Good Morning Families, today is Thursday March 26th 2020 and it is now time for our morning moment of SEL.
Is your phone also your alarm? Mine is. It’s great, I can watch shows and read news right until I fall asleep and when my alarm goes off in the morning, I can hit snooze and immediately watch more shows and read more news. It’s a great routine and, sadly, it’s not very healthy for the brain/body, or the mind, or the spirit.
Here is a mindfulness exercise we can try together; Early Morning Mindful Breaths! (Like Early Morning Lap Swim, but you can stay dry.)
When your alarm goes off, for the final time, after the 3, 4, 7 snoozes, don’t get up (but don’t go back to sleep!) Before you get out of bed, give yourself a nice stretch. While you’re stretching, say, “Stretch” but really stretch out the word as long as your stretch takes. Once your stretch is over, try to get into a comfortable position, on your back. If you’ve ever taken any yoga this would be Shavasana. While you are in Shavasana give yourself 10 mindful breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your nose and during these breaths try to dismiss all the thoughts that arise. Just gently, with no-judgement for what you’re thinking or feeling, simply recognize them and breath them out. You can pick them ALL up again once you’re done BUT, let your first few moments of being awake NOT be spent running through your daily calendar.
Personal disclosure, sometimes, first thing in the morning I can make myself feel like it’s lunchtime at Grand Central and I just missed the train to Pleasantville. Not to get too “counselor-metaphor” on you but you know you can “fear a bear without seeing a bear”? Counselors and therapists often describe anxiety in terms of how you would respond if you saw a bear in the woods. The fight or flight response would be totally legit and necessary for survival, if you actually saw a bear. The anxiety connection is that anxiety is like feeling those feelings when there isn’t a bear there, hence, “you can fear a bear without seeing a bear”.
If your day is full of stress (too many demands, not enough resources) or full of pressure (you perceive that something at stake is dependent on the outcome of your performance) you could trigger yourself to feel the effects of that stress and pressure, while still in your bed. That’s no way to feel! At least not that early. Give yourself a gentle start and see how it shapes your day.
I wish you the very best and look forward to connecting in whatever way we can, tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, best wishes,