5 Ways to Stay Calm in the Middle of Chaos – Even if Losing It Seems Inevitable

Ok. It’s bedtime. You know the drill. Homework is being wrapped up, teeth are being brushed, the next day’s school clothes are being chosen, lost books are being retrieved, that last text message is being sent.

And everybody is calmly taking care of their business as you supervise from your easy chair, right? NOT!

Bedtime is chaos. Getting off to school is chaos. Doing homework and making dinner is chaos. Your life is chaos.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay patient in the middle of it all.

There are ways to manage the chaos without breaking down and screaming, something that might make you feel better in the moment but is rarely a good motivator. And something you always regret.

Here are my ideas for 5 Ways for Moms to Stay Calm in the Middle of Chaos – Even if Losing It Seems Inevitable. I will use bedtime as an example to work from.

#1 – Stay aware.

Bedtime, is chaotic, jam-packed, and exhausting. Every night. It’s just the nature of the beast. If you go into it remembering that it is chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting then you will have a better chance of managing it without losing it.

Before it begins, take a minute for yourself (or more if you have it). Take a deep breath. Have a cup of tea. Whatever it will take to get your calm on, go for it.

If you enter into a situation already stressed out, having just finished a work call or throwing the dishes in the dishwasher, chances are that you will break much quicker than if you go in calm.

#2 – Ask for help!

There are usually two grown ups in the house at bedtime. Don’t try to do it all yourself. It’s something that us moms try to do. Everything. And it usually doesn’t end well.

Divide and conquer. Each of you take a child. Or one person manage teeth brushing while the other helps pack up homework. Define your tasks clearly so that everyone knows their job and sticks to it.

And don’t let the kids play you off each other. Remember that you are a team and that you are bigger than those little people who are trying to run all over you.

#3 – Declare if you are escalating.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep my feelings of frustration bottled up, allowing them to slowly build until I erupt with loud, ugly words. My kids then look at me like I am crazy because they had no idea how the night was getting to me.

Let your kids know if you start to escalate. I use a 10 point scale: 1 being calm and 10 being at the edge. “Hey kids,” I say, “Mom is at a 5. Can we please calm down and get into bed.”

This lets the kids know that your frustration is mounting so that perhaps they can tweak their behaviors to prevent the eruption of Mt. Mom.

#4 – Take a deep breath.

Next time you drive by an 18-wheeler on the highway notice what you are doing. Chances are you are holding your breath. And gripping the steering wheel very tightly. It’s tension filled, those few seconds you inch past them. And your body reacts.

Next time you drive by an 18-wheeler take a deep breath. You will immediately feel yourself relaxing, your hands unclenching. You will get by that truck without missing a beat.

Take the above action and apply it to chaotic times. Take a deep breath. Repeat as necessary. It is sure to calm you down.

#5 – Visualize what is next.

One of the best ways to get through a chaotic situation is to visualize the prize at the end of the chaos. Bedtime is no exception.

When the bedtime routine is over good things wait for you on the other side. Time with your spouse. Another episode of “House of Cards.” A bath. Looking in on your beautiful sleeping children. YOUR BED.

As you feel your frustration growing, picture what is on the other side. And know that if you stay calm the chaos will probably subside quicker and you will get to your prize.

So there you are: 5 Ways to Stay Calm in the Middle of Chaos – Even if Losing It Seems Inevitable.

Our lives are chaotic, jam-packed and crazy. And chances are they aren’t going to change until your kids go off to college and you are left alone in an empty house (but that is a whole ‘nother topic).

The best way to get through the chaos with your hair and sanity intact is to learn to manage it. And you can do it. Think of all of the chaotic things you have survived already. This is just one more. You CAN DO IT.

Looking for more coping tips to get through your crazy life? I can help. Contact me now and we can get your started down the path to living the life of your dreams.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

The 5 Love Languages – How To Love and Be Loved

This blog is almost entirely about someone else’s brilliant idea, but it’s an idea so brilliant that I want to share it with all of my readers!

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages created a whole movement around the concept of there being 5 languages of love, and thus 5 ways to express love to your partner.

Expressing love seems straightforward, no? Well, not so much.

It seems that most of us express love in ways that WE want to be loved – as opposed to in ways our partner wants to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry as an expression of affection but our partner might feel loved by getting to spend a full day together, just the two of you. We might feel loved when we get a hug but our partner might feel loved if we take out the trash.

The key is learning what it is that your partner needs to feel loved. When you learn what that is and express your love using those actions, your partner will truly feel loved.

And it’s easy to love if you feel love in return. And isn’t that what we all want. To love and be loved?

Without further ado, the 5 Languages of Love, transcribed exactly from Gary’s Chapman’s website www.5lovelanguages.com.

#1 – Quality Time

Nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.

#2 – Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.

#3 – Physical Touch

A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.

#4 – Acts of Service

Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.

#5 – Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.

So now you are familiar the 5 Love Languages. What to do next?

Go to Gary Chapman’s website, www.5lovelanguages.com and, along with your partner, take the assessment. You will learn which of the love languages are yours and your partner will learn which ones are theirs.

Once you both know each others’ love languages you can stop stabbing blindly in the dark and tell your partner you love them in a language they will understand.

The result? Loving and being loved. One of the keys to happiness and an essential part of living the life of your dreams.

Want more ideas about how to connect with your partner? I can help! Contact me now and let’s get you started on the path to the relationship of your dreams.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Make a Career Change – Even if the Prospect Leaves You Paralyzed

You know that you want a career change. You have known it for a long time but the prospect of actually doing it is daunting.

There are so many ifs, ands and buts about switching jobs and getting started is the hardest one. Where will I go? Will I have to take less money? Will anyone even hire me?

And then you think, “Maybe I should just stay in the job I have now.”

No! To move to a new job or career you just have to start at the beginning. 

Here are my 5 Ways to Make a Career Change, Even if the Prospect Leaves You Paralyzed.

#1 – Do your research.

This is the most important place to start. Doing your research is essential to getting yourself going. So many of us get stuck in the same old job because we have no idea what our options are.

See what sort of jobs are out there that you might be interested in, whether in your industry or in another industry.

See what jobs are in alignment with your skillset. You have lots of skills that you have acquired over the years, skills that could be useful in a variety of industries.

Research the industries you are interested in, even if it’s the one you already work in. Things change so quickly these days and it’s important to stay up to date if you are going to be putting yourself out there.

Information is power, especially when it comes to a job search.

#2 – Update your resume and your cover letter.

This is very important. Whether you have been in the same job for 3 years or 30, an updated resume and cover letter are essential. And using the correct format is essential.

Resumes and cover letters these days are no longer read by potential employers but rather scanned. There are so many applicants for jobs that that is all potential employers have time to do.

Make your resume and cover letter succinct and to the point, very clearly highlighting your skills and experience. Use dot whacks not full sentences for easy scanning. Put your most relevant skills near the top of your resume as many employers don’t get more than a quarter of the way down the page before they move on.

Never, ever, ever indicate anywhere that you are lacking skills. You might be but you don’t need to tell your potential employer before it is absolutely necessary, if ever.

#3 – Apply, apply, apply.

Once you have your resume up to date start applying.

There are a variety of sites where jobs are posted. Locate the ones in your industry and check them daily. The same with companies that you are interested in working for. They post their jobs in the human resources section of their websites. Checking them regularly will ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Don’t hold back. Apply for any jobs that interest you. There are so many job applicants these days that it might take some time before you get a callback. Or not, because your resume is awesome!

Another important thing to do is reach out to your contacts. The best way to get an interview is through a personal recommendation. So use those contacts. That’s what they are there for.

#4 – Brush up on your interview skills.

How long has it been since you have had a job interview? A year? 10 years? Interviewing can be like riding a bike in that you remember how to even if you haven’t for a while but practicing will make sure you don’t fall off.

When you land an interview take a few minutes and consider some questions that they might ask you. Think about what you might answer and practice speaking those answers out loud. Work with a friend or with your mirror. But do it! Practice…

#5 – Don’t give up!

Again, like #1, this is key.

Applying for a job can be frustrating and disheartening. There are so many people out there applying for jobs and it can be hard to stand up and be noticed.

But you will be. Put your best self out there as often as you can and you will be discovered and given the opportunity to shine.

Don’t give up until you get the job of your dreams.

So there you go: 5 Ways to Make a Career Change, Even if the Prospect Leaves You Paralyzed.

No one should be stuck in a job that they have outgrown. Don’t let indecision and the unknown hold you back from looking for a new job.

Just start at the beginning and before you know it you will be on your way.

Looking for more ways to successfully change your career? Contact me now and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign – Even If It Seems There Is No Escaping It

The presidential race of 2016 is like none other. The people are demanding change and with change comes lots of messiness. In this case the messiness involves lots of lying, suspicion, bigotry and name calling.

Many of us adults are completely obsessed with the whole thing, constantly checking the news and reading and re-reading what the candidates are saying. This is okay because we are adults but having the kids too involved with the messiness can be damaging.

I am here to tell you that there are ways to limit the negative effects that a difficult campaign can have on kids.

So here are my 5 Ways to Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign.

#1 – Protect your younger kids from the anger and the hatred.

One of the most distinctive things about this election is the amount of anger that is flying around all over the place. Americans are angry and the candidates are responding with anger of their own, some of it targeting other Americans.

With younger kids it is important that you limit their exposure to the vitriol. Young kids are sponges and will absorb any information they are exposed too, some of it good, a lot of it damaging.

So turn off the TV when the kids are in the room. Don’t play videos of the candidates speaking where the kids can overhear. Don’t leave magazines and newspapers with explosive headlines lying around.

It’s summertime. Leave the media behind and get your kids outside.

#2 – Talk about the campaign with your older kids.

Your older kids will be exposed to many, many different perspectives on this election because of social media. Not everything they read will be accurate. Not everything they read will be true. Not everything they read will be aligned with the values that you have tried to teach them over the years.

Talk about the election with your kids. Let them ask questions and make an effort to answer them thoughtfully, to clarify what they may or may not have heard. And share with them your perspective on what is being said, trying to be as non-partisan as possible.

#3 – Don’t expect your kids to toe the party line with you.

You know what I am talking about. You see little kids attending rallies with their parents, wearing the candidates T-shirts. They stand with their parents and mimic everything their parents say, even if they have no idea what their words mean.

Keep your kids out of your politics until they are old enough to decide for themselves what they want and believe. Keep your children innocent for just a little bit longer because they will have plenty of time to suffer through this themselves when they are older.

#4 – Use this election as an opportunity to educate.

One of the greatest things about America is that it was born from a revolutionary spirit. America objected to how it was being treated by the British and it revolted and prevailed. As a result, a new nation was born, one based on liberty and equality.

America is going through such a revolution now. The people are protesting against the status quo, the way that our government is using it’s power to achieve stasis instead of growth. Our country is drowning in the mess of partisan politics and people have had enough.

Talk to your kids about all of this, how great America is and can be and how we need to recognize our failures and celebrate our victories and move forward together in a positive way.

#5 – Get yourself away from it all.

I know plenty of people who are so preoccupied with the election that it is taking over their lives. They are obsessed with what they read and see and spend countless hours arguing with anyone who wants to argue about what the candidates are bringing to the table.

This makes people very, very crabby. And this crabbiness can spill over into your relationships with your kids.

So get away from it regularly. Binge watch your favorite show, read a book, take your kids for ice cream. Give yourself a break from it all. Take a deep breath and smell the roses.

Set a good example.

So there you go: 5 Ways to Protect Your Kids During This Crazy Presidential Campaign.

We have 5 months left in this campaign. A lot of negative things are going to be said. A lot of name calling will be done. A lot of promises will be made that might not be kept.

Negativity, name calling and lying are all things that we have taught our kids not to do. It is essential that we, as the grown ups, limit their exposure and educate our children so that they can grow up to be the reasonable, thoughtful people we want them to be!

Has this blog made you pause and go hmmm? I have lots more to share, things that will help you live the life of your dreams. Contact me now and see how.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary

Summertime. The weather is warmer, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming. It’s a time for everyone to get outside, to smell the fresh air, to enjoy life after the past 7 months of school and cold weather.

And yet, the prospect of summer fills many moms with a sense of dread. What exactly to do with your wonderful, but usually in school, kids all day every day.

I am here to tell you that not only can you survive the summer but you can truly enjoy it!

So here you go: 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary.

# 1 – Schedule SOME time for your kids to go to camp.

Summertime should include some summer camp. It can be any kind of summer camp – a science camp at the local elementary school, an art camp at the Y, a week away at a camp on a lake in Maine. Whatever is the right kind of camp for your kid.

Modern day children have so much scheduled time that the sudden onslaught of free time when school gets out can be overwhelming. So schedule them some camp.

The key word here is SOME camp. It is essential that kids have down time for proper development. They need to have time to entertain themselves, to be dreamy or adventurous or whatever makes their hearts sing.

So schedule them SOME camp but also schedule them some free time. One of my clients has her kids go to camp every other week in June and July and then leaves much of August free for downtime and family activity.

#2 – Let yourself off the hook.

You have a TON to do. A TON. Every day is packed with chores and errands and work and having the kids under foot all summer makes those things difficult to accomplish.

So let yourself off the hook. Choose some chores and errands that can be let go a bit this summer. Like keeping the house super clean or super involved family dinners. Tidy up when you have some down time and get the kids to help. For dinners use your grill! Grill some meat or fish, make a salad, pop some vegies in the steamer and you are done.

Of course there are some things that can’t be put off. Schedule some time every day, or every other day, to get these things done. Choose a time that you know will work for you: first thing in the morning when everyone is slow to rise, after lunch when people are lazing, after dinner when the kids are running around outside with the neighbors. Pick a time and put it on your calendar and get those things done!

And don’t forget that your kids can HELP with these things. Your child can do the dishes or the laundry or clean their rooms. And the kids can go on errands with you and learn a thing or two about how the world works. Don’t be afraid to get your kids working. It’s good for them.

#3 – Embrace playing.

Remember summertime when you were a kid? Our parents didn’t schedule us at all…we were sent outside in the morning and told to come back for lunch and not a moment earlier. And remember how much fun you had?

So it’s summer! Do some things with your kids that you love to do. Go to the beach, hike in the woods, take out the canoe, go to the park, climb a tree. Get dirty and sweaty. Play!

#4 – Do something that you like to do.

As I have said in earlier blogs it is essential for your mental health that you do something for you as often as you can. Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own is exhausting and life sucking. Yes, hopefully you will let things go this summer and play with your kids but still you will be very tired at the end of every day.

So schedule something that you love to do. Take a yoga class, volunteer at the local hospital, go on a date with your partner. Whatever it is that takes you out of your life as a mother and reminds you about the woman that you are.

#5 – Eat a lot of ice cream.

Come on! It’s summer. And if there was ever a time to eat ice cream this is it.

Keep a box of popsicles in the freezer, all different flavors. Make a regular trip to the local ice cream spot and try a different flavor each time. Maybe even have a sundae.

There is a television ad about a room full of children who are bouncing off the walls, having a great time. In the next scene there is silence…because everyone is eating ice cream. Ice cream is one of those foods that makes everyone happy. So indulge.

So there you go. 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer.

These tips work for both stay at home and working mothers. Working mothers have the extra challenge of keeping the kids occupied during their work day but by applying some of the principles above you too can enjoy your summer and not let it go by without stopping to smell the roses.

And how that you have read my blog, GO OUTSIDE and start enjoying your summer.

Need more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and we can get started!

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!