Every stepparent is overwhelmed with a roller coaster of emotions on a regular basis. How do you set aside time to nurture your soul?
I’ve dealt with anxiety my entire life. As a child, I bit my nails, chewed pen caps, and shook my leg violently. As an adult there are many different ways my anxiety rears its ugly face.
Being a stepmom amps up the anxiety and exposes a lack of coping strategies. The anxieties may surround you like a warrior in the midst of battle. Dealing with excessive contact, high-conflict attacks on you or your husband, a lack of boundaries, accommodating schedule changes, and attempting to be the bigger person when evil rears its ugly head, can take a toll on your health and well being. If you feel like you’re dodging bullets from all angles, then it’s important to take action to find inner peace.
Being vulnerable and willing to recognize your anxiety will support you in setting aside time and finding healthy coping strategies.
Every week I attend a restorative yoga class. This in itself has become my primary coping strategy to deal with the roller coaster of emotions I experience. We focus on poses and breathing which facilitate a calm mind. One day a week for one hour, I have a chance to get grounded. This time is sacred.
One hour a week isn’t enough to feel balanced. You must weave it into your every day life. My husband and I set up a yoga studio in our house. This will be a room where we can shut the door, block everything out, and enjoy moments of quiet to recharge. My step-daughters helped design this room. We are all going to paint a zen mandala on the wall. They are embracing the idea of taking time for yourself to restore. It is important for us to model self-care. As they make their way through life, they will have a plethora of healthy coping strategies to support them.
Balance is something that must be sought. Ultimately it will lead to peace in your life. You have to nurture your spirit in order to live abundantly.
What ways can YOU get YOUR zen on?
Think about what you value.
I value time outdoors in nature. I value long motorcycle trips through the country. I value walks with my dogs.
What relaxes you and makes you happy?
When do you feel at peace?
Long baths relax my body. Coloring and focused breathing relax my mind. I am happy when I’m being creative and pulling out my inner artist. Making scrapbooks, writing, painting, and singing all bring me to a state of happiness.
We all have to combat stress and anxiety in our lives. How we choose to combat it is up to us. Whether it’s yoga, time with friends, exercise, reading, being surrounded by nature, dancing, singing, or photography, make sure you set aside time to create balance and get your zen on!
-The Balanced Stepmom
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