The first week in September represents a beginning or return to an educational journey. The past few weeks there have been lots of discussions around will it happen, what will it look like followed by anxiety around all of it.
I can relate to those youngsters who have anxiety around the first day of school.
I grew up in a rural area. Kindergarten wasn’t an option. There was no gentle introduction to the school experience. I am a November child. This meant I was much younger than others beginning grade one. To add to my anxiety I had a teacher who was not suited for the job and not really in tune with her students.
As we settled in, her first words to me were “oh, you are left-handed I guess we will have to work with THAT’” followed by a deep sigh. The message I received was, you are going to be an added burden to the class. Would I want to raise my hand to ask questions about something I did not understand? Probably not.
It is interesting to meet with my childhood friends who were there on the first day of grade 1. We all remember the certain kids who cried and held onto their mom's legs like a lifeline. We still have vivid similar memories of the grade 1 teacher. We remember the fun and the friendships we have maintained for almost 60 years.
We remember that although there was fear there was also growth and skills developed. Those who hung on to their moms, let go and grew up to be great on their own. I eventually unlearned the belief of being a burden to it being safe to ask for help.
Our children are returning to the education system and parents may be returning to work, in some form or fashion. There will be anxiety because we are facing something new and unknown. It is important to acknowledge the feelings, emotions, and pay attention to body cues. Honest discussion around feeling nervous helps each other feel heard and understood.
Each of us will be experiencing stress differently and it is important to let our loved ones and colleagues know we accept them. Some will hold on like a lifeline, others look brave but are scared on the inside and there will be those who run toward the unknown with wild abandon.
It is a good reminder each one of us has our own experience and we have a unique pattern for coping with stress.
Using visualization of grounding can be very supportive of children and adults alike.
When you are feeling unsure and want to feel strong and secure try this exercise:
Have fun with this exercise!
Be creative choosing the type of tree, how tall it might be. Have your children (and yourself) name the yucky stuff they are sending to Mother Earth to recycle for them.
This exercise helps to discharge the built-up energy that comes with stress and leaves you feeling lighter, expansive, and stronger.
Are you feeling out of balance in your life?