When Anxious, How Do You Reset?

Throughout my 31 years of life, I’ve found a few tried-and-true ways to calm myself down. When my eyes feel strained after looking at my laptop screen for too long, going outside for a short and sweaty one-mile run does the trick. When the meaningful-but-hard work of parenting starts to feel more hard than meaningful, I’ll end the night listening to my favorite podcast while sipping on a La Croix.

But a couple of months ago, I gave birth to my second child, a beautiful baby boy. As a mom of two young children, I quickly learned that I don’t always have the time to pull away for a 20-minute run or an hour-long podcast. Luckily, I discovered a new ritual that quickly soothes my nerves — and it takes only one minute.

When I feel mentally exhausted, I’ll sneak away to the bathroom and lather a bar of soap in between my hands. I know it sounds random, but hear me out! For a minute or two, I’ll work the bar between my hands until the suds feel like silk. By that point, I’m no longer thinking about the dirty dishes in the sink or approaching story deadlines. Instead, I feel quiet, centered and fully aware of my sense of touch, which then sparks an inventory of my body: Am I taking shallow or deep breaths? Are my shoulders scrunched or relaxed? Why am I locking my jaw?

By the time the lathering is over, I walk out of the bathroom feeling at ease. Never in a million years would I think that holding soap would translate to self care. But with an infant who’s on an unpredictable sleep schedule, I’ve found this one-minute reset to be a real game-changer after high strung moments.

So, I’d love to know: What do you do to wind down? Repeating a motto? Watching funny Instagram comedians? Looking at pretty gardens? Please share!

P.S. An anxiety trickand how walking (just walking!) changed my life.

(Photo by Veronica Olson for Emma Poole’s house tour for Cup of Jo.)


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