There are so many ways to de-stress our lives, including exercise, healthy eating, sleeping more, starting a hobby, laughing, dancing or gardening. Yes, it is true exercise will relieve stress — and a great deal of it if you ask me — as this is top in helping me feel more grounded on even the craziest of days. Eating right and sleeping well helps, but I have to admit when the rush of the day gets going and the endless list of “to do’s” prevails, this isn’t always possible.
One thing I guarantee you have the time for is music — whether at home, cooking, cleaning, caring for your children or rushing off to take your kids to events. It takes just a second to press play to relax and be taken to another place or time. Many songs become the ultimate soundtrack of our lives.
Discover what songs make you feel good, happy and relaxed. It may be something upbeat that makes you want to dance. My kids and I have a current favorite: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Who doesn’t want to move and shake a little when “Happy” is playing?
You might have favorite classical music with an ebb and flow of rhythm that calms the inner spirit. It may also be a song or two you sing with your kids (or by yourself) as loud as you possibly can, not caring what you sound like or if you hit every note perfectly like the artist does. You just sing.
How music saves the day
Now let me paint a picture for you. A mom who in the morning is trying to get her two children fed, clothed, hair combed, teeth brushed, diaper changed for the youngest, lunch packed for the oldest, ensuring homework is done and in backpack, writing both personal and professional emails, starting laundry, etc. All the while, the two siblings are battling over toys, who gets to do what first, and the oldest proclaiming he is not going to school.
Now, this very mom has accomplished all of the above with growing impatience to get both kids’ shoes on, in the car, buckled, and happily ready for our quick jaunt to school. The oldest is now in tears because he just wants to be home with you. Your youngest does not like to see the oldest upset about anything, so yes you guessed it, she is crying, too.
Now you have two kids in the car, buckled, and… upset. Loudly upset. Nothing you say can get them back to earth. If anything, the more you talk, the louder they get. This very mom now takes a moment before backing out of the driveway to cue up the song all three of you have sang together many times. A song that has healed many hurts and dried up tears A song your 2-year-old doesn’t know many of the words to, but she know the rhythm. When you watch her, she moves her head to this known rhythm and hums to some of the lyrics she does know.
Your eyes move across to the other side of the backseat. The crying has ceased. You yourself are singing. Your oldest joins in the singing and before you know it there are smiles, laughter and an ease you wouldn’t trade for the world.
In this moment, mom knows the power of music, singing and moving to the beat.
We, the three of us, continue to sing our way to school. By the time we arrive all crises have ceased. No more tears are falling. Smiles have taken over the general mood of the morning. My oldest happily goes to school and has a great day.
A wave of calm washed over us. A moment of peace exists. This is the least stressful part of my day. So, what songs are on your stress-less playlist?
Molly is a stay-at-home mother of two who spends time in Golden, CO, with family, writing, gardening, bicycling, knitting, reading, and of course being active every day.