Remember getting ready for the first day of school?
Shopping for new clothes, getting the backpack all ready, picking out a new lunch bag, and of course have fun buying and organizing new school supplies.
(New school supplies are the best, aren’t they??)
Every new school year (and new beginning of anything) brings with it a mix of emotions – excitement, anxiety, stress, trepidation, joy…
All those emotions are normal to feel.
But this year is not a normal school year.
We are living in an entirely new world from the one we were living in last year at this time.
And yet, we are still comparing to the way things were, rather than truly accept the way things are.
We get stuck in comparison mind. We ask ourselves things like:
“How much longer are we going to have to live like this?”
“Why can’t things be like the way they used to be?”
This new world feels hard to accept.
We get caught up in how we wanted, expected or hoped things would be, and say things to ourselves like:
“But it’s not what I thought it was going to be like!”
“This isn’t what I wanted for my son’s/daughter’s [fill in the blank for your kids’ grade they are entering] year.”
“I don’t like this!”
“It’s not fair!”
And yes – we don’t like it, it’s not fair and it’s not what we want.
So, understand that by staying stuck in comparison to the past, and difficulty in accepting the present, the harder it is going to be on everyone. When you are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, it affects your ability to learn.
Plain and simple. Your emotional brain takes over and it shuts down your executive functioning, where logic, reason, rationality, decision-making, clear-thinking, and learning and retaining information resides.
I want you to recognize that how you are feeling, dealing with the challenges of Covid, your anxieties and stress, and reactivity when feeling overwhelmed and impatient is impacting your kids, and of course, it’s impacting you.
You are role modeling to them how to deal with this challenge.
And the solution?
As I always say, I believe mindfulness is the answer to everything. It starts with awareness. It’s the first step to creating change.