So, how was your very odd summer? Did you adopt a wait-and-see attitude and hold it together? Or, did you stay glued to the news, and maintain a continuous thread of panic? Regardless of how you approached it, here we are. Inevitably, it’s August again, and with it, the end of summer.
August, by definition, is a time of transition. Despite the quarantine changes, the uncertainty of the times, and the “New Normal” that always seems to be just out of reach, August arrives anyway. School is beginning again. Summer is ending (on September 22, 2020) again. All of that is normal.
Your spring/summer panic or calm did not affect the coming of August or autumn, nor the beginning of school, nor the pandemic. Your panic or calm is not going to affect world events, or economic changes, but it does affect your family.
Before the next transition is upon us, consider how you want to anticipate it. How do you want to exist between now and then? You actually have a choice.
- Constantly react to negative “breaking news.”
- Decide how you want to respond to life.
(Spoiler Alert: I vote for the second one)
It’s okay to let it go. Worrying about the future produces toxic stress hormones in your body. It gives you wrinkles and indigestion. It compromises your immune system and it makes it difficult for the people who love you to feel good when around you.
Speaking of the people who love you, your children mirror your stress, plus add their own to the mix. Why not make this next stage of life easier on you all by releasing the worries you cannot possibly control?
No one knows what the this school year holds, so may I suggest that you don’t worry about it… and tell your kids not to worry about it. If you work on reframing their point of view to a healthier one, you’ll end up positively influencing yourself in the process. Here are four examples, two for your kids, and two for you:
Worry 1: Will I even get to have a senior year?
Positive Adjustment: Let it go. What will be, will be. You can’t control what the school decides, however, we will make sure you have the best senior year. So, have a good time right now.
Worry 2: I thought I was leaving home for college, and now they’re doing everything online!
Positive Adjustment: Let it go. You can’t control what the college decides. You can decide whether you want to attend school online, or take an experiential Gap Year and learn some skills first. We got this. All we need to do is a little research.
Worry 3: My kids will be behind the other kids because I couldn’t figure out the whole homeschooling thing like the other moms did.
Positive Adjustment: Don’t psych yourself out. The other moms were flying by the seat of their pants, too. Let it go. You did the best you could with what you had at the time (supplies, access, time, energy, stress, etc.). Plus, you still have time to fill in the gaps during the new school year. Even if you are following the school’s directives and timelines, you can still Google “interesting ways to teach ___.” You could even grab some ideas right now to get your kids started on this year’s course work so they can begin the school year confidently.
Worry 4: My kids and I miss our friends and relatives. We’re getting out of touch with them.
Positive Adjustment: Let it go. You can’t control how friends and relatives respond during these weird times. They are doing the best they can with what they got. You can make their absence easier by filling the time with unusual activities for you and your family. Here’s a list of 250 ideas to get your creative juices flowing from KidsOutAndAbout.com: https://rochester.kidsoutandabout.com/content/250-creative-ways-keep-your-family-sane-during-covid-19-crisis. Tell your kids to each pick an idea, develop it, and then reach out to invite family and friends to participate.
The bottom line is that if you adjust your frame of reference to a positive one, your family will adjust, too. Keep repeating this to your kids and to yourself:
“It will all work out alright. I’m going to make sure we are fine. There is no need to worry about the future we can’t control. When it’s time, we will make a plan. Until then, let go of the things you can’t control, and enjoy the present.”
That’s good advice, right? Imagine what things would be like now if you had been living by this philosophy since March. Now imagine what it will be like at the end of the upcoming first semester/quarter if you adopt it now, and live by it going forward…
It’s worth a shot. You Got This!
This previously published piece bears repeating as school openings loom. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need help sorting things out, contact me at info@DeborahAnnDavis.com to set up a free 30 minute call.
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Let me know if you know the original source of the Proton image. Thanks!