Anne from The Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote a post recently about trigger points.
In her case, she was referring to children and homeschooling, although she did mention adults as well.
Her observation was that children have certain trigger points, that when reached, can send them spiraling out of control. Being tired, for instance, or hungry.
Our job as parents is to recognize the warning signs ahead of time, or even better, anticipate when they might happen and plan accordingly.
So if you know that your toddler needs a nap around 11:00 am each morning, you shift into quiet activities just after 10:00.
And every mom knows about the after school snack; the ones that kids need when they get home from school to get them through until dinner.
So why don’t we do those things for ourselves?
Sometimes, for instance, when you know that a crazy busy day is coming up – why don’t you plan for it? Put a meal in the crockpot, pack some healthy, energy giving snacks, remind yourself to take breaks when you can.
(By the way, my Sunday night plan is great for this.)
I love this quote from Anne’s post:
The older I get, the more aware I am that effective homeschool time management must include effective energy management.
The same is true for any person or household. Effective time management or just plain everyday life must include effective energy management.
I don’t know about you, but this is something that I’ve just never given a lot of thought to, other than those rare times when I know I’m going to be super busy.
So how can we incorporate this energy management into our lives without making them more complicated?
Let’s start with my Sunday Night Plan. As you know, you set aside some time – I designated Sunday but you don’t have to – to look ahead at the coming week. Are there crazy days? Super busy days? Out of the ordinary ones? Note those and then think: what can you do to prepare for those?
For instance, tomorrow I am going to be out of the house all day and most likely get home late. I’ve already got a crock pot meal planned and ready to go. Add a liner in my slow cooker, get the meal from the freezer, put it in and turn it on.
Since part of my day includes what will most likely be a long appointment at the ophthalmologist for my dad, I’ve added some paperwork and reading material to my tote bag. I’ll also include some snacks.
See what I mean?
But what about those times that sneak up on you? How can you anticipate those?
First, think about your triggers. If you have too much on your mind or you are worried about something, you’re likely to be distracted, forgetful, and irritable.
So prepare by having some soothing herbal tea or an herbal preparation on hand to help you calm down a bit. Valerian root smells really bad but it works. Hold your nose and swallow it down. Make sure first, though, that you know how it affects you. It puts some people to sleep. Maybe not the best idea if you’re driving or at work!
If chocolate soothes you – I lived on it the year we transferred from Detroit to Chicago – make sure to have some handy!
Also have some protein bars and water on hand. The protein will help your brain focus and you need to stay hydrated. Some peppermint essential oil is good too, for headaches, staying alert, and memory.
And don’t forget to breathe. Practice some deep breathing to help you get relaxed, oxygenate your body, and get focused. A little yoga, exercise, or meditation would work too.
Finally, remember that this too shall pass. 😉