Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five Tips for Moving with Small Children (Good Luck with That)

"I may not be a smart girl, but I know what moving stress is."--Erin Gump.

1. A plan of action:
The key to a successful moving experience begins with a solid plan of action. Label your boxes, arrange for moving help, and for the love (of the Patron Saint of Sanity)—do not potty train twins. You will not only be packing and unpacking large quantities of boxes, you will also be changing large quantities of soiled “big-girl panties” and picking up endless (remarkably large) toddler turds—I’m sorry to say they don’t always land in target.

2. Arrange for plenty of help:
In addition to eliciting the services of packers and movers, it’s also vital that you be proactive in seeking childcare solutions. Don’t simply assume it’s going to “all work itself out,” or that your kids won’t “indulge in epic-sized tantrums,” or that pizza, juice, and M&M’s “will make it all go away.” Instead, assign one adult to every child. If you have Davis children, you might want to make it 2 (or more) adults per each child.

3. Prepare yourself for inclement weather:
Be sure to account for the challenges associated with seasonal weather. Or, if you live in a season-free environment simply consisting of hot, hotter, and hizzotest, don’t move--ever.

4. Reduce expectations:
It’s understandable to have expectations of how your moving experience will manifest. It’s even customary to be disappointed about certain aspects of your new home; the furniture might appear awkward, or the carpet may be aesthetically dismal. In some cases you may have even had the expectation that your new home would be free of scorpions … until that is, you caught a glimpse of one rapidly scuttling across your entryway. Reduce your expectations; it will “all work itself out”—if it doesn't, call an exterminator.

5. Maintain a positive attitude:
When all else fails put on your happy face. When people ask you how the move is going try to limit the number of times you point a fake-finger gun to your head.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Acupressure This! Stress Relievers For Cynics and Goofballs

For those of you who know me it might come as no great shock when I tell you … I’m slightly stressed out. For those of you who don’t know me—I’m always stressed out. It’s only the degree of stress that fluctuates. My stress scale varies from slightly stressed to freakishly-unmanageable (usually overly- exaggerated) stressed. However, even at the highest 8-pointer on my Richter-stress scale, someone always out does me. I’m not going to lie, this comforts me. Sorry 10-pointers. To make us all feel better—from the 1-pointers to the 10-pointers, I’d like to offer some stress-relieving techniques via an “Acupressure Points (Needle-Less) Acupuncture” worksheet I recently acquired.

For those techniques you may find too difficult or time-consuming to apply I have provided a few of my own modifications and alternatives. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, shrink, guru, massage therapist, transcendentalist or anything else particularly exciting (other than self-diagnosed hypochondriac-ADD-caffeine-riddled-free- spirit type). Enjoy.

*These are considered points for relieving traumatic stress, anxiety, and panic:

1. Letting go: Cross your arms over the chest center. Place your fingertips firmly on both sides of your outer chest. Breathe deeply and hold these points for about two minutes.


I simply call this “Avoidance:” Take a paper bag and put it over your head. Breathe as deeply as possible. If your bag begins to make a crunching noise (further increasing your feeling of panic)--stop breathing. Or, if time permits, cut a whole where your mouth is. Stay under bag until you have replaced whatever stressed you out in the first place with the stress of paper-bag claustrophobia.

2. Gates of Consciousness: With your thumbs, press underneath the base of the skull into the indentions on both sides. Close your eyes and slowly tilt your head back. Visualize this mental balancing point relieving your panic and anxiety as you gently press up underneath your skull for one to two minutes.


Unconsciousness: Take your thumbs and use them to propel your head into a wall. Repeat until stress or consciousness has been temporarily alleviated.

3. Sea of Tranquility: Gently press the base of the sternum with the middle three fingertips. At the same time, concentrate as you take deep, slow breaths into your heart for three minutes.


See Jane Spin: Go to spin class and place your fingertips lightly on the resistance wheel. Pretend to crank it up. Take deep fake breaths and occasionally pat your heart to indicate to fellow spinners how hard you’re working out. Post-class make sure to pour your water bottle on yourself when no one’s looking. Be sure to say aloud, “I definitely earned a double-chocolate-mocha frappuccino and scone.”

4. Interrupt a Panic Attack: Hold the base of the middle fingernail firmly against the thumb of the same hand. Take long, slow, deep breaths for three minutes.


Exchange Panic Attack for Snack Attack: Go to the pantry. Use any of your fingers to grab food that is bad for you. Eat it. If you can, try to breathe too.

5. Inner Mind: Place the right thumb on the point on the left arm. Wrap your fingertips around the outside of the arm and place them directly behind your thumb.


Inner (Bed) Sheet: Slide your bed cover off. Get under your top sheet and wrap yourself in it. Stick both arms up in the air and scream. Take Advil PM and face your stress the following day.