Back to school, or not?
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
We are all living with a new level of uncertainty these days. We are nearly five months into this Pandemic experience, and the end is not yet in sight. As the end of the summer approaches our children are beginning to ask us if they will be going back to school. The answer to that question can be as different as the kids themselves not to mention how things are being decided in your particular neighborhood or even from school to school. So,how do we sit with the anxiety of questions we can’t answer and do so while being there for our kids?
We can start by grounding ourselves and soothing our own chaotic energy as best we can. Try to get some time in nature either alone or as a family. Take off your shoes and bury your toes in sand or grass or even just place them on the roots or bark of a tree. Remember you are also a living and natural thing, not separate and alone, but part of the natural wonder of this planet. I find comfort and grounding in remembering the ancestors and those who lived before us in times even more uncertain and chaotic than these. Think about whose shoulders you stand on, if not a relative, then perhaps a mentor or a teacher. Think of how these elders soothed you in times of trouble with words of wisdom or empathy and feel those acts of love still reverberating within you. Restore your senses and arrive in the moment with a fragrant cup of tea, music, a flower, a piece of art or photographs of people or things that bring you deep and simple joy. Laugh if you can (at a pet, or at something pure and childishly silly). If you can’t quite get to laughter, at least smile. Your brain will receive the message of the position of your mouth and help you get the rest of the way to laughter. In grounding ourselves we teach our children that there can be calm even in chaos; that even if their world is unpredictable right now, you will be able to function and move through that uncertainty together.
I am available in online sessions to talk through nutritional plans for stress relief, herbal preparations, and even acupressure techniques that can help you calm yourself or a worried loved one. I have an associate, for instance, who has established a nighttime foot acupressure tradition with his kids to help them calm down and talk about their day before they sleep. It has been so effective in building resilience in his family, and has even helped his son with nervous digestive upset. Rituals of any kind that you can build together like cooking together, storytelling games, a special nighttime candle, a special weekly meal or movie night can really help bring structure within the family unit, even if the world is chaotic outside.
For the frazzled parent I recommend a few calming products that can be found here , such as a range of CBD oils for stress and inflammation. I also love the fragrant Bath Bombs with lavender and lemongrass or mint and eucalyptus which can be so restorative in this summer heat.
We are the most resilient when we develop the courage to live with uncertainty. We can live with uncertainty more comfortably if we can look for beauty and meaning in the process. Give yourself a break! You can’t know what you can’t know. But as Dr. Maya Angelou says, “If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”