Managing End Of School Year OverwhelmJun 15, 2022
Are you in the final countdown, pushing through to the end of the school year?
Traditionally, this is a hectic time of year for many parents — All of the end of the year activities, awards, final parties, field trips, playoffs, recitals… It can be overwhelming for even the most organized of parents! I had one mom wonder recently if she was the only one wishing her son’s team didn’t make the playoffs because she had no idea how she was going to fit that into her already packed schedule.
At the same time, you’re gearing up for the change in schedule with school ending. For some parents it’s a relief to not have the hectic schedule, but if you’re a working parent or you’re not sure what you’re going to do to keep your kids active and engaged it can just add fuel to the fire of overwhelm.
As I write this, I can feel the pressure of overwhelm building in my chest and the feeling of unease running through my body because I’m in the thick of it with you. My daughter graduated from high school this year and we had all of the graduation activities, and now all of the graduation parties — even two in one day. We are planning her graduation party for July, and at the same time working to keep up with the college checklist and what we need to do on that front. She’s having meetings about registering for college, and we need to get all of her immunization records this week. This is all on top of my full-time job as a coach.
If you’re like me, you want to be really present and enjoy these activities and years, but you find that it’s hard with your mind constantly spinning with the lists of everything that needs to be done. Can you relate?
As I sit at my desk early on a Saturday morning, writing this article that was supposed to be turned in yesterday — the thoughts that keep coming up for me are:
It’s just a lot right now
I have so much to do
I’m so busy
My list is really long
I’m hustling right now to get everything done
The problem is that these thoughts won’t support me in getting my work done. These thoughts keep me in overwhelm, which keeps me stuck and unproductive — at a time when I need to be productive most!
So I’ve been using my coaching tools on myself so I can get my work done, support my daughter in what she needs to do to prepare for college, and actually enjoy these graduation festivities. I’m sharing the list of what I’m doing, so you can use these tools to help manage any end-of-school-year overwhelm that you might be having too.
- I start by calming down my nervous system. I put my hand on my heart, and I take a deep breath. I imagine that I’m breathing in pure white light, and the white light goes right to where the overwhelm is in my chest. I imagine the white light surrounding the overwhelm, and as I exhale I imagine that I’m breathing out black smoke which is the overwhelm leaving my body.
When you calm your nervous system, you re-engage your prefrontal cortex which is the part of your brain that thinks logically and solves problems, and you want it back online so you can be more productive.
2. Next, I get everything that I have to do out of my head and onto a list because everything is always worse in my head than it is on paper. Once I have it written out I estimate how long each step will take me and when I plan to get it done.
3. I choose some new thoughts that will help me feel more capable, focused, and productive. Thoughts like:
I can handle this
I always get it done
I always have enough time for what’s important to me
4. Finally, I’m using Power Questions to change my brain filter. Our brains want to prove our thoughts true more than they want us to feel better. So when I’m thinking my list is really long, and I’m feeling overwhelmed, my brain is going to filter to keep adding to my list and keep me feeling overwhelmed.
But I know that my brain will also work to answer any question that I ask. So I’ve been asking:
Why do I always have plenty of time?
Why is it so easy for me to get things done?
These questions help my brain filter to find solutions for me. They help me stay out of overwhelm and just get things done.
These tools are helping me stay focused so I can get my work done when I’m working, and I can be more present to enjoy the end-of-year activities and celebrations with my daughter and family. I invite you to try some or all of them to help with any overwhelm that you’re having too.
What are you struggling with as a parent? I’m coaching in the DMs on Instagram (@melpeirce.coach) and I want to know what you need help with as I prepare my summer content. Please reach out and say hello!
Is anxiety one of your struggles? Do you or your child struggle with anxiety, not knowing what to do? I have an upcoming Anxiety Workshop where I teach exactly what to do, and how you can parent through anxiety. In this 45-minute workshop, I talk about anxiety in a way you’ve never heard before. We go through relatable exercises which shift how you think about anxiety, and I share a simple tool so you can handle anxiety in the toughest of times. Visit https://www.melpeirce.com/anxietyworkshop to learn more and register.
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