20 Steps Towards Finding Calm Within Self & Family

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Have you taken a moment to be with yourself today? Life seems to move pretty quickly these days. Many parents share with me that they are constantly overwhelmed between texts, emails, school functions, extracurricular activities, and trying to have a personal life! As parents and caregivers, you are navigating many tasks and many roles. (Your kids and teens are too!) Through it all, you likely have a strong desire to be calm parents. Furthermore, you want to be grounded and feel a sense of stability and ease within your family.

I invite you to Stop. Breathe. Feel.

How is this landing with you? You might consider the number of transitions you’ve endured today. What are the various roles you’ve filled today?

Notice the quality of these considerations.

Calming practices connect us to our breath, our body, and the moment, are crucial.

The Power of Calming Exercises

Courtney Harris

Thu, May 2, 10:47 AM (22 hours ago)
to Aditi
INTRO PARAGRAPH CHANGED:
Have you taken a moment to be with yourself today? Life seems to move pretty quickly these days. Many parents share with me that they are constantly overwhelmed between texts, emails, school functions, extracurriculars, and trying to have a personal life! As parents and caregivers, you are navigating many tasks and many roles. (Your kids and teens are too!) Through it all, you likely have a strong desire to be calm parents. Furthermore, you want to be grounded and feel a sense of stability and ease within your family.
THE POWER OF CALMING EXERCISES CHANGED:
Energy is transferable. That said, think of the last time a family conflict occurred.
Stop. Breathe. Feel. What sensations or words or images are bubbling up?
Science helps us understand that Once one family member escalates, it’s likely that everyone else in the room will escalate. Likewise, if one family member can stay grounded, it’s more likely that everyone else in the room will stay calm too.
 
I invite you to become familiar with your body’s unique signs in various states, including calm and activated. As you model this awareness and talk about it, you will support your kids and family in growing their emotional awareness as well.
 
Again, life is busy and there’s so much that’s outside of our control. This said, you have the power and responsibility to care for yourself in ways that help you feel calm and grounded. If you are experiencing any of the following sensations, you have an opportunity to practice grounding self-care:
  • Lack of focus
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Racing thoughts
  • Being easily distracted
  • Anxiety or worry
Calming exercises can be used preventatively, especially as we become more familiar with our body’s signs and signals of stress or disease. Yes, they can help when things are beginning to escalate or when we feel overwhelmed; AND, the practices themselves can aid in preventing escalation to begin with. These practices are for both consistent and emergency self-care.


Exercises for Self-Care as a Parent

20 Steps Towards Finding Calm Within Self & Family

  1. Stand barefooted on the Earth. Grass, dirt, and riverbeds are great, and if only rocks or asphalt are available, this works too!
  2. Hula hoop OR do the movement of hula hooping, keeping your feet rooted to the Earth and circling your hips in a way that feels soothing or stretchy.
  3. Do a set of lunges and squats. Work until your leg muscles feel awake, alert, and heavy.
  4. Take a slow, mindful walk. Notice each step.
  5. Lay down on the ground. Rather than a bed or a couch, try laying on the firm ground. Bonus: lay down outside on the Earth!
  6. Hold rocks, stones, or crystals in your hands. Alternatively, lay down and place the stones on your body in places that feel supportive for you. (I like to put stones on my thighs, belly, chest, and forehead.)
  7. Stomp your feet while reciting a mantra or affirmation. For example, “I am steady and strong.” (Bonus: Do this barefooted and outside!)
  8. Hug a tree. Really. Feel how strong and sturdy they are.
  9. Wherever you are, notice your feet. Pay attention to how they feel and what surfaces they are touching and how they are supporting you.
  10. Spend time gardening or doing yard work.
  11. Lay down with extra blankets on your torso. Weighted blankets can be one of the many useful tools for helpful for better sleep.
  12. Sit or picnic in a park or garden or forest. Let yourself be surrounded by nature.
  13. Notice your breath. No need to alter or change it, just follow up.
  14. Eat a meal that includes root vegetables
  15. Take a sensory journey. Notice what you are seeing, feeling, touching, hearing, and tasting. Take time to inventory and/or engage with your surroundings.
  16. Practice self-massage or Abhyanga or schedule a massage with a therapist.
  17. Try a rooting or grounding meditation on YouTube.
  18. Open windows (or at least blinds and curtains) so that you can see and connect with the elements outside. Natural light can be grounding and energizing.
  19. Get a pedicure or give yourself one. Give attention and love to the roots of your body!
  20. Use sandbags to lay across your body as you rest, meditate, or relax.


 

How to Use These As a Family

 

Some families I work with integrate select practices into their weekly routines. Other families use this list as a menu that can be consulted at family meetings, during downtime, or even in the beginning stages of a miscommunication or challenging moment.

In fact, the more familiar you and your family become with calming practices, the more likely you will all be to access them as self-care maintenance. At first, these might be a bit more reactionary. You might find yourself using them when you are already overwhelmed or frazzled and anxious. I encourage you to stay patient, though, because as the word practice implies, you will become more comfortable over time and will create easier access to the strategies that soothe, calm,  and steady you.

As you dig into these practices, you may also find yourself (and your child)  noticing what best supports you. Together, you and your family can build individual support system maps to document the people, places, and things that bring you the most comfort and calm.

This article was first published https://courtneyharriscoaching.com/2018/12/04/20-ways-to-be-a-calm-grounded-parent/

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Author: Courtney Harris

As a Life Coach for Teens and Parents, Courtney helps young people get out of worry, isolation, and anxiety and into connection. Through coaching, tweens, teens, and young adults find their voice and grow confidence as they explore their sense of self and personal power. With a Master's in Special Education, and 10 years of teaching experience, including Social and Emotional Learning, Courtney brings vast knowledge of the teenage brain and effective family interventions to her coaching practice. As a Positive Discipline Parent Educator, Courtney supports parents in exploring kind but firm methods for leading their children and teens; simultaneously, she lovingly guides parents in maintaining self-care and growing alongside their children. Clients who work with Courtney have the opportunity to connect more deeply to themselves and others. Ultimately, families who work with Courtney achieve improved communication, deeper trust, and greater peace. http://courtneyharriscoaching.com/ https://www.facebook.com/courtneyharrisedconnect/ Download your free support system map here: https://mailchi.mp/fb19ad5510b4/supportsystem

9 Replies to “20 Steps Towards Finding Calm Within Self & Family

  1. I love all of these self care ideas. Typically all I can think of is taking a bath or reading a book. Will definitely use your list to inspire me.

  2. I honestly needed this. My son has been pushing all boundaries and seeing what he can get away with daily. Being calm has definitely been a small struggle lately

  3. Self care for yourself is very important. It is also good when you can do it as a family especially when it is something that you all enjoy.

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