It’s still hot and sunny, but school is around the corner and your child or maybe YOU have back to school jitters. The first step is to recognize that school jitters are normal and a natural bodily response to change. There is a mixture of feelings going on for all of us; we are sad the summer is coming to an end because we had more flexibility in our schedules, we are excited to reunite with friends and regain structure again, we are nervous if we don’t like our teachers, so the combination of excitement and anxiety makes our tummy and heart feel all jittery. After we acknowledge and communicate to ourselves and children that this is “NORMAL,” we are able shift and create peace in our mind and body. It’s a great way to bond with your child and share that in life we are going to feel nervous, worried and excited and we have the power to take over our jitters with our thoughts and breath!
Here are two simple activities that can help you and your children move past the jitters into a calmer state of mind.
Calming Jar Activity–This simple exercise works wonders! All you need is a mason jar with a lid, water and glitter. Fill the jar to the top and add glitter. Shake the jar and watch the glitter float and spin around. This is an illustration of how our worries and fears swirl around in our minds. When we pause, take a breath and watch the glitter settle to the bottom, it remind us when we are still, our thoughts will settle like the glitter and we will see clearly and feel calm again. Breathe in and Breathe out: I am calm.
Squeeze and Breathe–Is a breath technique that helps with frustration, anxiety and anger. Interlace your hands and place your hands on your belly. Release your head and gaze at your belly as you squeeze your hands together and breathe in and breathe out 5x. Feel yourself gain control over your fluttering emotions as you squeeze and breathe and melt your nervous system back into homeostasis. Breathe in and Breathe out: I am peace.
Turn the corners of your mouth upright and watch your children move past back to school jitters into back to school peace.