“It took years to know that there will be fog but it always lifts.” (Tyler Knott Gregson)
Navigating weather is tricky. There are so many unknowns. We can look at the forecast and guess what will happen … but we don’t know exactly what to expect until we’re in the moment. In bad weather, we may feel nervous or overwhelmed. What direction do we go? When will it end? How should we move forward? Thankfully, storms eventually pass. But since we can’t predict what may happen during a storm or when it will end, we need tools to cope with our emotions during it. Taking a deep breath can help. When things don’t go as we had hoped or planned, breathing can calm our minds and bodies. Pausing to breathe gives us a chance regroup and try to understand why we’re feeling a certain way. Often this helps us figure out what we should do next.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try two breathing strategies that may help us weather the storm.
As a class, group, or family:
· Try the “Rainstorm Breathing” exercise and the “Rainbow Breathing” exercise.
· Rainstorm Breathing:
o Sit in a comfortable position.
o Use your body to make the sounds of rain (i.e., rubbing hands, patting the table, snapping fingers, etc.) and thunder (i.e., stomping feet, clapping hands, etc.).
o Then, add wind.
o Take a big breath in through your nose. Blow it out through your mouth as you dry up all the rain.
· Rainbow Breathing:
o Stand up nice and tall. Stretch your arms out wide.
o As you sweep your arms up, take a nice, slow, big breath in through your nose and really stretch up tall.
o As you sweep your arms back down, breathe out slowly through your mouth.
o Repeat making this rainbow shape as you breathe in and out several times.
· NOTE: Breathing exercises, like any other skill, take practise. It is common to have trouble holding your attention on your breath at first. With practise, this becomes easier.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
Which breathing strategy do I connect more with?
What is one thing, no matter how small, that I can do to empower myself and feel more in control?
Connecting to our faith:
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Remember that God is always caring for us as a shepherd cares for his sheep. He remains with us during difficult and uncertain times. We can put our trust in Him in times of need.
· BLOG: Kids Help Phone “How To Cope When Feeling Sad” https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-info/let-it-out-how-cope-feeling-sad/
· RESOURCE: Personal Resiliency Tip Sheet https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TipSheet-Personal-Resiliency-During-Covid19-ENG.pdf
· CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home” (1st activity) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf
· EDUCATOR POSTER: “Rainbow Breathing” https://smileldcsbon.sharepoint.com/Resources/MentalHealth/Shared%20Documents/IMAGE%20rainbow%20breathing.png
· EDUCATOR POSTER: “Rainstorm Breathing” https://smileldcsbon.sharepoint.com/Resources/MentalHealth/Shared%20Documents/IMAGE%20rainstorm%20breathing.png