Keeping your cool
Some days can just be frustrating. Your alarm doesn’t go off, you forgot to fill up the car, there’s no milk when you get to work, the children won’t nap and bicker endlessly, you finish later than planned…..As child carers we don’t have the luxury of a 5 minute break to cool off with a cuppa, we can’t lock ourselves in the loo for a quick cry and we work with people who, by definition, are unreasonable. So how do you keep your cool when everything seems to be falling around you? We asked some of our Nannies for their top tips.
Sammie, Nanny, 27
I recently took up yoga and meditation. Now when I’m getting a bit stressed, I trying to do some focused breathing, or sit in a relaxing pose. The little girl I look after tries to copy me and I think it calms her down too so it’s good for when we’re both stressed out.
Emma, Childminder, 32
Whenever I feel myself getting hot and bothered, I throw my plans for the next half an hour out the window and start an activity I enjoy doing. Playdough is therapeutic for me! Then my mindees come and join in and it reminds me why I love working with children.
Hannah, Nanny, 23
The best way to get rid of stress is to smile, make funny faces and funny noises. No-one can stay cross for long. You must laugh instead.
Nina, Nanny, 35
We always put on some music and have a bit of a boogie. Sometimes I need to stomp around a bit, so I pretend it’s dancing, sometimes I just need something to lift my spirits. If all else fails, there’s always Gloria Gaynor.
Eve, Childminder, 38
If I’m cross, I talk about it with the children. I think children are very sensitive and can pick up on your mood easily so it’s important to identify it for them and say what’s happened to make you feel that way. Children can have good suggestions for making you feel better too.
Jess, Nanny, 29
Counting to 10 always works for me. Plus, it’s educational. You just keep counting until you’ve cooled off.
Patricia, Nanny, 54
I’ve learned that you must talk about what made you upset in the first place, so you don’t end up in one of ‘those’ moods with it being one of ‘those’ days. If you feel your boss has been inconsiderate, write it down and chat about it in the evening. If your charges are pushing the boundaries talk to them and to their parents. Talking means you’re not trying to cope on your own and you’re taking steps to resolve the problem.
Lucia, Childminder, 32
Learn to let go. It’s not worth working yourself up because you end up getting unhappier as the day goes on. Holding onto what went wrong only makes more things feel like they’re going wrong. Let it go as soon as it happens.
Debbie, Nanny, 41
Don’t take responsibility for children’s behaviour and emotions. They’re their own person and although they need to learn to control how they feel don’t feel like you’re failing and stress yourself out because they aren’t behaving properly. Your own feelings and actions are the only thing you’re responsible for. Let them be angry if they need to.