How to Handle Transitions – Back to School Basics for Caregivers
It’s back to school time and with it comes a healthy dose of feelings. This can be a time of excitement and anticipation which might also lead to overwhelm. And regardless of the feelings you and/ or your children might be experiencing, it’s important to learn how to process them so they don’t become a problem for yourself or others.
From kindergarten to college, this time of year can be full of transitions. Change, while inevitable, can be hard to accept. The better we are at acceptance, the more capable we become as collaborative members in our families. First, we must manage our own feelings about change so that we can better help the rest of our family accept and manage their own feelings.
How is it that we can stop and care for ourselves when everything feels so busy and hectic for everyone else? You might be wondering if it’s ok to practice self-care when the focus “should be” on your family. The mental health providers at Wholeness Center are here to tell you anything you are feeling at this time is normal and you are not alone.
Stop and take a minute to identify what you are feeling. Especially when overwhelm creeps in, it’s important to notice what you are feeling and where. Do not bypass your emotions. Give yourself time to fully explore how you are feeling and what is at the root. Notice where in your body you have sensations related with that feeling. And then slowly let the feeling and sensations pass.
Be prepared to cycle through your feelings more than once. Grief, for instance, is not linear. Therefore, you might experience different aspects of grief at different times sometimes skipping ahead, sometimes repeating emotions. This is perfectly normal.
Recognize what is within your control and let go of things that are not. We remind our clients that you are in control of your words, your thoughts and your actions. That’s it. Any outside factors that might have you concerned or scrambling for resolution are just that: outside your control. Rather than focusing outside yourself, ground yourself and recenter. Many of our anxious emotions can be released when we let go of the need to control things outside ourselves.
Find healthy ways to release your emotions. If you notice you are holding onto your feelings find a way to release them so that they don’t harm others. Rather than snapping at your partner, take a deep breath and drink a glass of water. If you feel like you are being a bit clingy with your college age child, go for a run or walk. Make sure you are sleeping 7-9 hours each night to assist with your own stress management. Try to eat comfort foods that hold nutritional value rather than over or under eating to cope with your feelings.
Ask for help. Wholeness Center is an integrative mental health clinic that provides comprehensive, state of the art therapies, using a holistic full body approach. To recognize your unique individuality, we have a top-notch team trained to work together to meet your needs. Having a collaborative team means that we listen. Really listen. Effective communication and collaborative care are essential elements to a happier, healthier family.
In times of transition or change it is normal to feel overwhelmed with emotion. Using these simple strategies, you can acknowledge and become accountable for your feelings in order to be present as your children manage their own feelings.
Want to know more about integrative ways to find wholeness? We offer a variety of mental health tools to assist you – including nutritional suggestions. If you live in the Northern Colorado/ Ft. Collins area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs at Wholeness Center, please call 970-221-1106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.