Straight up, if someone had talked to me about watching my thoughts years back, and creating a mindfulness practice in my homeschool, I would have thought, hmmm, weird.
I would also have thought, my thoughts are my thoughts, now let me go do all the stuff I have to do because I have a lot of stuff to do.
But then I homeschooled.
So let’s chat about how to include mindfulness practice in your homeschool…
It didn’t take long for me to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated.
Because I couldn’t get stuff done when I wanted to get it done.
- People weren’t compliant (specifically, my little people).
- Sometimes I felt anxious that I wasn’t doing enough.
- I obviously doubted my ability to do certain things aka teach my kid’s math.
- And why was that kiddo telling me she can’t do math; she’s smart enough, what’s her problem? We have to move on to the next lesson already!
Then I had the privilege of attending a live session with Dr. Daniel Amen.
He spoke about healthy things like eating stuff that’s good for your brain and exercising, but I wasn’t expecting him to share a way to analyze my thoughts.
Dr. Amen guided us into asking ourselves these questions once a day:
- How are you feeling?
- What is the thought you had before you felt that feeling?
- What is the story behind that thought? (Because there’s always a story in there.)
- Is that thought true?
- Am I 100% certain that it’s true? (Cause, we believe all sorts of things we think. It doesn’t mean it’s true because we thought it.)
- If it weren’t true, what else might be going on?
- And if there might be an alternate explanation, how might I respond differently?
Now, as you can imagine, those questions sounded, well, weird. Because I wasn’t accustomed to asking if my thoughts were true.
But then I tried them.
So how can you include a mindfulness practice in your homeschool?
Consider including the practices I’ve included in my homeschool days.
1. I scheduled a “mindful moment” (as Dr. Daniel Amen called it) into my device. Once a day.
That reminder told me to breathe.
When it dinged, I breathed, and I put my hand on my heart and checked in with myself.
And over the course of time, I discovered, just being with my thoughts and my feelings, spending time with some of my big feelings in the day, helped put distance between me and that feelings.
Sometimes I got clarity on what was going on. Sometimes it still took months or years to get clarity on something I was dealing with or to understand a situation from a different perspective.
But it had a profound impact.
Naturally, its profound benefit for me meant that I want to share it with you.
Might I recommend that you stick it to your bathroom mirror so when you’re feeling a whole lotta feels, you can check in with yourself too?
ps And definitely schedule a mindfulness practice on your device. If you want a copy of that Thought Care Checklist, you can find it here.
2. I build other self-awareness strategies to get familiar with my emotional climate too.
- I have learned to ask myself, “How am I feeling”?
- I’ve learned to take myself to a mirror and tell myself I care about myself.
- Learning where I am feeling what I’m feeling in my body is useful to me.
- Learning breathing techniques calms me down.
- Do I need to feel the feeling and clarify why I’m feeling it?
- Can I sit and journal my thoughts?
- Can I talk to someone about my thoughts?
Since there is always a different way of thinking about things (I know this because I’m married, and though my husband and I value similar things, we don’t think identically.)
So I can ask myself, how would a different thought affect how I approach my uncomfortable feeling or the situation that compelled that feeling?
And how might that alternative approach affect the outcome? (It would definitely affect the outcome if I chose a different thought.)
Sometimes you might need an objective friend to sift through your thoughts. And sometimes you need to invest in a coach.
There are even ways you can self-coach by creating a daily journal practice to clarify your thoughts, and learn more about your triggers, frustrations, or big emotions.
Your internal nurturing mama wants to nurture you and your kiddos: you’re a wise advocate of yourself and your kiddos.
Have you had further insight since our chat?
Question for you: have you got a mindfulness practice? Have you been introduced to this concept?
I would start with a simple one if you haven’t already.
Somehow when we see, hear, listen, and feel our own stories, when we “witness” them, they can feel as seen, heard, listened to, and felt as though someone else was doing it for/with us.
(And though I’d be delighted to walk alongside you to see, hear, listen, and feel your stories too, YOU are your greatest nurturer).
And mindfulness does that. It sees, hears, listens, and feels our own stories.
I’ve learned this to be an effective practice in my own life. (There’s a reason it’s so popular).
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a resource to help homeschooling mothers manage emotions and enhance mindfulness. It includes Dr. Amen’s three questions for self-reflection. Daily meditation practices and a Thought Care Checklist aid in handling challenging situations. Sharpen your mental tools and improve your homeschooling journey today!
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