Monday Mantra: Three Deep Breaths, One Big Calm
It's coming, sooner than you may think. The signs are everywhere - literally -- in store windows, in the newspaper, on TV ads. You notice the bright, new backpacks and piles of pencils as you push your cart along the superstore's aisles. Your email's inbox is full of sales for uniforms and cute cardigans. Yes, I'm talking back-to-school, people.
Is your summer filled with lazy days, sleeping in, and later bedtimes? We call it "vacation routine" in our house... kind of odd, as there isn't much of a routine while the kiddo isn't in school. Making it ohthatmuch harder when the first days of school roll around, and yes, that alarm clock, that school bell, that homework start up again.
Just thinking about heading back to school and how hard it may be to get back into routine makes this mama a little anxious - and could make your children a bit nervous too, especially if they are entering a new school or have to remember a locker combination for the first time.
One super-easy trick to help your kids conquer those pesky first-day nerves, as well as a fantastic hint to calm everybody on one of those mornings (when you are out of coffee filters, had three wardrobe battles, and the cereal has been spilled...twice) - stop and take a few deep breaths.
It's our body's natural instinct to hold our breath when we get nervous, upset, afraid, tense - take your pick. We do it and don't even know we are doing it. When that happens, when we don't get full breaths, it makes the jittery or angry feelings even worse.
Try it and see what happens. A tried-and-true relaxation technique, you just take a deep breath in through your nose, let it fill your chest and stomach, hold it for a few seconds, and then release it through your mouth. Not only does it do the body good, focusing on taking the deep breaths really switches your mental gears, which may be all you or your child needs to get through a rough spot.
The great thing about deep breaths: your kids can do it anywhere - the bathroom stall, while sitting at their desk or on the bus, while walking down the hallway - and no one, not even their BFFs, will know.
So, tell your kids about this little idea. Practice it together. Have them remind you and vice versa. Be sure to show them when you do it when you are a tad, ahem, annoyed at losing the car keys again and say out loud how much those few deep breaths help you feel better and focus to find those ding-dang keys (in the fridge - how'd they get there?).
Share your hints on when the morning routine -- or any part of your day -- doesn't go so well!