Take a Mommy time out: Kids aren’t the only ones who need to regroup
By Aimee Heckel
Moms need time outs, too.
Sometimes, the pressure builds. The anger bubbles. The tears fight their way out. You have hit the parental plateau, where you just can’t take it anymore. You need a mommy time out.
This is perfectly normal, so don’t be ashamed. In fact, it is healthy to take a pause. Even a simple five-minute break can reset our emotions, provide perspective and clear our brains.
Here are some of our favorite ways to take a mommy time out:
1. Meditate. We don’t mean sitting cross-legged and humming “Ohm.” Just take a few minutes to sit in a quiet room (even if that’s the bathroom) and relax your brain. Let your thoughts come and go; don’t dwell on any single thought. Imagine your brain as a dry-erase board, and your thoughts as the marker drawings. With every exhale, visualize dragging the eraser down the board and erasing the pictures.
Meditation can help us be more present and more focused, which can help us curb outbursts and minimize stress. As Jeff Gitterman writes in the Huffington Post, “The first step in learning to harness the power of our attention is to become aware of how it moves. To do this, we need to find a way to disengage from the stream of thoughts that preoccupies us.”
Need a little support? Pick up a meditation timer, like the pyramid-shaped Combi Timer ($83 at Sage Meditation), which gongs at the beginning and end of a session.
2. Step away and do something brainless. “I hide in the bathroom and Facebook with my phone,” says Rebecca, a mother of one in Michigan, of her mommy time out time. “I put the TV on and try not to feel guilty. I put her in the bathtub and go around the corner and breathe.”
3. Put your child in time out, too. Iris, a mother in Lafayette, Colo., says when things get out of control, she sends everyone to different rooms for some quiet alone time. Including herself.
4. Create silence. Sometimes, there is no such thing as silence. No chance of meditation. That’s when Amanda, of Erie, Colo., says she takes this kind of a time out: “I lock myself in the bathroom with Bose noise-canceling headphones ($299.95 at bose.com), and I set a three- to five-minute timer on my iPhone.”
5. Take a relaxing bath. Make it count, with relaxing foaming lavender bath soap from L’occitane. Use this coupon code to get the Summer Ready Collection for $18. Plus, get 4 percent Cash Back when you buy through ShopAtHome.com.
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