In need of an antidote for motherly meltdowns? We asked local psychologist and mom Cassandra Vieten for tips on keeping your cool in the face of howling babies, tantruming toddlers, and other minor calamities.
Count to Ten
Find the place in your body where you can most strongly feel your breath moving in and out. (Popular spots include nostrils, chest, or belly.) Bring all of your awareness to this spot for ten full breaths.
Use Your Words
Pick a word or phrase that’s deeply calming or emotionally nourishing to you. (Try “om,” or “Be still.”) Breathe in through your nose and say this word or phrase on the out-breath, either out loud or in your mind.
Bring all of your attention to the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet for ten full breaths.
Ready, set, time in.
Cassandra Vieten’s new book, Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year, is available online at mindfulmotherhood.org. To practice with the pro herself, sign up for A Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat for Pregnant Women, August 23-28, at Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur (831-667-3000).
Putumayo Kids Presents Picnic Playground Concert Tour
What: L.A.-based Rhythm Child Network sings songs from the eclectic new album about food.
Why: It’s all you can beat.
When: Sat., 1 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.
Where: Sat., Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd.; Sun., Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Rd.
36th Annual Nihonmachi Street Fair
What: A taste of the city’s Asian and Pacific Island cultures with kid-pleasers like lion dancers, taiko, and origami.
Why: Know when to fold ’em.
When: Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Post St., b/t Laguna & Fillmore Sts. (415-771-9861).
Confeeti Animal Socks from Zooni
What: A new collection of creature socks with pop-up ears, paws, and tails packed inside a play-worthy circus box.
Why: Dogs need pups.
When: Things get ruff.
Where: Available at Lavish, 540 Hayes St., b/t Octavia & Laguna Sts. (415-565-0540); Nest Maternity, 1839 Divisadero St., b/t Bush & Pine Sts. (415-673-3320).