School starts back up tomorrow. Wait! What?!! *deep breath* And all of these questions are running on a continuous loop through my head, plus more–
- Do my kids have all the supplies they need?
- Are their schedules figured out?
- Do we have the right plan for getting to and from school safely each day?
- Did we have the right amount of fun, relaxation, and chores this summer?
- Will they feel brave at school?
- Will they be kind?
- Will they work hard?
- Have I done enough to prepare them for this upcoming year?
Gah!! 😳 *deep breath*. And, again.
Anyone else have a racing mind, and heart, these days?!
When Ashley and I presented at Please Pass the Love’s 10th annual conference a week ago, she gave this awesome demonstration about how the amygdala part of our brain does push-ups when we are in the fight/flight/freeze state. I’ll try to recreate for you—
Pause for a moment and hold your hand up like you are giving a high five. Now start pumping your thumb back and forth against your palm…that’s your amygdala doing push-ups. That’s your flight/fight/freeze response. That’s me, often 🙋🏼♀️, when I get caught up in the chaos of things going on around me.
Now, pause with your thumb against your palm, *deep breath*, fold your four fingers down over your thumb. Raise them up again. *Deep breath*, fold your four fingers down and back up. Keep breathing, and repeating folding and unfolding your fingers over your thumb. Without really thinking about it, your breath will slow.
It takes practice.
Our breath is what can take us out of a hectic state and into the problem solving, emotional regulation part of our brain and help us feel more settled. Sure, it sounds easy but it’s not. It takes lots of practice. Especially practicing when you’re NOT in flight/fight/freeze mode! Breathing helps, I promise. Try it.
Keep going, friends! Keep breathing! Keep working those limbic muscles 🧠 💪!
And let me know if you want to talk, have questions, or need help taking next steps in practicing mindfulness. I’m working on it, too.
And check out Next Step mindfulness & movement activities, the Foundation and Growth decks are on sale for just one more day— $15 each. There are about 50 activities kinda like the one above. Exercises to help you practice breathing, connecting, settling, playing, and more. And they’re not just for kids! Activities work for students & adults!
Take good care, okay?