As my six-year-old readied herself for bed, she asked if I could stay with her. Bedtime can be a scary time for young children, so usually we lie together for a while. Then she can relax enough to go to sleep. That’s our tradition. But on this day, I couldn’t because my older children needed me.
She said “that’s ok. I will put myself to bed by looking at the picture of Spiderman on that piece of cardboard.”
She meant the package from her new Spiderman costume. She had just spent hours dressed in that costume. Actually, she wasn’t just dressed as the masked superhero, she was the superhero. But that’s another story.
“Great idea,” I said, and turned off the light. But it got me thinking…
Obviously, my daughter loves Spiderman very much. It’s great that just looking a picture of her hero can help her calm down enough to sleep. But don’t we all need something like that? Something to help us de-stress so we can do what we have to do?
What’s your Spiderman?
It likely isn’t just one thing—your calming focus may evolve over time, or even change during the day. For example, at work it may be a picture of your kid (dressed as Spiderman!), while at home, maybe you like to listen to the wind chimes on your porch. Me, I like to write (like I am doing now). Writing brings me clarity and focus. I also like thinking about big-picture items, like branding (as in branding our business). Podcasts that get me thinking big are always good.
But what’s a calming focus for me (or someone else) might be stressful for you. Your kid may freak out if they see an image of Spiderman in the dark. There are no right or wrong answers, only a question of what will calm you so you can do your best work.
Find your Spiderman.