The MOJO Escape

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By Dan Coulter

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you feel trapped by your responsibilities and yearn to escape?

Well, do it.

Not permanently. Just long enough to get your MOJO back.

Leading MOJO experts, who I just made up, contend that significant amounts of MOJO can be recovered by getting away from your worries for just a few minutes at a time.

The economic downturn has put even more pressure on parents who have their hands full supporting children with special needs. To someone already under stress, economic worries can seem to turn the straw that broke the camel’s back into a bale of hay.

But with our families depending on us, we can’t allow our backs to be figuratively broken. If you can’t see a solution to a difficulty you’ve got, a short escape may help your brain approach the problem from a new angle.

Think of your brain as a muscle. You need to exercise it to keep it strong, but you also need to rest it.

I have a friend who started stretching his ankles so they wouldn’t become painful on the long, daily walks he takes with his dog. But his ankles got worse. Turns out, he was wrapping a towel around the front of his foot and pulling it toward his knee for several minutes at a time. He found that the solution was to stretch for a count of ten, then relax for ten seconds, and continue that routine throughout the exercise. His ankles got better, because he gave his muscle fibers time to rest and recover between stretches.

You rest your brain at night, but it may need more time off when you’re under stress. You just need to find the extra rest that will work for you. For some people, it helps to take short breaks during the day. For others, an evening out once a week doing something fun can be rejuvenating.

You may have to put some effort into making time for your breaks and covering your responsibilities. Perhaps you can watch a friend’s children, and then have that friend care for yours. Maybe there’s help available through a relative or a support group or church. It might help to make an appointment with your children’s school counselor and ask him or her for ideas, or for contacts with other resources. If you’re seriously stressed, you should consider seeing a doctor or other health professional.

Being stressed can block us from seeing solutions that others might help us see.

So, on your own or with help, consider finding some short escapes that can help you get your MOJO back. If that’s too ambitious, just take off long enough to get your MO back, and leave a trail of breadcrumbs so your JO can find its way back when it’s ready.

This is a time when your kids really need you -- and your MOJO.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Dan Coulter has written, produced, and directed ten educational DVDs, including “Understanding Brothers and Sisters with Asperger Syndrome” and “Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum.” You can find more articles on his website:

Copyright 2009 Dan Coulter All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

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