Moms need to relax more than just our bodies. After we have reminded kids about chores, heard complaints, measured medicine, and mediated between feuding siblings, sometimes we have no mental or emotional energy left. The narrator in the television show Curious George described feeding ducks as “a relaxing brain massage.” Here are some of the things I do when I need a relaxing brain massage.
1. Have an unusual treat with the kids
One day, I let my youngest have a cookie while I read picture books to him in the kitchen, and his big brother and sister joined us for both the cookie and the books. Special treats like this mean I’m giving them something instead of using mental energy to say no. (Which it feels like I do all the time.) As a bonus, I got a cookie.
2. Listen to an audiobook.
I recently started listening to audiobooks while I exercise or cook. I’ve chosen favorites like the Chronicles of Narnia and Half Magic. Using my ears instead of my eyes, I pay attention to the language and the story more than when I re-read them. And maybe it brings up good associations with being read to as a child. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) The Bernalillo County Library system has a bunch of electronic audiobooks you can check out online.
3. Add a few drops of essential oils to the shower.
It helps me to pay attention to what’s going on outside my head instead of anything I’m brooding or worried about. It also is a signal that I am taking a break for myself, since it is not a necessity for cleanliness.
4. Rub the back of my neck.
I must carry a lot of tension there, because it feels sooooo good, even for just a few seconds.
5. Color or paint.
Sometimes I do this with my four-year-old, and once I even did it on my own at Starbucks. I am not a skilled artist. It would be hard to tell some of my drawings from my son’s. I just play around with putting different colors together, and sometimes I doodle while listening to an audiobook. I’ve also used the detailed coloring books that you can find in grocery stores now.
How about you? How do you get a relaxing brain massage?