The other day, our youngest son came to me and my husband visibly distraught.
A mixture of poor summer eating habits and brotherly roughhousing caused some elevated emotions and an upset tummy. He described his experience to us as an “emergency breakdown". Individually as a parent, it can be difficult for me to find ways to help our youngest deescalate from a hot moment to a cool calm. It seems like it was a bit easier for me to do this with my oldest child (now a teenager), but I believe a lot of that comes from having several character traits in common with him. We “get each other” like that.
So… I have to be a little creative when it comes to my little guy.
I recently adopted a new strategy I refer to as “getting it out”. When my youngest is stuck in a moment of overwhelm, I calmly and gently call him to me, take his hand and lightly “wipe down” the top of his arm from the bend of the elbow to his wrist. As I’m doing this, I say, “ok, let’s get it out” as I “wipe away" the pin-prickly feeling that sits on top of the skin when we are angry or frustrated. He would laugh and the angry feeling would start melting away.
Okay. So this worked well the first 3 or 4 times… until he started learning the pattern. I had to come up with another strategy. If I didn’t try to seek out new ways to enter into a cool calm together, we would both feed off the other’s frustrations and the “emotional bar” would continue to rise.
He surprised me the other day. I had a monster of a headache, I was tired and I didn’t feel like being an adult. Everything was setting me off and I didn’t want to hear any backtalk or explanations of why someone didn’t want to follow through with their household “contributions”. I flopped down onto the couch and let out a big sign of frustration. My little guy came up to me, took me by the hand and started wiping off my arm saying,
“We need to get it out, Mama. Let’s get it out.”
He used my own strategy… on ME!
“Emergency Breakdowns” usually seem to occur at the most inopportune times. Whether you are in the middle of a fun activity or driving down a back road in the countryside and your tire is flat on the pavement. It’s a good idea to learn a few ways to self-regulate your emotions, because you cannot always rely on you significant other or a parent to help you cool down. *They may in fact be the one who triggered the emotions.
Treatment and Prevention of Anxiety:
Anxiety can feel overwhelming. It’s also highly treatable. Some common treatments include:
- Deep Breaths. Focus on your breathing to calm and center yourself.
- Stress Less. Stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, and mindfulness can help manage stress.
- Get some shut-eye. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can regulate your mood and stress.
- Talk to a professional. A therapist may be able to help you manage triggers and symptoms. Therapists and doctors may also prescribe medication to help manage your mental health.
- It’s always okay to ask for help. In fact, asking for help is brave. Looking to get started? Try talking to your doctor to learn more about how you are feeling and ways to take care of your mental health.
- You’re not alone.
It’s never too late to get help. Call Care Lodge at 601.693.4673
Want to dive deeper into this topic? Check out this link on Anxiety from The Crisis Text Line
Read this article Five Science-Backed Strategies to Build Resilience from Greater Good Magazine
The Crisis Text Line is another FREE resource where you can speak with a Crisis Counselor to help you get from a hot moment to a cool calm. Text "Help" 24/7 to 741-741.
#carelodgems #crisistextline #24/7 #coolcalm #selfcare #pausebeforeyouact #breathedeeper
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels