Sitting in the ‘quiet’ of the morning I take a deep breath; breathe in, breathe out, and let go of the want to REACT to a situation and instead I allow my breath to help me to choose to RESPOND instead.
It really does get easier with practice.
On reflection, it for quite some time now that I have needed to find the strength and determination to apply all of the 4As (Stress Management model) to help me manage a stressful life event – that of a child becoming an adult! To those of you reading this who had not had the privilege of being a parent and going through this then you may wonder what the fuss is about, whereas those of you who are parents will relate to this ‘loss event’.
The 4As are inter-related and can mingle together however, taking each one in turn to explain their use for this specific situation is probably the easiest way forward here.
Adapt: Lots of self-talk to reach the conclusion that I need to change my adult perceptions and routines. After many days, weeks, months and years as a parent this is not an easy thing to do but remember that compromise is the key.
Alter: By regularly reminding myself that I have raised a child who will be a responsible adult supports the positive mental attitude that I have developed to maintain my own mental health.
Avoid: The phrase ‘choose your battles’ comes to mind. Just one specific example is to close the bedroom door to avoid seeing the untidy chaos of teenage living!
Accept: No matter how strong my feelings of wanting to retain parental ‘control’ are, parental responsibility IS coming to an end. So, consciously changing my mindset to reflect this situation is a difficult yet essential way forward.
Being a teenager is difficult and I do remember and appreciate that being a near/new adult is a confusing time so I am thankful for (and will keep practicing) the 4As to help me to reduce my stress levels.
So, because of all the learning above, I have chosen on this occasion to sit in the garden, use my senses to appreciate nature, be in-the-moment (a few moments of mindfulness) and to enjoy this quiet time thus allowing me to ground myself and be in an effective place to put it all into practice once again when the ‘tests’ of the day commence…