31 Days of De-Stressed Living, Day 21: Quell Your Inner Nag

PricklyPearFruits“My name is Heidi.”

(Hi, Heidi.)

“I’m an incorrigible nag.”

(Cue crickets chirping)

Yes, it’s true. When  my stress level goes through the roof — say, the day before guests arrive, when I go into what my husband calls “tornado mode” — SuperNag makes an appearance. Suddenly Craig remembers he has something to do in the basement that will keep him there all day, or until the storm blows over (when he’s feeling particularly generous, he remembers to take the kids and dog with him). It’s part of the magic that is our marriage.

While it might have helped the stress if he had picked up the working end of a vacuum cleaner (and he has been known to do that, too), the truth is I prefer  solitude at times like this. Assuming, of course, I can quell my “inner nag” long enough to find that elusive peace and quiet.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed out, my inner “sound track” takes a toxic turn. I find myself berating everyone around me — silently, but with exceptional vigor — for doing or NOT doing, a long litany of offenses only I know about, many of them having nothing to do with the immediate problem.

Thankfully, I’ve found a solution that works for me: I set down whatever I’m doing, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and say (out loud, in my best “Mommy voice”), “NO!”

“NO! Of COURSE he didn’t do that just to annoy me.”

“NO! My life would NOT be better if we sent her away to that convent with the thirty foot wall.”

“NO! I will NOT let my need to channel Martha Stewart make everyone around me miserable.”

And then I make myself a cup of tea (or something a bit stronger, if I really need to relax), find a comfortable chair, put on a little music, and mentally “declutter,” replacing the toxic, naggy thoughts with appreciative, thankful ones. Thankful for my home and family. Thankful for a strong body to get the work done. Thankful for friends who give me an excuse to restore order and beauty in my home.

Thankful that, when the Nag makes an appearance, I can choose not to let her in. Because a nag-free mom is a de-stressed mom.

How do you cope with your “inner nag”?