Friday, January 19, 2018

Adult tantrums - what to do when you start acting like a Toddler.

I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts these past few months. Maybe its this weird winter we've had this year. I’m easily annoyed and while I don’t have too many adult tantrums, I still have moments where I’m ready to scream at the most trivial thing( Thank you PMS! 😑). And it almost always happens out of the blue. I'm chugging along, with a pretty full battery, but then BAM! A series of things go awry or someone has their tenth hissy fit about their snack, and I lose it. My voice starts getting shrill and I get this crazy glint in my eyes and before you know it, I'm having a good old Adult Tantrum. I hate the way I feel, but in that moment, I'm just so frustrated that I have to expel that out. 
So what helps? Not just a quick fix for the moment, but what are some sustainable ways to make me feel more in control of my emotions. Here's some fixes that work for me and maybe for you too!
  1. Its not your fault. This is a big one. With anger comes guilt, and with guilt comes despair and boy oh boy, those don't make a good recipe together. So stop with the self blame. You're an adult and you have a lot on your plate. Being aware of that removes this need to be perfect every single minute. Its OK to make mistakes and if anything, it teaches your children that mom is this flawed, imperfect, (and don't forget beautiful) person who handles her challenges the best way she can.
  2. Don't reject your tumultuous emotions as bad. Anger is normal and sometimes not in your control. What you do with that anger is however entirely in your hands. 
  3. Be mindful of how you feel. Mindfulness seems like this new phrase that's all the fad with 'woke' moms, but its something that you've probably doing since you were a child. Simply put, mindfulness is being aware of your emotions, feeling those emotions and choosing not to act on them. So embrace that rage and that sadness, just don't exude them out.
  4. Shake out your hands when you start to feel angry. This helps cope with the adrenaline rush in your body.
  5. Jump up and down in place (the silliness of this will probably distract you too 😁😁)
  6. If your child is safe and secure, leave the room and go yell in another (out of child's earshot) place. Don’t use words as this will reinforce your anger. Just yell or even hum a tune until you feel yourself calming down.
  7.  Exercise, everyday, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Endorphins make you feel good about yourself and the world. Go for a run or a swim or even jog in place in your living room. It will feel sucky for the first day or 2, but soon you'll be looking forward to your little fitness break.
  8. Drink a glass of cold water. The temperature should shake you out of your grumpiness. And on that note -hydrate often and plentifully. Dehydration often makes us cranky.
  9. Write down what you're grateful for. It may be something as simple as a couple of lines, but it helps to have that visual reminder of how awesome your life actually is. Read it once a week, especially when you feel blue and it'll have you smiling in no time.
  10. Pace yourself. Know your limits and limitations and work with that. Don't overextend yourself to please others. Self care is priority number 1. Like eddy currents rippling out from a single spot, you can only spread love and joy if you feel those within yourself first.

So what helps you stay grounded and sane? What are your magic fixes?