Having a front-row seat as your child is repeatedly shunned – and sometimes even taunted – can be excruciating. (After nearly three years of it, I realized that I probably had depression.)

Needless to say, we mama bears need occasional stress relievers too. Here are some ideas:

“No questions” time

Yep, you heard me. And no, I’m not contradicting myself, and saying we shouldn’t encourage our kids’ interests. But for the love of Pete, sometimes we need a break!

We can only be “on” for so long with these uber-inquisitive little beings before reaching the point of mental exhaustion – and blowing a fuse.  So, give yourself some grace when you see your breaking point on the horizon, and declare No Questions Time for the next 15 minutes, half hour, whatever. Allow yourself time to string two of your own thoughts together. Everyone will be better off in the long run.

Your own therapist

Not only does it help to have a sounding board, but a therapist who’s the right fit for you can offer amazing insights. Heck, my therapist was the first and only person who ever asked me if my son was gifted. (Thankfully, she knows two gifted individuals fairly well, and recognized the behaviors I described.) If it wasn’t for her, my family still would be in the dark.

Encouragement

Remove any toxic people in your life – or at least significantly distance yourself from them. You’re dealing with enough drama already.

Immerse yourself in positivity (the hold-no-prisoners kind, though). Whether it’s via their books, podcasts or You Tube videos, soak up the wisdom and encouragement women like Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face, and Mel Robbins, creator of The Five-Second Rule, are sharing with the world. (Girl, Wash Your Face was a big part of what inspired me to start writing about this experience!)

Words do matter and what these ladies have to say will encourage and empower you to keep fighting the good fight and being all that you can be. Lewis Howes (The School of Greatness) is fantastic, too.

Supportive online groups, such as: local gifted parents’ groups, Rachel Hollis’ Facebook groups (there are several), etc.

Kick boxing (or some other form of exercise)

Wish you could give that soccer team bully a taste of his own medicine?

Or tell a school bully’s mom who insinuated you hold your kid back a grade to kiss your you-know-what? (Yes, another mom really did that.)

Those probably aren’t the most productive ways to handle things, but…there’s a great alternative: exercise. Not as fun, I know, but it’s the more appropriate option.

Whether you’re running, kick boxing, doing yoga or finding some other calorie-burning outlet, exercise has double the rewards – you can release pent-up frustration and get fit at the same time.

Spa time

You knew this one was coming, right? What self-respecting self-care list fails to suggest this as a way to get stress relief?!?

If spa services tend to be out of your price range, check Groupon for deals. (I recently scored one for a local spa that I’d never seen on Groupon, but as luck would have it, they decided to offer one for their 10-year anniversary.)

Also, check for nearby cosmetology schools. Some are independent, but Aveda and Paul Mitchell also have them near many large cities.

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