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From Pandemonium to Tranquility: How to Regain Calm after Chaos

group of kids during a chaotic holiday
Parents enjoy experiencing holidays, traditions and special events through their childrens' eyes. Learning to regain calm during chaos can help us to remain present and truly cherish these moments with our kids.


Shew, life with kids is exhausting! And holiday chaos might be the number one culprit on a list of stress-filled moments for parents. While celebrating holidays with kids brings many of us tremendous joy, it can also be a whirlwind of sugar-infused chaos, noise and big, big energy. It can leave us feeling worn down and stressed out if we're not careful. Just know that it's normal to feel stressed out after being exposed to any chaotic atmosphere, whether it's a holiday or not.

Here are a few de-stressing techniques that can help you regain calm after chaos:

1. PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation). One of my personal favs that I recommend to clients. Why? Because it's easy to learn AND easy to implement. Best of all you can do it anywhere and it only takes about 10 minutes. It's an easy two-step process to follow where you pair deep breathing with tensing and relaxing muscles in your body, head to toe. (Hence the name, progressive muscle relaxation). This is a great strategy to use if you're feeling anxious, or trying to unwind from a hectic day or getting ready for bed. For more info on how to do PMR check out this site.

2. Guided Imagery. This technique involves envisioning relaxing scenes, places or experiences in your mind. It involves all the senses and should be experienced physically and mentally. This can be particularly soothing if you're trying to mellow out after a hectic day of activity. If you've practiced guided meditation, this will be a familiar technique. There are lots of apps out there that can walk you through this. Here is a great resource. on Guided Imagery.

3. Jot it down. Document a couple of over-arching thoughts or themes from your day. Whether you're identifying stressors, clarifying your feelings, or just remembering the best moments of the day, write it down. Whether you type it in a Google Doc, "talk to text" it in your Notes app, or take pen to paper, any method to get thoughts out of your head works great. Aim for 3 bullet points as a jumping-off point. When you're finished, close the document, app or notebook and put it away! You've given those thoughts enough energy for one day. Check out ways to use journaling to manage stress:

Giving yourself some breathing room after any chaotic circumstance, holiday or otherwise, is essential for our well-being. Learning and practicing techniques on how to regain calm after chaos is one way we can take care of ourselves more fully.


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