It causes stress and anxiety, keeps you awake at night, ruins your fingernails, and robs you of the moment.
It’s naïve to think that we can go through life and not worry – it's human nature. But we don't have to let worry rule our lives.
There are those times, when we, as parents, become obsessive in our worries. It could be about the state of the world, grades, a decision we made, divorce, a move, a transition, or something we said or did.
But worry can threaten to weigh down our spirits and sap our vigor. Worry robs us of our sleep, our joy, our NOW.
We pass this on to our kids. We stop them, hold them back, push them too hard - all out of something that is in our heads.
Kids take their cues from us, even if they don't show it. That includes the positive and the negative. If we're worried about them, they must somehow merit the concern. A difficult thing to process since most worries lean toward the irrational, and by that I mean we spend our time stressing over something that has already happened or something that might happen and we forget about the here and now.
Here's what I know:
You can’t change what happened – you can learn from it and move forward.
We worry about what may happen, which means it may not. We cannot predict the future, but we can help to design it.
What to do?
It’s always good to get your concerns out of your head and into the open. Sometimes all it takes is for you to voice a concern to take away the power that it has over you. Other times – a simple tweak can change your perspective. And then there are those times that require a plan of action. You cannot be in action and worry about a matter at the same time. Like oil and vinegar – they don’t mix.
Here's a five-step action plan:
BREATHE: If you feel yourself starting to spiral in the worry - just breathe. Two counts in through your nose, four counts out through your mouth. Breathing is one of our easiest, most convenient, and natural tools to combat stress and anxiety.
EVALUATE. Figure out how it serves you. There are pros and cons to everything. Your worry is in somehow, some way, serving you. Figure out what that may be- what are you gaining by worrying? Then understand what your worry is taking away from you. In this case, the cons will outweigh the pros.
WRITE. Don't go to bed with worry swirling around your brain, interrupting your sleep, looming over you larger than life. Put pen to paper and write down what's concerning you.
ACT. Do something! (and there’s always something you can do). It may be as simple as turning off the TV or turning on some music and dancing. It may be doing something with your kids. You can't control the world around but you can certainly control your own behavior.
GET HELP. Speak to a friend, doctor, teacher, me. Don’t let worry rob you of your now.
Now I'd like to hear from you. What are some coping techniques that you have developed for tackling worry and lifting yourself back up again?
is an expert in helping kids to develop the confidence and self-esteem skills that they need to thrive now, and grow into happy, confident, successful adults. Her more than 40 years in education, along with her training as a coach and practical experience gained from raising her own 4 children, give her an understanding of the needs of each child, as well as the needs of a parent. This makes her uniquely qualified to help children, support parents, and nurture tomorrow’s leaders. Her programs provide hands-on experiences for children allowing them to explore and grow while building skills and having fun.
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"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso