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I would’ve blown up 6 months ago but instead here’s how I learned to keep calm as a busy mom and how I taught my family these same techniques.

I had been awake since 4am. It was almost supper time and within 5 minutes of each other; the dog threw up, the toddler woke up, my 5 year old started crying/screaming and the 4 year old spiked a fever of 104 F (of course my husband had just left for a night of skiing).

Then to top it all off the doorbell rang. Not less than 6 months ago, I would have been so overcome by anger and overwhelm that I would have let the doorbell go and probably would have even felt angry at whoever had the nerve to visit unannounced.

But instead, I rushed to the door to find four neighbourhood kids volunteering to walk my dog. The timing could not have been better. It gave him the attention and exercise that he needed, and it gave me a moment to pause and appreciate all that the universe provides.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say that the past 6 months have been easy. Far from it. Life has presented challenge after challenge. It’s one of those seasons in life where I keep thinking, okay that’s enough, I really can’t handle anything else and them boom something else comes.

It’s pushed me to do a lot of inner mindset work. Work that I’ve been wanting to do but never felt that I had the time. Well busy momma, as you can imagine most days I still feel like I don’t have the time. But something’s shifted and I now understand that I need to take the time.

The basis of the work I’ve been doing around mindset is anchored in cognitive behaviour therapy; one of the pillars of the Little Black Dress Bootcamp Program that I run. It emphasizes how our thoughts affect our emotions which change our behaviours.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a mindset workshop at my daughter’s school. It again reinforced the strategies that I’ve been incorporating over the past 6 months. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop last night and I’ve found it to be true with my clients as well (so much so, that it’s one of the topics in the LBD Bootcamp) is the benefits that come with practicing deep breathing.

Deep breathing allows your body to get extra oxygen and helps it to calm down. I love this simple strategy because it doesn’t take a lot of time and you can feel the benefits instantly. The presenter last night suggested a strategy to help kids incorporate deep breathing

Pretend you are a fire-breathing dragon! Who’s kidding it’s a great strategy for an exhausted momma too!

Keeping calm breathing techniques

Here’s how you do it:

  • Take a big breath in through your nose and blow out as much imaginary fire as you can.
  • Try to imagine all of the yucky feelings in your body blasting out of you with your big dragon breath.
  • Can you blow out 6 big fiery breaths?
  • Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 and breath out for 7 seconds.

Puppet dragon and text "Less than 6 months ago, I would have blown up"

Today I found the perfect dragon puppet to help our family use this calm down strategy. I encourage you to take the time to practice 5 to 10 deep breathes daily. I guarantee that you’ll notice a change.