Back to school that is.
In our state (NSW Australia), our school kids are now back to school full time, after spending almost 10 weeks at home isolating due to COVID-19. It’s been a ride – at first learning what this virus was and how to react appropriately to it (is anyone still hoarding toilet paper? I sure hope not…). Then it was changing our routines and habits – and for parents like me, it meant having your kids home and adapting to online learning.
I’m grateful that my boys took to online learning so well, at first it was a learning curve but then once we found a routine, they were both able to follow the structure and work given to them by their schools (high school and primary school) and we had a good experience with it. (I think it also helped that I had already had 10 years+ experience working from home full time, so I understand discipline and habit when it comes to getting things done at home and how to handle distractions!).
So fast forward to today, where they’ve had to again adjust back to the school environment – it’s alot like going back to school after the summer break, expect it’s a very cold and gloomy Autumn day here in Sydney and everyone carries hand sanitiser and is 1.5m away from you, LOL. (School kids are not expected to social distance within school though).
When it was announced that school is back full time, last week, my 6 year old son started to show signs of anxiety so it was a good opportunity to practice not only mindfulness for him, but for me as his parent trying to navigate all the stress and apprehensiveness of this next big change. And while I know kids are resilient little creatures, it can still feel like an awful lot to carry in the moment.
So my Mindfulness tips for him, me and you going through this next chapter in a very weird book we’re all living are these –
1) Take a deep breath, whenever you start to feel yourself tensing up.
2) Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating enough food.
3) Be curious about what you’re feeling – try to sit next to it and observe it, rather than be a part of it. You will find that by looking at it as an entity seperate to you, you begin to see how temporary that feeling is. You can watch it dissolve away, rather than play the role of it any longer than you need.
4) Tell people how you feel, write it down if you need to. But talking it out and rationalising those thoughts is a huge help. As the listener, you don’t need to solve the problem. You just need to hear them and encourage them that what they are feeling is okay and it will pass.
5) Acknowledge what you’re going through. There’s nothing wrong with how you feel, FEEL IT.
If you’re going through the same challenges, let me know if any of these tips are helpful! Mindfulness is a skill that needs to be practiced often, every day. So it’s not a magical cure, and I don’t expect things to be ‘fixed’ after trying it once. Settle into the intention to ride this new wave today, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t. There is always tomorrow.
I hope wherever you are, you are safe and well x