When we hear the term ‘self-care’, we tend to think of gentle, calming activities. Walking the dog, doing yoga on the beach, luxuriating in a petal-filled bathtub… that kind of thing! But if the latest self-care trend to hit Aussie shores is anything to go by, that may be about to change. Let’s just say, it’s a little more…aggressive.
Cast your mind back to when you were a little kid and it was still socially acceptable to throw a tantrum in the supermarket about your mum not buying you a Kinder Surprise. You’d wail until you were blue in the face until eventually, there weren’t any more tears left to cry. So, much to your mum’s relief, you’d stop crying and strangely you felt very calm afterward!
There’s a scientific reason you felt so good after throwing a tantrum. Research shows that expressing (rather than suppressing) your negative emotions is far better for your mental wellbeing. It’s a shame then, really, that throwing a tantrum as an adult when something upsets or irritates you is a surefire way to get yourself fired, dumped or kicked out. This is especially the case for women, who have been told for generations that it’s not polite or ladylike to outwardly express our (many) emotions.
It’s a problem that has led UK trauma therapist Adele Theron to develop a new style of fitness class called ‘rage-ercise.’ Adele is the founder of the Tantrum Club, an international group that runs stress relief sessions for women across the globe.
Think of a tantrum less in the sense of ‘toddler throwing a hissy fit’ and more ‘Beyonce smashing up cars with a baseball bat in the Hold Up video clip.’ In a Tantrum Club session, you’re given some safety goggles and a baseball bat and are encouraged to go to town on beanbags, blocks of ice and whatever else you can find in the safe space (just not the other people in the class!) You know that cathartic feeling you get when you’re punching a boxing bag? It’s just like that, only way more satisfying!
Tantrum Club offers women a fun, safe space to let go of the daily stresses, frustrations and tension they are experiencing in their lives. Whether you’re a stressed out new mum, have a crazy stressful job, are going through some massive life changes such as divorce or are grieving the loss of a loved one — Tantrum Club allows you to let it go in a healthy way. It gives women permission to feel and express intense and uncomfortable emotions such as anger, fear and sadness and teaches women the importance of allowing themselves to express these big emotions regularly.
In Tantrum Club, anything goes! We allow ourselves to get messy. We scream and shout. We rage! We smash bean bags with baseball bats. We shake our bodies to tribal music, and we do loads of exercises that help us to let go of whatever we have been holding onto – whatever has been causing us stress and frustration. And we have a whole heap of fun doing it!
–Sally Phillips, Emotional Expression Coach and Australian Tantrum Club representative
Ready to get your tantrum on? Sally runs monthly Tantrum Club sessions in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The details for the next session are:
Location: Avalon Annexe, 3 Bowling Green Lane, Avalon.
Date: Sunday 21st May, 4pm-6pm
Special introductory rate: $25
Bookings essential. Call Sally on 0417 240 827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Tantrum Club here.