As we get back into the routine of school, as an educator and a mom, anxiety naturally rises. This year I have a couple of extra things raising my anxiety in addition to the normal stresses of a new year.
Yesterday I noticed that my shoulders and neck were getting tight, and I know that is caused by stress tension for me. I tried to ignore it, though I knew it wouldn’t go away.
That’s when I decided to throw on my Omies tank and get on my yoga mat. I put on a yin yoga sequence and moved through the hour long practice with the intention of being present. It worked. My mind wandered and chased down thoughts until I paused it and came back to focus on my breathing.
I spent an hour alternating between being elated about starting a new position with work, accepting there will be a learning curve, and being concerned for family members and their current struggles.
And, I spent a lot of time bringing my focus back to my breath and the sensations in my body. When I’m stressed, my mind tends to ramp up quickly and race after thoughts that are, in fact, self defeating. Mindfulness is the best way I have found to combat it.
After that hour, as I laid in supported shavasana, I realized my shoulders were no longer tense, and my neck was relaxed. I was reminded that allowing myself to feel all of the feels helps me recover from stress more quickly. None of the situations had changed, but my ability to interact with them was greatly improved.
What do you do to take control of your anxiety? How can you plan to manage stress this school year?