As summer comes to an end and we squeeze in our last trips of the season, the reality that school is starting again soon may start to loom in our minds. For some of us the thought may be fleeting and we can go back to enjoying every last drop of summer. But for others, this thought may not be so easy to get rid of and may cause us to worry or even experience some sense of dread.
Incorporating mindfulness strategies into our preparations for going back to school can help. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing our attention in the present moment. This allows us to identify worries as part of the future and bring ourselves back to the more manageable present moment. Here are 5 mindfulness tips that can help ease our transition:
1. Make a plan for managing the issue. If you are worried about something tangible like finishing summer work, then create a plan for how to tackle it. This allows you to take the worry and put it into action.
2. Throw away the worries that you can’t do anything about. Write down all of your fears. Create a plan for the ones that you can tackle and then tear up the paper, leaving the fears that you can’t do anything about. Throw the paper away and give yourself permission not to worry about it.
3. Talk about your fears. Talking about your fears can often make them feel more manageable and they are less likely to make you feel so out of control.
4. Practice deep breathing. Deep breaths are proven to slow your heart rate, allowing you to calm both your body and your mind.
5. Enjoy every last minute of summer! Staying present is important in alleviating fears. Try bringing all of your attention to each and every last moment of summer. It can be helpful to focus on your 5 senses for this activity. Pay attention to what you are feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting.