09 July, 2010

Retro stress relief

Last month I read the book Honourably Wounded and used it to spring into this blog note a few weeks ago. Yesterday I used something I learned in the book. We'd had a stressful day. The boys were obnoxious, disobedient and hopelessly giggly by dinner-time. David and I almost ended up yelling at each other as a spin-off. Then after the kids were in bed we still had trial-pack to do.

By the time we'd done all that we were wound as tight as a cord on a new vacuum cleaner. We ate some yummy supper together, but then felt too stressed to go straight to bed. As I sat there wondering what to do next, I spotted an unusual sight in a house of boys. This house usually contains both a boy and a girl, so there are plenty of girly things around. One is a doll house with Barbies. Sometime yesterday the Barbies were stripped. (5 y.o. confessed today that he was trying to surprise their owner!) It just didn't seem the right thing to leave all these Barbies (and look alikes) plus Ken starkers (naked) in the living room! So, I sat on the floor, dressed them and combed their hair (David joined me - it took him back to the days he helped his young sister). It was a remarkably soothing activity and I was able to go to bed very easily after that.

This takes me back to the book I mentioned. The author, Marjory Foyle, advocated lots of things for stress. One of them was indulging in a retro-type (or child-like) activity regularly. Like flying kites or swinging. I never had Barbies as a child (for reasons that I fully understand now). But yesterday they were very helpful. I must keep that strategy in mind, not that I'll have Barbies at hand on most occasions, but I'm sure other toys would do equally well.


wsponzani said...

Coloring is good on rainy days.

Wendy said...

Yeah, I love colouring too! Cutting and pasting isn't bad either.

Anika Qing said...

Interesting. Maybe this is partly the reason I like rolling around in the grass when I'm stressed?

(Not in the dirt, Mum, I promise.)

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Lego is lots of fun if you can convince the boys to share with you! I still love it, and was actually quite jealous as I watched a friend's 5 year old making an fighter jet while we adults enjoyed a quiet coffee/lime frappe.