August brings anxiety for many parents and kids. The end of lazy days and free time is depressing and the thought of structured schedules, less free time, social pressures, and uncertainty about the new school year can be daunting for everyone (including the teachers). Change is never easy, in fact, for most the start to a new school year usually means anxiety in the form of overwhelm, discomfort and lack of motivation. The following 7 Steps will help make the transition easier, so learn them, teach them to your children and practice them every day! (To help you remember them they are alphabetical A-G).
Let’s do this!
- Awareness. Simply pausing to check in with what you are feeling when discomfort or anxiety arises is absolutely the first step. We can’t address what we are not consciously aware of, so take a few seconds to pause now and then and see where you are at on the spectrum of comfort.
- Breathe. This is basic knowledge, but often ignored as many people feel it is too common sense and not helpful. If you only realized how a few deep, large, belly breath changes your body chemistry, awakens your senses and calms your parasympathetic nervous system you would feel differently. Just think of it as spending 5 minutes with a pet or getting a hug from a loved one. A little oxygen to your brain can work wonders in any situation.
- Choose a thought that feels better than the one that is stressing you out. Your brain is so primitive it believes anything you think, so if you aren’t feeling confident or peaceful it is time to add a Tag Line to your thoughts. A Tag Line is an ending that changes the meaning and therefore the vibration in your body (your chemistry/feelings). For example: ‘I don’t want to be here right now’ can be changed to: ‘I don’t want to be here right now, but I sometimes have to do things I don’t like and I will survive’. Or ‘I wish I wouldn’t have said that’ can be changed to: ‘I wish I wouldn’t have said that, but it is what I said and I can move on.” Effective Tag Lines: …yet, …maybe, …right now, …and that’s okay.
- Default to NOW. Do what it takes to bring your awareness to the best thing in front of you in this present moment. Live in the NOW, be in the present as much as possible! The past is over (learn from it), the future is undetermined (don’t try to plan it unless you are actively/intentionally manifesting), the only control you have is what you do in the next few seconds/minutes.
- Elevate your thoughts! Life is never all positive or all negative, but it is absolutely affected by what kind of focus you are giving your thoughts in each moment. Decide to focus on the good and you will get more good! Stay focused on the bad and you will stay stuck, frustrated and in pain. It really is up to you! I’m not saying just think “I’m happy” and you’ll be happy, but I am saying the effort you put into finding a neutral or positive side will be better than allowing the muck! If there is actually something really bothering you keep reading: #6 is how to get through it.
- Feel Your Feelings. Stop avoiding, distracting or ignoring what is really going on in your life. If you are having discomfort, anger, sadness, etc. it will not get better until you recognize it, allow it and give it time to actually get processed. Anything resisted will persist, so stop resisting! Give yourself 5-10 minutes to tune into your feelings, lean into them and allow them to be ‘seen’ and understood. That is all any of us really need is to be seen and understood, so do it for yourself!
- Get help. We all need it. No one wants to struggle through life alone. There is absolutely someone out there that you can talk to and ask for what you need. If you are having a hard time thinking of someone I am always here for you…I’ve got your back, seriously, Let’s chat 🙂
I truly am here to help you shift your anxiety and learn to enjoy your life waaaaaaaay more! I help school and college age kids learn to navigate their brain to find more peace and happiness. If I can help yours please reach out. I am a real mom and certified Life Coach and I have many, many more strategies and tools to help you navigate any challenges you may have. Do this for yourself and your kids! www.lisawoodford.com
Coach Lisa Woodford