With the school year upon us, we’d usually be adding tips in our journal about balancing the back to school hustle. But the truth is, back to school doesn’t look quite the same this year. All across the country, schools are reopening, or opening in a hybrid model, or not reopening at all. Parents have had to negotiate going back to work while their kids go back to school, and when “back to school” means back to Zoom classes, it can be an incredible challenge for any parent to try to do it all.
We are parents at KIM+ONO, and we get it. But, for all the uncertainty that we find ourselves amidst, we know that as long as our kids feel loved and secure, we are doing the best we can for them. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a stressful time, but it’s important to remember that this is only a season and we will get through it together. To that end, today in the journal, we’re highlighting five ways to find calm amidst an uncertain school year. We hope these small strategies to help you come back into the moment and to pay attention to what truly matters will empower you to make it through this challenging time with an extra bit of resolve: knowing that you are not alone. Here are our tips for finding calm as your kids head “back” to school:
You will be dealing with a lot this school year, that’s for sure. But nothing you can’t handle. The key is to make sure you’re expressing what you’re feeling and talking through the challenges as a family. When things get really complicated is usually when there is a lack of communication. Talking about your feelings will help your children open up about their feelings. Many times what’s in our heads is worse than reality, so making sure to bring those thoughts to light can go a long way in relieving the heavy feelings for you and your kid. Find a way to set aside time for yourself to journal if it’s helpful. Light a candle, slip into your silk kimono robe, and allow your stream of consciousness to flow onto the page. Allowing yourself to get it all out may not give you the solution to change your circumstances (as this may be well out of your control), but it may relieve the pressure that builds up from not expressing or communicating your inner life. Find some time to express yourself.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the drama of the news, and while it’s important to know what’s going on and to have the facts (especially when it pertains to school reopenings/closings and the latest medical news), there is a balance to strike. Consume the kind of news that will give you the facts you need and then turn it off. Consume feel good TV shows or films that give you that nostalgic feeling and make you feel a sense of normal. Read a book instead of scrolling through your social media. Or, read a magazine! Give your eyes a break from the screens you’ll be looking at all day while staying home. We made our kimonos for women to bring a sense of calm to every woman who wears one. So slip into yours, lower your heart rate a little bit, and make a conscious choice to turn away from the media consumption that causes extra stress during an already challenging time.
When parents are working from home and kids are schooling from home, that’s a lot of energy under one roof. It can be difficult to get your work done, let alone be able to think. Do your best to create one quiet time per day. Maybe that’s during lunch, or first thing in the morning, or last thing before you go to bed. But turn off all your devices and allow yourself to just be in a quiet space. You can slip into your silk kimono robe and journal, or meditate, or just sit in your backyard and listen to the birds and the bugs. We are always constantly inspired by botanicals, and sometimes disconnecting from sound can reconnect you to nature. And reconnecting with those simple things around you can keep you present, calm, and grounded when you need it most.
Even though we still have to stay apart physically, we know that emotionally standing together can help us get through this moment. Make it a point each day to connect with a friend or family member who fills your well. Reach out to those who always lift you up. If you’re looking for inspiration from one woman who is full of joy and looks to the good in every moment, read our feature on Ashleigh Reddy here. Fill your mind and time with people who are there to amplify a positive perspective and to help you remember that you will get through this. And connect with other parents as they go through similar challenges. We may be at home alone, but we are all in this together.
As they say, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before you can help your kids. So what does that look like in the time of coronavirus when we aren’t able to do many things? It can be as simple as making yourself breakfast and giving yourself a good start to the day. Maybe you pick out your favorite kimono wrap so you can feel beautiful kimono fabric around your shoulders every morning and night. Perhaps you grab your favorite skincare routine that makes you feel like a million bucks. Do the things that feel good to you and be kind to yourself. Being nice and being gentle with yourself is hard in regular times and can feel impossible during a time like this, but it’s important. Do the things that will bring you a little bit of joy each day and let those delights carry you through.
Here’s wishing you the best start to the school year possible and sending you the deep breath you deserve, each and every day.