Some days, you struggle to not scream at everyone you meet. Some days, you feel fragile & like you might break. When your family, your work, or your own damn self is driving you to need some instant/quick comfort. These are the things I turn to engage in a mental time out
  1. Wine
    I know, it's far from healthy to use booze as a crutch. I keep an "in case of emergency" can of wine (yes, a can! Tasty & = 2 glasses!) on the shelf in my kitchen where I keep water glasses. It's at my eye level. The funny thing is, it's a comfort just to know it's there. It makes me stop & assess — is this a real emergency? Or should I save this for a really horrid day? 90% of the time, I decide whatever's bugging me isn't that bad, I lovingly caress my comfort can, & I save it for another day
  2. The right music
    Currently my best stress-buster is a playlist I made for my father of soul music:
  3. My front porch
    When I scary-yell at my kids (above & beyond the typical rally cry to get out of the house), I tell them that Mama has to go in time out for yelling. I go out on my front porch for a few minutes to catch my breath & calm down. Small porch faces south & gets lots of sunshine. I look at the birds & squirrels. I listen to the wind blowing through the gigantic pine tree across the street. It's usually just the thing I need to realize I'm being an ass & need to approach the bad situation differently
  4. I literally just lay down...
    ...wherever I am. Like a slug. It's so strangely effective to physically give up for a moment. Granted, I haven't done this much outside of my house/yard. But when the kids get screamy, it is a lovely little release. The son will usually (even mid-tantrum) take this move as his cue to be quiet & just lay down on top of me. It's an odd reboot, but it works
  5. Clean bedsheets
    If it's evening & it's been a particularly hard day, fresh sheets bring extreme comfort. If I can push myself to do actually change them, then I will feel 72% better when I climb into bed to forget about the day.
  6. My 10th grade English Lit textbook
    I logged a couple of years of private school, which meant I had to buy books at my first high school. I never sold back this one; I loved it too much. It's full of poems, short stories, & plays of a huge variety of cultures/time periods. When I'm upset, I like to flip through & find a poem that settles me. It's also full of my 15-year-old highlighting & notes on some of the works. It's funny to think how far that girl has come & how many places I've dragged this book with me