Friday, January 9, 2009

My Water Tank Trick

Y'all know what I do for a living... right?
I'm a daycare provider, working from home. Which means that 4-7 kids come into to my home on a daily basis. Small, smelly, sometimes unruly little individuals come into my home to be cared for.
I love them, I really do, but there are days that I just want to tear my hair out and crawl under the covers - never to surface again.
Unless Sam Elliot was knockin' on my door. But then I would probably just want to crawl back under the covers again.

Anyway, I use this "Water Tank trick" on several of my children with Autism and it works well. But then one day, I thought, hey, why couldn't I adapt and use that technique on myself and see what happens?
And it's been a life-saver.

Anywhooo, I shared this technique with a dear friend of mine and she said why don't you share it here on your blog? So here it is.

Tatersmama's Water Tank Trick

Think of yourself as a water tank - you know, one of those corrugated ones. It doesn't matter what size you imagine yourself to be, but it should be corrugated. Not one of those fancy-schmancy straight-walled, "blends with the environment" ones.
But hey... it's your water tank. Be who you want to be.

Now.... In the bottom of the tank is the sludge and leaves and things that make us who we are.
This is our "essence" and it never alters. It's always there.

But as your day goes on, your tank starts filling up with water - with the stresses, pressures or whatever.
Little Tommy won't sit in time-out and keeps getting up - so your water level rises a bit.
You have to pay the car insurance and it's going to be a tight squeeze... so the level goes up again.
Your boss asks you to work late and your mother-in-law is coming for dinner tonight - and the level rises again.
You planned on taking the ground beef out of the freezer and making meat loaf for dinner, but it's now 5 o'clock and you just realized that you forgot to do it.
The dog barfed in your shoe, or your kid still hasn't cleaned up their room.
Up Up Up Up Up goes your stress level ... and your water level with it.

Whatever happens during the day, all adds to the level and some things only raise the level one or two corrugations... but others can half-fill your tank in one go.
So, at the end of the day, all that water is starting to slosh around at the top of the tank - or it can even start to overflow and spill down the sides, making a mucky mess of everything around you... and you need to drain it away somehow.

I just sit down when it's quiet, in a place I know I won't be disturbed... close my eyes and "feel" where the level is at... Really feel it.

And then I pull the plug. Or you can turn the tap or spigot... or even turn the Davey Pump on. It doesn't matter
(I like to imagine that I'm swimming down to the bottom... all mermaid-y like with flowing hair and a flickering green tail, but it's not necessary. I just like to swim.)
Once I pull that plug, I start to "feel" the water level start to drain away. At first it goes slowly, but then it speeds up 'til it's all gurgling away... like water going down the drain in the bathtub.
And as it's going down the drain, it's taking all the stress and worry with it. Sometimes I can almost drain it all away, but at other times, I don't have enough time to fully empty the tank.
But hey... a half-empty tank is a lot more bearable than a full one.

And once the pressure's off... that's when I pray. I'm calmer and more relaxed and I make a lot more sense when I talk to God... and I bet he's just grateful as all get-out, that I'm not jabbering my fool head off ! I'm more focused.

But, you can pray or not pray... because let's face it, we're all different. It's not necessary to do anything other than let your troubles drain away. And besides, I don't judge people on what they do or don't do.
But no matter what you do when you finish draining your tank, I can almost guarantee that it will make a huge difference in how you face the rest of your day.

So do me a favor?
If you decide to try it, could you tell me (and everyone else) how it makes you feel?
Partly because I'm nosey, but mainly because I just like hearin' from ya !


Sherri said...

I don't imagine a water tank, but this is how I deal with pain. I sit quietly and imagine it draining from my body. I never even thought to try this with stress. I will try it when the kids get home from school, I'm sure they will give me an excuse to try this technique :)

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

It's really just about finding a way to release all our daily stresses isn't it? If we keep them bottled up, eventualy we will blow our top with often nasty results! I've done that!

This is fantastic TM and I'm sure I'll be back here when work is over on Monday to tell you how it worked for me.

Big Cuddles to you :)

Neas Nuttiness said...

like this - It's similar, in some ways, to a visualization technique that I taught to expect mothers. I used to teach childbirth education, infant care, and nutrition classes.

I've found that controlled breathing and visualizations can be of help in all types of situations. Big J even uses controlled breathing when he has to get shots and blood work. It's been great, cause it used to take four people to hold him down. No Joke.

Nancy M. said...

Very interesting idea! I will have to give it a try the next time I feel THAT stressed, which can be quite often, lol!r

Anonymous said...

It does sound like a great idea.
I still find a good ole fashion walk will do wonders for me.
That and just sitting with and watching the animals.

There are some days though that the water tank trick will come in handy.
Have a great day.

Andrea said...

I love the imagery in this post!! Just love it!!

Marjie said...

It's great if you can teach the little monsters to turn themselves into angels. It's so hard to get some kids to calm down, isn't it? And some kids are so whiny and needy, too, if you have some of those, it makes it so hard! None of mine are like that, because I wouldn't tolerate it, but geez-oh-man, some of the kids' friends, I'd want to put them out in the snow to chill out a while!

Robynn's Ravings said...

TM I LOVE this! It's right up my alley as I am incredibly visual. (I'm not a vision - well maybe a hallucination - just visual.) I am going to use this and see your beautiful colors on your blog as I do.

Thank you for sharing this!

Pam said...

I love this idea! And believe me, I will have plenty of opportunity to give it a try!

Nancy said...

Oh. I'm SO trying this!! :)

Thanks for de-lurking on my blog today!!!

Anita said...

Wow. I am gonna try this and soon! I decided to do Yoga in 2009 so this combined with yoga should about do it. Of course, I might be decompressing after the yoga cause it's all I can do to contort myself at this point. Quit laughing. Why does it look so damn effortless for some people?


The Blonde Duck said...

That's a really good strategy. I'll try it with my dogs. :)

The W.O.W. factor said...

......sorry, I was just wandering around, looking for that cup of coffee you set out for me the other day.....
Ah-ha! Thar she is! Cold but wonderful!
Naw, no need to refresh, I drink day old all the time...
Thanks, just good to be sitting here with my feet perched a visitin' with you LadyKatie!
but now on to this "cool" post...
Great goes along with stopping and smelling the roses kind of thought. BUT, dear lady...I could NOT, nor will I climb into one of our water troughs (and yes they are all the galvenized corrugated ones...) I'd freeze to death! Stock tank heater and all! Still too cold for this ol' gal!
Would a warm bubbly jaccuzi have the same effect?
Yep....I've tried it!

Tell me though...have ya really tried dunkin' one of those kids?? ...wink...

(when are ya gonna learn to share my friend??? Ya know what I mean! Please send turn! he he)


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