Today was a tough day at our house. I wasn't feeling great, we were all recovering from a weekend trip so everyone was off their game, and we were all feeling a little grumpy. You know those days, where you're wishing for bedtime at 2pm and feel like you could have a meltdown at any moment. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this! I dealt with similar emotions a lot when dealing with postpartum anxiety and depression. Here are five things I did to help us get through the day:
Even if it's just the backyard or front yard for 10 minutes, get out there. A change of scene and hopefully some sunshine did me a lot of good. The kids get to run around and get rid of some energy, too. Feeling the sunshine and breeze on my skin helps calm me down.
Whether it's a mama friend, your mom, or someone you haven't spoken to in a while, reach out and call them. No texts or no emails. This works the best if it's actual talking. There's something about hearing the voice of someone you've been thinking about that is so satisfying. Plus, I bet you'll make their day if you reach out to them.
Move Your Body
We all know you can head outside when the weather's nice, but what can we do if it's raining, cold, or snowing? Dance parties are one of my favorite ways to shake up an ordinary afternoon. You'll often see snippets of them on my Instagram story. Not only does it get me up and moving, but it helps my kids go wild. I have so much fun being silly with my boys. Yoga is another great way to move around. We are big fans of Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube, which is easy for my kindergartner to do and my toddler to follow. There are even themed sessions for your little Jedi or Frozen enthusiast. The best part is that the videos are free!
Eat or Drink Something
We're often so busy taking care of everyone else that we don't take very good care of ourselves. I don't mean massages and pedicures as a form of self care, I am referring to fulfilling the basic need of food and water. I've gone many a day where 4pm hits and I realize that my splitting headache is from a lack of food. Pop in a Hershey kiss or piece of dark chocolate, eat an apple, or make yourself a smoothie. Remember that you can't nurture with an empty tank!
Take a Mommy Break
Make sure the kids are in a safe area and let them play while you go to another room of the house. I've been known to escape to our master bedroom while the kids play in our mostly safe living room. I'm not gone for long, only 5 minutes or so, and I keep an ear out for screams or squabbles. Even if it's using the bathroom in peace (hey, we've all peed with an audience), a little alone time can be a great quick fix.
When I feel like I'm going going to have a meltdown, I notice that it helps to lower my standards of mothering until the moment passes. Sometimes all I have the ability to do is the bare minimum. This was never more true than when I was dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety. While we watched more TV than I would've liked, my kids were fed and they were safe. Sometimes just enough is the best we can do and that's okay. We are enough.