As we transition from summer to fall, from summer break to school, to new schedules, the month of September is just busy. I had days where I just didn’t have time to eat! That is so rare for me, I am never one to skip meals, but the new schedule made it hard for me to pre-plan and I was in go mode. Some days didn’t end until after 9:00pm at night. Sometimes it feels like I’m holding my breath as I move from activity to work to pick up to soccer to teach to meetings to phone calls to making dinner to cleaning up to just about everything. This month is also particularly hard because it is the anniversary of the birth and loss of our first born son Silas. It’s just a heavy time, and the weight is real.
Luckily for me, I know how to breathe, and I know how to take care of myself when I’m feeling this. Sometimes I forget though and I have all my kids to remind me what it is I need to keep doing, to keep my Wise Owl brain turned on and my Bulldog brain calm. I promise to do a post soon with more about the Anchor breaths and calming the Bulldog- I can’t wait to share! In the meantime, here are some ideas for getting through these big transition times.
6 IDEAS FOR EASING TRANSITIONS:
- BREATHE. Here is a video of Zephyr and me doing the Take 5 breath and T-Rex breath. For me, the take 5 is awesome because it is one-to-one breathing. This means the inhale and exhale are the same count. It eases my “monkey mind” and helps me to stay calm and focused and ready for what’s next.
- WAIT. We don’t talk about things that are going to happen until right before. Why have unnecessary worries? I try that for myself as much as possible, but the 6 months of torture of waiting to find out if we got into our 1st choice Kindergarten made it pretty tricky for all of us. We didn’t tell Zephyr a thing. It was stressful for us, why burden him? I put it out of my mind as much as possible. I breathed, and talked about it but also hoped it would work out. Thankfully it did- we got in 2 weeks before school started and he had no idea.
- TOYS. If your kids are like my kid, having favorite toys/stuffies to distract and play with ALWAYS helps. We created a cute little toy box out of an old bento style lunchbox and it helps us through pretty much every situation. It holds small, fun crappy toys that every kid loves. Our kid is a pretty good sharer so it usually helps other kids get through a tough transition or situation. Lately my own toy is having a book on audible to listen to when I have a moment in my day- something on the lighter side like Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler. My ladies are there to make me laugh instead of wanting to throw things or cry when reading through facebook. It has become EXTREMELY STRESSFUL due to all the political posts. I do post a lot of politics- but if I start to read and scroll too much I get way to worked up.
- TIME. Give yourself extra time. Nothing worse then rushing from place to place. If it means waking up earlier, or skipping something so you have time to breathe, then do it. I had 2 full days of rushing from place to place from morning til like 9pm and when it was all over, I was a disaster. I could have skipped something in there but chose to make it all happen those particular days. Why? I have no idea. I need to take my own advice and postpone any meeting, call, appointment, etc. that isn’t so necessary to do a particularly over-scheduled kind of day.
- RITUAL. Whether its your morning meditation, yoga, hot water with lemon, journal writing, coffee making- whatever you need to do to start or end your day, do it. Make something a habit and do it every day until it just makes your day better when you do it. I’ve had many rituals through these last few years. I find that when I make my tea, do 10 min of yoga and sit quiet for a minute or 2, I’m WAY happier and can go about my day feeling ready. It’s been missing for awhile and I can tell. I promise to bring it back- you heard it here first (hold me to it!). Zephyr had a certain morning ritual when he was in preschool, but now in Kindergarten we had to change it because we have to be at school so much earlier. It wasn’t too bad to change it, and figuring out the best order to do everything is making it easier and easier for us as the days pass. We’re getting there.
- BREAK. There are a ton of Mindfulness apps out there that remind you to take a break in your day. I was in a workshop recently where my mentor Jodi would ring a chime every time things got heady and a little more challenging. Then we would take a breath. It was SO perfect. It reminded me of the MindBell app on my phone that rings and tells me to take a break in my day. Or you can set a timer and take a break after a certain amount of time that you have been sitting and working. Dance, do dishes, take a walk, do something other then the work you were so focused on.
I hope some of these help you as your ease your way from old routines to new ones. I’d love to hear from you what you do to help your family with transitions.