I felt like I was going to explode. I saw the frying pan on the stove and thought if I hit it against the wall, I could calm the rage I was feeling inside. I considered giving myself an adult time out. I started taking deep breaths to relax myself as my two kids demanded more from me than I felt able to give in that moment. As I inhaled and exhaled, I tried to find a place for my anger that wasn’t directed towards my kids but I knew I was struggling. I could see from their expressions they were scared but confused. Why is mommy so angry?
This scenario plays in and out of my mind and grounds me. As each day passes, I find my work as a teacher becoming more and more stressful, my patience withering away and the car rides home with two cranky kids draining. When I’m full of anger, I feel my world collapsing as I feel like EVERYTHING is falling apart.
Why does it feel like everything is falling apart? Is it really? It was just a regular day. I picked up my kids from school. They began arguing and somehow, they wouldn’t stop. I turned up the music loud so I could ignore them and yet their banter continued. My day had been long. On this day, my students had needed me more than the usual and I was exhausted by all of it. Now, as the bickering in the car continues, I find myself calmly asking my son to stop and him blatantly not listening. I start to lose it. Breathe momma. You can breathe through this. I turn up the music louder. My little girl screams, “too loud” but she doesn’t understand that I need this music to drown them out because the anger makes me feel like I will explode.
Sound familiar? I feel like I go through a phase like this every so often and it goes back to self-care: what have I done for me lately? There’s a reason the airplane folks say put your oxygen mask on first. It’s all about balance.
So, while the anger consumes me in that moment, here’s are five things I do to help me keep my cool and control my anger:
1. Head to the Gym
The gym gives me forty-five minutes to an hour of me-time, and I realized that week, I had only gone once. I must go to the gym more.
Regardless of what you believe, take a moment to breathe and say a prayer.
3. Monthly Spa Appointments
Whether it’s a facial, mani/pedi, or a massage, I try to make it in at least once a month. That hour allows me to reflect, relax and recharge.
4. Solo Shopping Dates
Sometimes I just find peace in grocery shopping alone without kids. The aisles of Costco hypnotize me for hours while I unwind from the day (be warned, the bank account also suffers).
5. Start a Dance Party
If the other four tricks seem unreasonable for you (because, heck, it can be expensive), start a dance party. You think I am joking, but throw on the Chicken Dance, teach your kids how to do it, and dance your heart out. You’ll be glad you did and I was elated when I did (much better than using the frying pan to hit the wall).