Charging Stations Part #1



Most of us are fanatical about keeping our cell phones charged. How else would we stay connected to our family, friends, work and the world? We keep spare chargers in the car for when our phone’s been working overtime to keep us in network. Our need to recharge makes outlets at Starbucks, the airport, even the carwash waiting room prime seating real estate. Knowing the stress a red battery-only 10% power left icon causes, the wise and thoughtful Refresh conference organizers provided a charging station with a slew of at-the-ready charging devices, just one of many ways kin caregivers, foster parents and adoptive parents could recharge at the Refresh conference.

I could use a personal red battery-only 10% power left icon in my life; maybe a drop-down from my eyelashes or a Siri-voice reminder to take a break, refuel, refresh. Unlike my phone, I don’t completely lose power, but I do lose other things. Connection with family and friends. Perspective. Creativity. Good health. Peace of mind. Patience. The losses of not refreshing me are far greater than those caused by a dead phone. I’m longing to move to a way of life where recharging me is as routine as recharging my phone.

Even with the demands of parenting kids from hard places, it is possible to fit in a couple of quick, easy-to-do-with-kids-around refreshers.

What kind of quick-charging devices help parents of kids from hard places refresh emotionally?


Breath. Close your eyes, inhale for five seconds and then slowly exhale for 10 seconds. Try organic aromatherapy. Slowly peel a tangerine and breathe in the rejuvenating citrus scent.

Listen. Put together a set of favorite tunes. Use Songza or Pandora or a jazz radio station. Avoid heavy metal unless growling “refreshhhh” makes you…

Laugh. Add a joke app to your phone or start a Youtube collection of funny videos. Give your spouse a long, dramatic kiss and watch the kids run like crazy out of the room. Take advantage of that alone time for more kissing.

De-clutter. Stow the shoe pile in the entry closet. Finish a nearly done task and cross it off your to-do list. Erase one activity from your schedule. Recycle that mountain of magazines.

Express. Write down how you’re feeling in a journal. Use words or pictures or whole sentences. Print an inspirational quote or verse and post in a prominent location. Text a friend. Shape clay or finger paint.

Stop. Declare three minutes of nothingness. Heads down, mouths closed, eyes shut. Put in earplugs and hide in the bathtub if necessary.


Got another idea? There’s loads of low batteries out there in the land of parenting kids from hard places so share away.

Looking for quick-charging devices to refresh physically? Check back for Charging Stations Part #2.

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