PARENTING, Self-Awareness

HIGH IMPACT STRESS REDUCTION – Step by Step Tutorial by Coach Rima Desai

In this article, I share with you a high impact, highly effective technique to reduce your daily stress. These techniques are quick and easy. They can be practiced on the go – in the shower, at the traffic light, before bed, upon waking up or anytime in the day when you have just 2 minutes. Yes, in just 2 minutes of your day you can transform how your mind and body feels! Read on… 

It was the summer of 1997, I was 16 years young, helping an infant fall asleep. The mom was out on a walk and her infant boy woke up in his sleep, I put him on my shoulders, tapped him gently and soothed him back to sleep. After 20 years, I still remember that feeling because it was ‘paradise’ – the sense of fulfillment I got from having a baby in my arms. All I wanted to be then, was a Mom! That dream came true in 2009 when I realized I had a baby growing in my womb. 

It feels amazing to be a Mom, from conception to delivery and through the growing years. What we do not know before conception though, is the forever ‘Mommy Stress’ that is to follow. The stress is not just the fact of having kid/s to care for in so many ways, but the family dynamics, the body dynamics, lack of time for self-care and lack of support that comes with it. We are largely still a traditional society. We do not get the freedom to take down time, breathe, live, love and laugh like we would before we were a mom or a wife. 

I am a practicing Life-Coach for Women since 2 years now and my core clientele is MOMS. I teach moms from across the world, life-skills and coping strategies to manage, reduce, alleviate stress, depression, anxiety and the constant sense of ‘overwhelm’ that prevails through our life years. All of my clients learn these powerful 2 minute techniques to quickly alleviate stress and feel a deep sense of calm. This is commonly known as ‘Grounding’ or ‘Centering’ in USA. I have received excellent feedback from my clients with my grounding techniques.

                                                     WHAT DOES ‘GROUNDING’ MEAN?

Understanding physiology helps add benefit to an activity. Grounding is a technique to connect back to the ‘ground’ or ‘Earth’. We are made of 5 elements: air, water, earth, fire and ethers. Our feelings are held in the heart chakra area in the center of our chest. We process our thoughts in the brain – which is away from the ground/earth. When we are stressed, we are essentially engaged in our ‘thoughts’ or ‘feelings’ – something that is more ‘airy’ in nature or in other words we are moving into our abstract, etheric body, away from the grounding reality of our biological self. The more stressed we get, the deeper we dive into the air, floating element which can give rise to feelings of insecurity, anxieties, worry, feeling unsafe, etc. 

By grounding ourselves, we bring our attention back to the physical body, reconnect with the Earth we live on and that brings a sense of security and calm. It also helps us stay in the ‘HERE and NOW’ as vs. in the “What Was” or “What ifs”.

                                                     BENEFITS OF GROUNDING

  •  Immediate stress reduction
  •  Higher frustration tolerance
  •  A sense of emotional calm and security
  •  Better emotional immunity
  •  Direct impact on health and your relationships
  •  Increased focus at work 
  •  Being more ‘present’ for your family 
  •  Increased self-confidence
  •  Great technique to be used in depression, anxiety
  •  Excellent technique for high stress situations like interviews, exams, difficult situations, etc.

                                                  HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF

You need 2 to 4 minutes of your time. If you have more time, you can use upto 10 minutes as well but 2 minutes is enough too. Step 1 to 5 is the shortest grounding technique you can apply. You may continue if you have more time.

  1. Sit up or stand as straight as you, this helps move energy in a flow, through your central nervous system, creating circulation movements required for healing (that’s why we sit up straight during meditations or lie on our backs).
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Take your mind to your breath and notice how you are inhaling and exhaling. Feel the calm in the rhythm
  4. If there are any thoughts coming to your mind, allow them to pass like passing clouds
  5. Take your mind to your feet and deeply feel the textures around your feet
  6. Imagine your worries, thoughts, feelings are like extra clothes on you like a jacket or a robe. Remove the robe/jacket and put it away. You can also imagine your stress to be like falling leaves or rocks that you throw away. 
  7. Bring your mind back your breathing. As you breathe out, imagine releasing all your uncomfortable feelings, fears, worries, feelings of being stuck, sad, angry or burdened and you breathe in, imagine taking in confidence, love, harmony, joy and a sense of safety.
  8. You may also imagine breathing in your favorite colors for that day in the form of rays or ribbons to add to a sense of comfort and calmness. 
  9. Add your own creativity with a positive focus. E.g.: You may add shimmer around you, rays of white light falling above you.
  10. There are deeper levels of grounding which you can dive into. HEAR MY SHORT VIDEO TUTORIAL.

                              HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE GROUND OURSELVES?

Did you know that we are exposed to constant stimulation in so many ways in today’s world. Stimulation means the use of our 5 senses to take in information. We are constantly hearing sounds, seeing movements, feeling textures in the real and reel world combined. We are also unknowingly smelling subtle fragrances and eating at intervals which keeps our sense organs ‘heightened’. Since the sense organs are the gateway to our MIND (emotional body processing), soothing our sense organs. We also take in upto 75,000 thoughts in a day! 

By now it must be easy for you to answer this question. We must ground ourselves DAILY, preferably twice or 3ce a day. After all it is a 2 minute activity.  

                                   YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ACTIVITY

Please share your thoughts and experience with this activity. I have seen massive changes in my clients with this simple, highly effective technique. I want you to know that small changes can create big impact. There is one KEY word here: CONSISTENCY. You cannot see an impact by doing this once or twice or without continuous commitment. If we cannot commit 2 minutes to ourselves daily, we are missing out on LIFE. We are losing ourselves to what matters most – our stability, our health, our family, our life! 

ALSO READ: HOW TO MAKE PARENTING EASY

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PARENTING

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PARENTING LIFE EASY

It is no surprise that parenting comes with huge lessons of ‘overwhelm’ – the common feeling shared by almost all parents if not all. Life feels like an overflowing fountain of ‘demands’ – not demands from children all the time but demands from life. Come to think of it, parenting is a wonderful SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. Many people do not completely understand the word spiritual. ‘Spiritual’ is anything that forces your ‘spirit’ to grow by having to go outside its comfort zone. Spiritual is anything that teaches us better values or to be a better version of ourselves. Having walked a wonderful parenting journey for 7 years and mentoring many parents through articles and direct conversation, I will like to share 5 simple ways to lessen that ‘overwhelming’ feeling and reduce your frustrations.

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills
  2. Prioritize social life
  3. Plan your career life
  4. Realistic expectations from your child
  5. Realistic expectations from yourself
  1. Organize your home and learn management skills – Organization is the master of leadership skills. A great leader is the one who has the skills to multi-task, prioritize, put things in order, stay focused and organized. Remember that being a parent is a lot about being a LEADER.

    What happens if your supervisor at work reaches work late, leaves work even later, doesn’t eat on time, has no proper places to file his work and has no idea what the day and week ahead will look like? Same is with you as a parent.

    One part of organization is your physical space: how well are your things and your kid/s things kept? Can you tell me in your sleep, where ANYTHING is kept without having to get up – whether it is anything in your kitchen, bedroom, dining, etc. Use organizing bins, trays, holders to make sorting easier. E.g. I place puzzles in zip lock bags, her stationery in a heavy-duty organizer on her table, soft toys in a laundry basket, all bed sheets in one drawer, a drawer for art work, one for miscellaneous items, one for puzzles, etc. My bedroom and kitchen is super organized too.

    Another part of organization is time management. How well are you with your routines? If you sleep and wake up more or less the same time daily, your life will be 80% better with your kids than you ever estimated. Your sleep-rest and body cycle has a huge impact on your mood, on your health and amount of energy you feel. Same is with your kids. Do not let them rule your routines, take charge, set time boundaries for them with T.V., eating, sleep, etc.

    What you feel, you transfer to your kids. Mentally plan your meals for the next day rather than having to wake up with a huge frustration question mark of – “Now what to cook today?” Standing in front of the kitchen cabinets, scratching your head over breakfast and lunch deals for the day is poor management. Think of every minute of your life as a great investment towards your kids. How many minutes do you want to waste and how many do you want to multiply?

  2. Prioritize your social life – Yes, we love to party and meet, greet and laugh. But Parenting is a lot about learning to make adjustments, compromises and changes in one’s life. Before my child, I would be out every Saturday and Sunday with husband and his group of friends. Once my child was born, not only did I have to change my routines for the 1st few months, but I made permanent changes to my social life.

    I don’t mean to say stop having fun but the AMOUNT and DURATION of your outings can be reconsidered. How much do you want to cook for your guests? Is it important to ‘impress’ them or to spend time with your children? Each day as a trade. When I plan a day in my mind, I ask myself- how many hours do I want to spend today with my child, based on that I make my other decisions. I may not be able to deny guests from coming home or having to attend parties but I surely DEFINE how much energy I want to put into preparations or having to stay at a party. My time with my child is not the time that is LEFT OVER after everything is taken care of, my time with my child is the 1ST thing I set aside or plan for the day and then everything else revolves around it.

  3. Plan your career life – Once again it is about need vs. demand. What do I demand from my life vs. what I need. For 6 years I dedicated my life, time, energy to my child because I CAREFULLY CALCULATED it this way – once she starts full time school at age 5, she will NEVER EVER AGAIN IN HER LIFE have a FULL WEEK with me at home. She will be spending more time at school than home and never again will I get to PLAN or SPEND 40 hours in a week with her. Hence, I rather set my career aside for those 5 years, even if there were financial challenges, I rather save money and my time with my child than give away that time to a stranger in a day care for whom she will be ‘one of the 20 kids’. That was my choice, you must make yours to what suits you bets. Do understand that time with your kids will never return and make a wise choice based on that along with all the other needs of yourself and your family.
  4. Realistic Expectations from your child – Would you rather have a ‘smart’ child who attends 5 or 7 different classes and tops in math, academics, dance, etc. or would you rather have a child who tops in ‘the language of love’. While classes can teach your child ‘skills’, sharing valuable time with the parent teaches the child invaluable lessons of love and self-growth. Exploratory play at home can be nurtured by the parent which teaches many skills to the child along with learning to build a bond, show and receive care, feel secure and important.  Also, not all kids are made for the ‘A+’ game. Grades is not everything and success is not correlated to grades alone.

    Don’t overburden them with expectations that their body or mind is not made for. Focus on their strengths, explore their talents and be realistic about their limitations. A rational and loving approach will make your parenting life easier, simpler and more successful.

  5. Realistic expectations from yourself – Now tell me that you do this – take over way too much than you can handle. You invite guests today and then accept the birthday invitation for tomorrow, then realize you had bought tickets to a party, then have groceries left to do, wish to be a super mom but also need to be super sexy, want a super skin, miss watching the latest movies and can’t stop browsing the entire world’s Facebook! P-R-I-O-T-I-Z-E !!!

Your kids do not need a super mom. Just be a M-O-M, that itself is great. Chose the top 5 important things in your life. E.g. here is my list:

  1. Spend at least an hour with my daughter on weekday and 5 total hours with her on weekend.
  2. Health – exercise 4 days a week, eat healthy 5 days a week, care for skin / hair twice a month (not the priority right now).
  3. Career – Advance in one’s career at a steady pace and build business slowly on the side.
  4. Socialize – Have an enjoyable outing 2ce a month if not more and call any close friends and family members every 2 weeks. (No receiving calls on weekdays or times when I spend with her).
  5. Learn – learn something new every month either from book, training, observation, etc. (No reading news or news channel, Facebook only to learn new skills).

I hope this article helps you settle down some of your frustrations and overwhelming feelings of parent-hood.

It is nice to be hopeful that life will continue well and it is wise to be realistic that life can change anytime! Make the most of today. Investment in your kids is the greatest investment you can ever make and that is not about how much money you invest in them or their future, it is about how much QUALITY INTERACTION you live with them in this very moment, HERE and NOW.

Also READ:

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PARENTING

THE SIBLING RIVALRY REVOLVER

5 primary reasons for sibling rivalry:

  1. Gain your attention:Do your kids miss getting ‘real’ emotional care and time from you? If they do, boom, sibling rivalry is a SYMPTOM to that, not a problem!
  2. Stress at home:Getting along is an emotional problem. If there is emotional instability at home, this is one way it will show up. Are you or your kids overwhelmed (we call it stress) or depressed?
  3. Model Adults:Kids often solve problems in the way they view adults solve problems. Do you resort to yelling, back talking, arguing with the other adults in your life. If either of the adult does this at home, why blame the kids?
  4. Sense your energy: Do you feel life is being ‘UNFAIR’ to you? If it is, your kids are only REFLECTING or MIRRORING your feelings!
  5. The Bully:Is one kid ‘honestly’ a bully to the other? Is one smarter, more controlling or stronger in some way and overpowers the other? OR do you often ask the ‘older’ child to ‘give in’? If you do, it is 100% unfair to the older child!Solutions:

     

    1. 1st recognise the true reason and root cause. Don’t jump to solutions until you have done proper diagnosis.

  1. Ask the kids what do they miss from you – the parents and what do they think is the reason for the rivalry?
  1. Allow them to solve their problems. Intervene only in situations of physical or emotional harm or any emergencies.
  1. Explain to them with real life people on how pappa and mumma show love differently and how the kids themselves are different with pappa and mumma. Use story books to explain how no two people in the world are alike, not even twins.
  1. Do a reality check, in your heart do you favor or admire one of your child over the other? It is ok if you do, that is called being HUMAN. However, be true about that in your heart and see if you recognise any objective reason for your discretion? Is one of the child more like you or more co-operative?
  2. Remedy your ‘unfair’ behaviors. If you have overloaded the older child with responsibilities and always or often asking the older child to make compromises and give in while you feel ‘bad’ for the younger child, you are responsible for the older child’s hatred and bully behavior towards the younger child. How fair are you being truly? It is never too late to make changes
  1. Talk to other parents, you may get some wonderful sugggestions.
  1. Ask kids for the solutions. They are the best problem solvers, ask each of them separately and then together, what would they do if they were the parents? Share your own childhood stories and be real. Did you find solutions to sibling rivalry with your siblings or you didn’t. Why did you not find solutions? Reflect on your own life and see what you can find.
  1. Does one child gain more approval and appreciation from the family over another? Is it because one is fat, the other is not, one is fair or smarter or more chirpy personality? Also, how severe is the rivalry. Do they hate each other outright or it is a love-hate or love-fight-love relationship? Seek professional help from a child counselor or psychologist when you just can’t find a way out.

Hope this helps. <3

 

 

 

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Parent-Edge Magazine Articles by me

Fun with Phonics: Teach Phonics in a Fun Way (Re-post from ParentEdge)

This is a RE-POST of my article from The Indian Magazine: ParentEdge: http://parentedge.in/fun-with-phonics-teach-phonics-in-a-fun-way/

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Ideal Age: 3.5 years – 6.5 years

It is fascinating to see our children grow through their different phases and one such thrilling phase is when they begin to put words together into sentences. Next, they begin picking up sounds of letters to make more sense out of them.

In simple words, learning Phonics is about learning the sounds of each letter so that they can be put together to make a word. This means that instead of rote learning CAT with the letter C, A, T, the child would learn to ‘develop’ the word CAT by saying the sound of each letter as in C-A-T. Today we will learn simple exercises to boost your child’s phonic awareness in powerful ways.

I want you all to know that the activities I list here are the activities I do with my daughter sincerely and many of the activities in my articles are MY OWN ORIGINAL ACTIVITIES which came about with the need for ‘creative play’ with my daughter to teach her more by spending less!

Magnetic lettersACTIVITY ONE: The first step is to get your child interested in the alphabet per se. We need a magnetic surface and magnetic letters. Place toy letters on the fridge top or a magnetic surface to attract your child’s attention. Playing A-B-C nursery rhymes and showing them letters in their environment makes them more aware that letters give meaning to our world. When we are waiting for our train ride, or parking at the airport, my daughter and I have fun playing I Spy and spotting letters.

ACTIVITY TWO: We need lots of blank white paper, a dark color marker, and some cello tape. We are going to write names of simple objects around the home and then stick the paper on that object. E.g. Write DOOR in big bold letters and tape the paper on any door. Same with Fridge, Wall, Chair, Table, and so on; this helps your child associate words and letters to objects in their environment and learn spellings at a later stage.

spelling objectsspelling objects 2

ACTIVITY THREE: We need some wooden plain blocks, (preferably rectangular) and a marker. Along with your child, write the name of each of your family members on a block. Encourage your child to place that name block on the dining table assigning each family member a place to sit. This way the child learns to spell names and gets more involved in mealtime preparation.

Another alternative: take more blocks and write one letter on one block to spell out names of all family members. This is an advanced version in name spelling and can create a lot of fun for your child especially if s/he likes challenges.

Below you can see I have used the same block to write both words on opposite sides. This way my daughter learns the spelling of and associates both the words. Similarly, you can take 3 cubes and write M on one, O on the other and M on the 3rd one to help them spell it out literally by themselves.

spelling block

spelling block 2

ACTIVITY FOUR: This is my daughter’s favorite activity. We began it when she was 4.5 years and now 7 months later she enjoys it just as much.

We need – pencil, paper, eraser, you and your child in a place comfortable enough to write.

Pre-requisite: Child must know sounds of each or at least some letters and must know how to write them.

Aim: To help your child spell a word, write it, and then draw a picture of it.

How to: You will begin by thinking of a word, let’s say STAR. You will now tell your child that you are going to spell out the word for him / her by saying the sounds of each letter in your word. Begin with ‘S’ (just make the sound of S, don’t say S). Your child has to guess which letter it is and write that letter on the paper. Next letter is ‘T’ (Just the Tah sound) and so the child guesses and writes T. In this way, you finish S-T-A-R and then allow your child to guess what the word if. If s/he cannot get the word, you say it for them by putting the sounds together like ‘St’ ‘ar’  = Star. Now s/he must draw a star in any way s/he can.

Remember, it is ok if the word letters and pictures are not aligned or in order. The presentation is not important here, the learning is!

Below is my daughter’s paper at age 4.7 years. She spelled and guessed all of the words below and drew pictures. Mostly we do this when I am cooking in the kitchen, she sits nearby, and we enjoy the game together. spell testMy other articles from ParentEdge magazine:

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PARENTING

Puzzles and kids!

 Puzzles are an excellent way to build logical thinking and conceptual knowledge. Do not underestimate the power of puzzles to develop a sharp, smart mind.Begin puzzles for your children as early as 2 years of age. At 2 years, you can do 3-4 piece puzzles. and slowly move up.How to help kids with puzzles at any age:

Take a flat surface – prefer having a dark color paper or sheet or brown cardboard / wood / floor / table to work on. The more simple the background, the easier it is for the child to pay attention to the puzzle pieces

1. Resist the temptation to give the answers and solve it for them. If you have a strong need to solve their puzzles or are impatient while they figure it, you need to get yourself a puzzle box!

2. The first times, show your kid how the puzzle is done. If they are in a hurry to take pieces from you, let them just play around it, even if they solve nothing. This helps create INTEREST.

3. At another time, pick the same puzzle. “Let’s do this together today”. Pick a piece with the most character in it, i.e. one which looks the most detailed e.g. one with face, or color and shape so that it is easy to recognize the other part that fits in.

4. Pick the connecting piece and explain how the color or the design matches at the edges and that is why they ‘fit in’

5. Calmly explain how to fit pieces in like push the edges together or push down the pieces so that they are flat.

6. If your child gets frustrated, leave it. There is no point in teaching with negative emotions looming around. Remember, finishing the puzzle is not important, learning a little bit at a time is! Focus more on the process than the outcome.

7. Leave a puzzle out on the dining table or your child’s table without saying a word. See if your child plays with it within 1 -3 days of keeping it. Again, do not mention anything, just leave the puzzle out and observe. If your child notices it and plays, you know your child is interested in solving problems!

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