse, a climbing wall, maybe a slide, a dome jungle gym, a seesaw? The options are limitless, but the budget is not. We will see how it unfolds over the next few months.
For now– we have dirt, rocks, trees, a wood pile, and a broken ass umbrella. And the kids LOVE it. The outside is a great place to bring everyone to make their own fun and play in their own little world. Zara is getting pretty good at tree climbing (peep the pic below of her crazy dad) and Lela always loves rocks.
After his tree climb, Amer came down and got the fire going. I came out and sat in a chair by the fire for a bit, I rolled down the hill with Zara a few times, and I laid down by the rocks to help Lela make stacks. It was chill.
Long story short, sometimes I just need to not do a damn thing and chill. We all need to chill. I’m ordering pizza for lunch, we will probably watch a movie (or 2) before the end of the day, and I’m cool with it.
It is good to try to push through bad moods, moments of feeling overwhelmed, or when we’re in pain, especially for the sake of our kids. But, It’s a lot like an oxygen mask on a plane: first yourself, then the little ones. Sometimes you have to accept you’re not going to win the battle, but you can still win the war! It’s different for everyone- sit those kids down with some Blippy, or a bunch of puzzles you know you’ll never find all the pieces to again. Dance your angst out, put them down early for a nap, take them for a car ride so you can breathe. Kids can survive and enjoy all that stuff. What will stick with them is being yelled at for no reason, or picking up on your negative energy- thinking it’s something they did. Same goes for partners and friends.
It’s ok to say, “I’m overwhelmed- I need to chill. I don’t want to feel upset, but I do. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s not even my fault. I’m going to do the best I can to figure out where to go from here.” You might be surprised how much fun you can have when you kick away the guilt and just do what you can.
Deep breaths. Find the happy. Find the chill. Be the chill. Love yourself, forgive yourself, repeat.