Happy bank holiday to you - although to us everyday has merged into one and it doesn't make any difference in our house that it is a bank holiday! This week would have been half term for us, I thought I'd still send some activities though, as I know that some of you are finding the ideas useful to connect with your children. We ALWAYS needs connection, even if it's a holiday!
Today I want to chat / write about anger. I know this is something that we have seen more of in our house (and not just the kids!) I've also had chats with friends experiencing the same. I just wanted to reassure you that it is normal and I wanted to share an image that I find really helpful to understand anger a bit more. It is taken from The Gottman Institute Dr John and Dr Julie Gottman are clinical psychologists and have dedicated their life's work to relationship health research.
If you have a quick look at the other emotions that can surface as anger, you can see so many underlying emotions that are being caused by the current situation; scared, overwhelmed, grief, trapped, nervous, anger, trauma, anxious, unsure, disappointed... goodness, I could go on all day. My point is that what we are experiencing, is causing all sorts of emotions to bubble under the surface and this can make us react quicker and perhaps more aggressively than normal.
You may be able to explain this to your children (if they are old enough) too. They may find it helpful to understand their outbursts which can sometimes make them scared. For example, today, I was walking while my eldest rode her bike. As she tried to turn it, the handle bars spun quickly and she was launched forwards. She wasn't hurt but she jumped off it an kicked the bike and shouted "Stupid bike, I almost fell on some glass!" I could have (and probably sometimes in other similar situations have done) told her off for kicking her bike and told her to calm down. Luckily, I caught myself quickly enough to realise that she was acting out of fear, the situation had scared her and her way of responding was with anger. I explained to her why she had kicked the bike and that although she was angry, she was acting out of fear. We talked about the anger iceberg (I've shown her the image before) and she could understand her own behaviour. Instead of the situation escalating (as it has many times before and probably many more to come! No one ever said parenting was easy!) it was actually a really lovely opportunity for connecting. We chatted about times when I've been scared and have acted angrily and how human it is.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, try to find the reason behind the anger. They may not know themselves, you may need to do a bit of detective work, perhaps what they say when they are angry will give you a clue. Also, try to validate their feelings, (I wrote about this a few weeks ago, if you didn't catch it, you can read it here) For example: "Ah that's frustrating, you flipped off your bike, that must have been scary. Sometimes when we are scared, it can make us angry, I remember a time when I was scared about ..... and it made me ....." When we feel seen and understood and loved we find it a lot easier to calm down.
So, here are my top tips for dealing with anger:
This week in the Well Being at Home Group, I'll be focusing on ideas to support dealing with anger. If you'd like to join the lovely friendly community and free group, please go here!
Hope you have a wonderfully calm week! Stay safe!
I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel the stresses of the situation physically now. I can feel a big knot of tension in my left shoulder and I've had two migraines recently... my body telling me that something is up! If I'm honest, I have spent too much time hunched over a computer and not enough time moving my body - I imagine for those of you trying to juggle working - this is the same for you too.
There is a greater intensity to work at the moment, I feel like I HAVE to make the most of the time that I have working while the children are happily occupied, because I know that at any minute- the kids could burst in the room and I would need to stop. Every. Minute. Counts. But holding my breath and typing like a crazy person takes it's toll on the body! So it was timely then to chat with Nichola on Tuesday!
Nichola Day is a yoga teacher and we talked about how the body stores stress and how yoga can help to release that stress, if you'd like to see that chat, please go here.
If you like yoga and feel like your body needs some, why not check out what Nichola offers here nicholaday.co.uk if you sign up to her newsletter, you can receive a wonderful free neck and shoulder sequence.
Here are Nichola's top tips for reducing stress. I have definitely being ignoring the first two this week! Even though I know this is what I need!
I'm excited that this weekend I have launched two online courses that you can do in your own time.
If you'd like to learn some strategies for practising yoga and mindfulness at home with your child, why not check them out? They are currently just £27 while schools are closed (after that, they will be £45) Visit my online school (fancy!) here
Hello once again,
This week I've been thinking a lot about the importance of giving myself a break and not being too hard on myself. I wrote last week about how I had been unwell and unfortunately that continued into this week with a second set of antibiotics and a horrible migraine. This then spiralled for me into a whole host of anxiety fuelled thoughts, what if it is something more serious? What if I need to go to hospital on my own? What if I catch Corona virus because my immune system is low? What if.. What if... What if...
I appreciate that this isn't a particularly uplifting blog to be reading right now! I am sharing these feelings because 1) I believe that when we talk openly about mental health issues we take away the power that they have over us 2) I am sure that some of you have experienced similar feelings, I want to voice them and let you know that it IS NORMAL! 3) I want to be completely honest with you, I feel that sometimes it can be damaging to see just positivity quotes and pretend that well-being is JUST positive, happy, smiley #livingyourbestlife. Well-being isn't just about 'focussing on the good and ignoring the bad' I believe that real well-being is about accepting the full range of human experience and acknowledging what we are going through with compassion.
So this week, I have not given the children the most exciting experiences that home education can bring. I haven't cooked nutritious and healthy meals. I have napped. I have cried. I have been open about how I'm feeling. Most importantly, I have accepted that this is way it is at the moment and not given myself a hard time about letting people down. I have also tried really hard to not compare my suffering to others who have it worse.... That's a whole other spiral that doesn't achieve anything for anyone.
Here are some top tips for well-being that I didn't manage to do everyday this week, I plan to put into action next week (now that I am starting to feel stronger and more able). I hope you find them useful.
I hope that you are doing ok, but if you aren't; remember that it is ok to not be ok!
If you would like to join my free, supportive facebook group please go here
Warm wishes and stay safe
Hey! I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well.
I'm going to share with you a Brene Brown quote because, well, I love her! And also because it has meant something to me this week and maybe it might mean something to you too during these weird times we find ourselves in;
I love the bit that says
"everytime we honor our own struggle and the struggles of others by responding with empathy, the healing that results affects us all"
It's so true! I find myself drawn into comparative suffering fairly regularly, 'Oh no, I'm Ok really, lot's of people are in a worse situation, and really I'm very lucky!' It's true. Many people ARE in a worse situation. In the scheme of things I am lucky BUT if I ignore my own hurt or struggle then it doesn't magically disappear and it can drive a wedge between relationships. For example, if I try to be ok, but really I'm not, my ever-so perceptive children will pick up on it and wonder if they have done something wrong or worry.
This week I've been unwell, nothing serious, but at the time it felt serious and painful and scary. I was scared that I might have to go to the hospital, I was scared that something was very wrong with me. It turned out that a trip to the Drs, a course of antibiotics and all being well, I should be back to normal in a few days (still not feeling 100% but already so much better).
Anyway, my natural response to my thought process was to feel guilt. When I realised that I didn't have to go to hospital I felt so sorry for those who are seriously ill in hospital, and their families etc. etc. I spiral! Comparing my pain to others in a more serious position doesn't help anyone. Belittling my situation, feelings, emotions doesn't either.
I'm reading a book at the moment (when I can!) called Self Compassion by Kristin Neff I'm finding it really interesting and it is definitely something I need to work on! So this week was a real practice for me. I allowed myself to rest (thankfully I was able to), I allowed myself to feel a bit glum, I was honest with my family that it hurt and I felt sad that I can't play or do things that I normally do. I tried really hard to model self compassion and allow myself my feelings, without judgement or comparison (not easy, I can tell you!). I want my children to know that their feelings are valid, so I need to show them that mine are too. If you would like weekly ideas about how to support your family's well-being please join my free facebook group.
I am really enjoying listening to Brene Brown's Podcast 'Unlocking Us' on the occasions where I get to enjoy a walk on my own. Maybe you might enjoy it too.
Warm wishes and stay safe
In my blog, I reflect honestly about my experiences of trying to enhance the well-being of my own children.