The Daily Groove

Your Portable Comfort Zone

Unconventional, creative parenting can be great fun! It can also be overwhelming as you're constantly facing the unknown and stepping outside your "comfort zone."

To ease your journey, try bringing your comfort zone with you, so to speak, by creating a list of comforts — simple, soothing/energizing activities you can do whenever you feel overwhelmed.

Write the list on a small card and carry it in your wallet or pocket. Here's a sample list:

  • Take a hot bath
  • Take a brisk walk
  • Find a quiet place
  • Sing/Dance with favorite album
  • Call best friend
  • Think about my beloved childhood pet
  • Read The Daily Groove :)

Be sure to include things you can do with your kids, things you can do away from home, and at least one thing you can do entirely in your mind. Don't list comforts that have negative side-effects. Keep it simple and easy.

Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, just scan your comfort list and choose the most practical one, given your situation. With practice, you'll find that you can dissolve your stress with as little as 30 seconds of deliberate self-comforting!

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what helps me

Taking a bath in the middle of the day has centered me many times. My two dds and I play in the tub and then we're relaxed and happy.

Talking on the phone sometimes helps _me_ even though my dds get really annoyed when I'm on the phone.

Turning on the TV and watching silly daytime talk shows is another thing to do when I need to check out for sanity purposes.

Dancing sometimes helps, though both my dds want me to hold them while I'm dancing which sorta ruins the relaxing effect for me. So then I end up doing my favorite with-children centering thing which is sitting or laying on the ground, surrendering to the moment. Sometimes throwing a ball around.

Daydreaming helps me too.

Not all of these on my list are what I would call "healthy" but I'm learning that the benefits override the cons. That's a biggy for me to learn (as one who tries to be perfect and fails)!

If I can get through the day and all of our bellies have been filled, we aren't frozen from the winter, and I haven't thrown anyone out the window, it's a successful day. So I guess every day is a success for us. It's all how you look at it, eh? ;)