With the school year in full swing, and adrenaline giving way to fatigue, nerves and anxiety, we thought it would be good to do things simultaneously. We’d like to introduce you to Miss Carol Wieck, our new PE & Health Teacher, as well as give you some pointers on how to help you and your children cope with stresses.
It’s so nice to be able to address you parents about things we can do together for the children! When I’m not teaching and forming your kiddos I work as a life coach. One of the skills I coach is the ability to calm ourselves. Throughout my career in education I’ve found these skills to be universal – gender, race, age…doesn’t matter: we all need help to gain clarity and peace throughout our day.
So, let’s begin!
- Implement Calming techniques to interrupt the mental chaos
Teaching kids how to calm down the “chatter” that is going on in their minds is a skill that you can use your entire life. We have to learn how to use our emotions to our advantage rather than our emotions using us. The first step is to interrupt the mental chaos with calming techniques. Below are a few of my favorites.
Diaphragmatic Breathing…. Aka… Belly Breathing
Take a big deep breath in and push your tummy out. Hold it for a moment and then exhale slowly letting your tummy drop back toward your spine. Repeat.
When we focus on slowing down our breath, it automatically brings our thoughts to the present and interrupts the chaos. If you have young kids that are overly excited or frustrated, try doing this with them. You will be able to feel the peace.
The next one that I use often, is to find a relaxation point on my body and gently massage it.
Two of my favorites are:
A. Gently rub the back of my ears
B. My forehead -- Start with the pads of your fingers touching your forehead in the center of your eyes. With gentle pressure pull your fingers across your foreheads, almost as if you are pulling the stress out.
This is really the starting point, and it’s why I’m so excited to join the staff of Cathedral: Tell God what’s going on in your life, and be sure to stop and listen!
- Awareness is KEY!!
Once the mind is calmed down, it’s important to become aware of what is going on so you don’t fall back into the same cycle. Journaling is a powerful exercise because you can look back at previous journal entries and see if you find a theme. If you can pinpoint the source, you can deal with it and break the chaos cycle.
Below are a few questions kids can use to become more aware of what’s causing the chaos.
- What’s going on around you?
- What are you thinking about?
- How are you feeling in your emotions and in your body?
Gratitude is one of the most powerful mindsets. We are going to be constantly challenged in life, and having a mindset where we find the good, even in the challenging moments, can be the game changer. MK Mueller, author of 8 to Great, taught me some fun gratitude games. These games helped keep me going in times of life that were really difficult.
Everyday choose 3 things to be grateful for. Once you’ve said it once, you have to come up with something new. For example, if today I’m thankful for sunshine, tomorrow I can still be thankful for it, but it cannot be one of my 3! It can become even more powerful if you find a person to share these with daily. Your gratitude partner can help keep you accountable, inspire you when you are struggling to find something to be thankful for, and you will be amazed at what you learn about each other!
The ABC’s of Gratitude:
With a few other people, take turns saying what you are thankful for that starts with a certain letter of the alphabet and go A through Z.
See more about great topics like this at Miss Wieck’s Victory Place Coaching.