How to find your chill: Parent edition

It’s been 14 months since most of North Carolina shut down, and just as spring is showing her loveliest self, we’re seeing a partial return to the way life used to be.

No, Covid-19 is not over. (Will it ever be?) But we do see more people feeling safe to explore, safe to gather with trusted friends and family, and safe to send children to school. No one has escaped the pandemic without bruises, but I’ve noticed parents are in a unique situation where they now have a little more room in their brains and their schedules to consider an important question: How do I begin to care for me?

Some of us know the answer. We know what it takes to reconnect with our feelings, to relieve stress, and to find peace. Some of us don’t.

When you aren’t sure where to start, I say start at the beginning. The beginning of your life. What did you love doing as a child? What activities or environments made you feel happy, peaceful, or energetic? Take a few moments or even a few days to mull this over. Brainstorm. Make a list.

I’ll show you some of my list:

  • Climb a tree with my best friend
  • Sit by the creek
  • Have lunch outside in my playhouse
  • Swing
  • Go to piano concerts and plays with Mom
  • Practice making my handwriting pretty

Once you have your list, I know some of you will think you don’t have time for any of this. I hear you. I’ve been in your shoes. Here’s the thing, though: You may not have time to perfect a violin solo or read an entire novel on the beach, but you have 5 minutes. If that’s all you can muster right now, then enjoy those 5 minutes! The release you feel from those moments will reap more than 5 minutes of rewards.

(Do we want to work up to more than 5 minutes of you-time each day? Certainly. In fact, we’d like to create a rhythm of life that feels more comfortable. Do most people have to start with baby steps? Yes. Obsession with productivity is a hard habit to break.)

Before school is out, I challenge all of us to think of ways to find inner peace. We need it now more than ever, and we definitely need it during the kids’ summer vacation. When the hot days seem endless, when the kids say they’re bored, or when the siblings are bickering, you need to know how to find your chill… right?


Stay tuned for the next post – “How to find your chill: A local’s outdoor guide.”

Want to talk? Reach out at or 919-442-8546.
Not local and need a counselor? Try Psychology Today or Therapy Den to find your perfect match.
 If you need immediate help, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or text CONNECT to 741741.

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