How can we deal with uncertainty?
Whether we are educators, therapists or parents (or a combination of these!). there are many things still undecided about how the Fall is going to unfold. Facing this kind of uncertainty can create feelings of fear, anxiety and hopelessness at times.
There are so many things over which we have no control during times of normalcy. This is only magnified when dealing with a global pandemic. Even though we can’t control what happens next in this public health crisis, we can control how we respond to the uncertainty we are facing. Here are three simple Move Mindfully® strategies to use during these uncertain times – for ourselves, our families and our communities:
The quickest way to change how we feel is to simply slow down our breathing. Hand Tracing helps us consciously slow down our breathing as we trace each finger – breathing in as we trace up each finger and breathing out as we trace down each finger. Focus on one hand and use other index finger to trace each finger as you breathe slowly. Hold hand up or place it on your lap or on a table to trace and breathe. Notice which way feels better. Once we have traced all our fingers on one hand, we have taken five slow breaths. This calms our nervous system and grounds us in our body. It’s much harder to have so many anxiety-producing “what if” thoughts when our attention is focused on tracing our hand as we breathe slowly.
Balance moves are effective ways to feel more present in the here and now – because we have to focus to balance on one foot! Come into Tree by bringing weight to one leg and either propping other foot up like a kickstand or resting it below or above the knee. While balancing in Tree, choose a word that feels grounding – like Brave or Safe. Think or say this word quietly and just notice what happens. Switch feet to try balancing on the other side. Pick a phrase that feels grounding – like “I can do this” or “I am safe”. Notice if this changes anything in mind, body and heart.
Take a break when feeling the weight of all the things over which we have no control. Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down. Lower gaze to eliminate distractions or close eyes if that is comfortable. Breathe slowly and imagine if everything worked out for the best. What would that look like, feel like, be like? Harness the power of the mind body connection to visualize a great outcome. After spending 3-5 minutes breathing slowly, gently raise gaze or open eyes and notice what has changed in mind, body and heart.
We are here to support you no matter what the Fall looks like. Click here for resources on how to bring Breathe, Move, Rest practices into your family, school or therapeutic settings.