I’ve shared how Prayer Breathing and a Gratitude Journal help deflate the pressure of anxiety in motherhood, today I’ll share how important it is to take time for yourself with the third Way to Deal with Anxiety in Motherhood:
Time Outs Alone
There have been times in mothering when I’m surrounded by a thick cloud of anxiety and all I want do is disappear for a little bit. And this is exactly what I need to do.
As mothers, we’re all too familiar with the idea and practice of sending our kids away for “time out” when they need some “cool down” time but what about when moms need some time to cool off?
There were days – terrible dark days – when I was so overwhelmed with everything that I would literally lock myself in my room, lay on the bed, and stare at the ceiling fan spinning above me. Of course I first made sure everyone was either supervised by a responsible person (older child, husband, friend, family member, or a kind and trustworthy neighbor) or plugged into an appropriate game or show that would keep their attention long enough for me to zone out for a few minutes or maybe even take a much-needed nap.
If you are able to get out of your house for an hour or two (or even longer sometimes), take that time and enjoy it. Sometimes, when I’ve been home all day with all the kids, it gets to be too much and I just need a little break to recharge. I love escaping to our parish’s Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel and laying it all out in front of Jesus. Even just sitting in an empty church with all the lights off except for the burning votive candles can bring so much peace after a long day(s). Here are a few other ideas for finding “Time Out” for yourself:
- Go run an errand out of the house, stock up on groceries, or allow yourself to shop for something new.
- Snuggle up for an hour with a book or even one of those cool Adult Coloring Books in the library or head to your favorite coffe house and enjoy with a warm cup of frothy latte or rejuvenating tea while you let your thoughts simmer.
- Step outside by yourself and walk the perimeter of your house while your kids stay inside – you might have to distract them well enough so they don’t follow you out. Practice the Prayer Breathing and maybe even take your Gratitude Journal with you out there. Breathe in the fresh quiet air and allow your body to calm before returning.
- If I’m out with the kids and need to cool down, I’ll buckle everyone in, close the door and then stand outside the van for a few minutes before getting in. Just those few minutes of quiet before entering into the noise again can be enough to ask for some extra Grace and patience I need for the long or short journey back home after a long outing with everyone.
Sometimes a little time to yourself to “cool down” is all you need. Then, you can return to your home and to your family refreshed and ready to start over.
What do you like to do for Time Out Alone?