Coping Tools for a Busy Season

Coping Tools for Busy ScheduleHoly crisp everything is hitting at once. Did you survive the back to school scramble? Do you have your coping tools ready to go?

Summer is over and fall, while not official until September 23rd, is here. I love the trappings of fall, but dang it’s a busy season. Sports, music, volunteer requests, mountains of paperwork, school projects, and oh yes, your own separate list of goals you hope to accomplish while the kids are in school. AND THEN THERE’S WORK. How do we keep it all together? Let’s talk about the state of our minds in relation to our schedules.

Shifting seasons, particularly from summer into fall then onto winter can alter our brain chemistry. Aside from nutrition and exercise, what are your coping skills? I’m going to list a few of mine to get the ball rolling.

TOOLS (we all need them) Disclaimer: these are from a 2015 post. I noted my updates. Tried and true, many of them still work great. Continue reading

SIX TIPS FOR SURVIVING SUMMER

Surviving Summer

We’re smack in the middle of summer and this is the first year since having Tips for Surving Summerchildren that I’ve felt calm and capable. I know a lot of moms with younger children who aren’t quite there yet. I promise, it will get better. Surviving summer used to be a major hurdle for me and I’ve learned a few strategies along the way.

While many of us revel in the sunshine, longer days, and more relaxed schedules—others face the season reluctantly.  Reverse seasonal affective disorder impacts one-tenth of the population and can be debilitating. The good news is that awareness, planning, and self-care can help you face summer with a lighter spirit. Here’s a quick list of causes for summer depression with strategies for overcoming them.

1. Expectations

Cause: Everyone around you is romping in the sun. Why aren’t you? Living up to summer expectations can be overwhelming if you aren’t naturally inclined toward fun in the sun.

Strategy: Be kind to yourself, give yourself grace, and identify the root cause. If expectations are weighing you down, seek help. A session with a professional psychotherapist can help you re-frame and survive summer by finding a solutions that work for you. Keep reading for specific causes for summer depression and suggestions to combat them.  Continue reading

Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

Screen free summer for kidsWe all know limiting screen time during summer is a challenge. If you work from home, and need your kids to stay occupied and out of trouble without destroying your house, it’s even more of a challenge.

I created a Boredom Busters list a few years ago that I still post every summer. Click Boredom Busters to open the printable file.

This year we added a chore app to our arsenal. Chorma. It allows you to assign points to chores linked to a reward system. I chose a $20 gift card (their choice) if they reach 85 points. Chorma worked like a charm the first week and though the novelty has worn off, my kids are still working toward that gift card. I’m nagging less than usual, so it’s working. I think I’ll add extra points to ensure they clean up after any boredom buster activities.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a screen free summer. Good luck and Happy Summer!

April

 

En Pointe

Capezios. First pair.
Capezios. First pair.

My daughter asked to see my point shoes the other day. She’s developed a sudden passion for dance and dreams of dancing en pointe. I enrolled her when she was little, thinking it must be in her genes, but she didn’t take to it and landed on the gymnastics team instead. I started dancing when I was three. She’s eleven, but wants to give it a go. Scanning studio schedules unlocked a surge of memories. I actually put my point shoes on and pulled off a couple of relevés.

They’ve lost their peachy pink sheen and the shanks are broken, but I will never throw them away. They’ve been tucked in a memory box for over twenty five years. The ribbons are stained and their edges frayed, the toes are worn and the seams are split, but they are still beautiful to me. My feet tingle in protest as I examine the old Capezios. At once ethereal and excruciating, they symbolize beauty, grace and pain, like many other disciplines worth sacrificing for. My corns and bunions have been tamed, but my right big toe still pops out of the joint and I have scars from second degree blisters. These shoes are a badge of honor. Continue reading

Coping Skills Toolbox

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of 15 toolbox tips.

BeFunky_2015 iphone d.jpg
Photo credit: April Avey

I’m researching private schools today. I thought I’d deal with the prickles this task incites by blogging about it instead of diving into my secret stash of chocolate. Ok, I’ve already had one square, but I could very easily sit down and eat the whole bar right now. This post however is not about emotional eating; it is about make hard choices and staying present, aware, and involved with children who require extra handling. Continue reading

Chasing Cures

The manuscript for my first book is finished and in the hands of a brave group of beta readers. The working title is Chasing Cures and more information will be available soon on my book page. Before I tackle revisions based on their wonderfully detailed and encouraging feedback, I’m taking time to move my blog, Pass It On, to this new site.  Stay tuned for old and new posts related to prevalent themes in my book: family legacy, parenting, faith, genetic predispositions, mental illness, harboring secrets, claiming truths, and relationships.

Family Photos
Family Photos

I wrote my book to explore how families can navigate these issues well, with intention, despite the obstacles. Knowing what we’re genetically predisposed to can help us take preventative measures for ourselves and our children.  How do we practice early intervention without projecting the fear of something that might not happen? Walking the fine line between being informed and overreacting can be confusing. As I continue to educate myself, I intend to use my favorite skill, writing, to process what I’ve learned and pass it on. I hope you will too.