Whether you are a student, a teacher or a parent, this coming week has potential to be quite stressful. Back-to-school can definitely come with a shock: whether you are perhaps going off to university, or preparing to meet your new class of students, or maybe wondering how on earth you will get the kids out of the door in the right clothes and with all the right kit, let alone support them through school, then you might be in need of help to de-stress.
Here are three simple tips to help you through this and any other bumpy period in your life. You can also teach them to your kids- nobody else need know they are even doing them, but giving them useful tools to manage stress at a young age might well help them to become emotionally empowered adults.
1. Slow Exhales
This simple breath technique is one I use all the time. It is so simple to do, but if you are feeling stressed, if your heart is beating fast or you are anxious, by slowing down your exhales you will kick-start your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the one that tells the body everything is ok and it can function normally (in other words the fight-or-fight response shuts down). It can also, really simply, give you back a sense of control.
|connect with the breath|
2. Simple Visualisation
Imagine that you can see yourself from above, looking down on whatever you're doing right now. Why? Because it can give you a sense of distance, of separation & perspective. When I am teaching yoga I say 'notice this' or 'notice that' all the time, to help make my students aware of their body or their breath. It's useful in everyday life because if you can start to notice how you feel about things, how you are reacting, and thought patterns that you have then you can begin to see the narrative that you tell yourself, and whether it's really useful.
If you try imagining that you can see yourself from above you can begin to notice what is really you, and what you might be doing- they are different. You are not defined by anything that happens in a single moment, or a day, or a week. If you make an embarrassing mistake, or you have a terrible day or even an angry week these things do not constitute you, and if you can take that long look at a situation that may well seem stressful in the moment, you can maybe get a better sense of how you actually want to handle it- there is always a choice.
|finding some peace in the everyday|
Simple Mudras are fantastic calming things to do with your hands. In times of stress many of us have nervous things we do with our hands, touching our face or hair, or scratching, or tugging at clothes. This can sometimes make us more stressed. Instead, try pressing your thumbs against the tips of your ring finger and little fingers of both hands. This is Pran Mudra, and helps reduce nervousness and facilitates clear thinking. It is great to have a breath exercise and a mental exercise, but sometimes taking a physical, proactive step- however tiny- is what we need to feel like we are in control.
Good luck in your back to school transitions. I'd love to know if you find these tips helpful, and in the mean time here is love and light to you all!
|love and light|