Every stepparent is overwhelmed with a roller coaster of emotions on a regular basis. At least, I know I am. How do you set aside time to nurture your soul?
I’ve dealt with anxiety my entire life. As a child, I bit my nails, chewed pen caps, and shook my leg violently. As an adult, there are many different ways my anxiety rears its ugly face.
Being a stepmom has amped up my anxiety and exposed my lack of coping strategies. The anxieties surround me like a warrior in the midst of battle. Dealing with constant contact from bio-mom, high-conflict attacks on myself and my husband, a lack of boundaries, accommodating schedule changes, and attempting to be the bigger person when you just want to scream, can take a toll on your health and well-being. Feeling like I’m dodging bullets from all angles, I had to take action to find inner peace.
Being vulnerable and willing to recognize my anxiety forced me to set aside time and find healthy coping strategies.
Every week I attend a restorative yoga class. This in itself has become my primary coping strategy to deal with the roller coaster of emotions I experience. We focus on poses and breathing which facilitate a calm mind. One day a week for one hour, I have a chance to get grounded. This time is sacred.
But one hour a week isn’t enough to feel balanced. You must weave it into your everyday life. My husband and I are in the process of making a yoga studio in our house. This will be a room where we can shut the door, block everything out, and enjoy moments of quiet to recharge. My step-daughters are helping to design this room. We are all going to paint a zen mandala on the wall. They are embracing the idea of taking time for yourself to restore. It is important for us to model self-care. As they make their way through life, they will have a plethora of healthy coping strategies to support them.
Balance is something that must be sought. Ultimately, it will lead to peace in your life. You have to nurture your spirit in order to live abundantly.
What ways can YOU get YOUR zen on?
Think about what you value.
I value time outdoors in nature. I value long motorcycle trips through the country. I value walks with my dogs.
What relaxes you and makes you happy?
When do you feel at peace?
Long baths relax my body. Coloring and focused breathing relax my mind. I am happy when I’m being creative and pulling out my inner artist. Making scrapbooks, writing, painting, and singing all bring me to a state of happiness.
We all have to combat stress and anxiety in our lives. How we choose to combat it is up to us. Whether it’s yoga, time with friends, exercise, reading, being surrounded by nature, dancing, singing, or photography, make sure you set aside time to create balance and get your zen on!
Nicole DiLorenzo is an educator, mentor, wife, and stepmom of two girls. Her passion for teaching has spilled into the stepfamily dynamic, wanting to help others navigate their role. She runs a blog which helps her therapeutically deal with the many blessings and challenges within the stepfamily dynamic. She enjoys yoga, dog walks, riding motorcycles, vacations, and living a balanced life. Visit www.stepmomwarrior.com for more information.