School ends this week for my daughters and summer will officially begin around here. In the past, this triggered anxiety for me. What would we do all day?

This is the same feeling that leads many to put their kids into camp after camp, activity after activity. Downtime is like an enemy to be conquered.

In my house, we aren’t worried about hearing “I’m bored” anymore. In fact, I don’t hear it very often because my girls are so used to having unstructured time to follow their own imagination.

Now, I’m not afraid of “I’m bored,” but I used to be.

My anxiety over my daughter’s outbursts and volatile emotions used to make me really worry about the long days of summer.

My fear led me to follow my habitual reaction of trying to control things more. I needed to shape and structure the day so that I could keep my anxiety at bay. It was a struggle.

Do we suffer from our circumstances, or from wanting it to be otherwise? {Tweet it!}

The Buddha taught that most of our suffering is caused by grasping at things in an impermanent world. Both the Buddha and Patanjali’s yoga sutra’s teach that the path to liberation involves letting go of our grasping – letting go of wanting things to be other than they are.

For me that meant: letting go of trying to change my daughter.  If I wanted to suffer less, I needed to change myself.

My daughter laid bare what I needed to work on: I had to learn to sit with the feelings that I had when she was upset.

I wanted her to know that there is nothing wrong with having strong emotions. The only way to do that is to show her with my presence. To be there, as calm as I can be, being the change for her. I practiced staying and focusing on my breath.

It’s not easy for me. It takes a lot of grounding in my self-care practice.

But the thing is, we can’t just push these things down or ignore strong feelings. We can’t have a glass of wine and watch Mad Men every single time there is difficult stuff. The only way out is THROUGH. {Tweet it!}

How? I dedicated my practice to being really present with the hard stuff AND cultivating great appreciation for when things were going smoothly. And things began to change.

Here are some practices to go THROUGH:

  1. Daily self-care practice. Wake up 10 minutes earlier to do just 5 minutes of yoga with conscious breath. Set your intention for the day and bow to yourself. These few minutes can make all the difference in the world.
  2. Practice mindfulness for the “big game.” We need to practice consciously paying attention – observing ourselves and our children – in everyday life so that we can build that muscle for when we need it most. It takes some effort – so try just 5 minutes of loving, non-judgmental observation.
  3. Pause in a crisis. When the “big game” – the tantrum, the whining, etc. – happens. When you feel the adrenaline flooding through you because you’ve been triggered, practice pausing: Say hello to your anger, frustration, etc.  Observe your child. Observe that you are triggered. Use the space of the pause to respond more thoughtfully, or, if you can muster it, walk away for some space. Sit with your uncomfortable feelings – this good that will help you grow if you can start to change your old reactions. No mud, no lotus.
  4. Let go a little more. If you are doing a lot of scheduling because of anxiety, practice letting go a bit more. Have a lazy day. Let the kids build a fort and practice yoga outside. Notice if you have resistance. Try this slogan: “Breathing in, I am. Breathing out, here,” to bring you into the present moment.
  5. Acknowledge all the good stuff. What you put your attention on grows, so grow the good stuff! Say thank you when your children do something nice. Acknowledge  and thank them when they are playing well together or use kind words. Thank the universe for all the great stuff in your life every night in a gratitude journal. It will only grow.


Mamas, let’s give ourselves and our children some time this summer. Give them time to be free (and maybe bored!). Give yourself time to be lazy. Go ahead and be perfectly imperfect. And give yourself that self-care – time for yoga to nourish your body and soul.

I want to hear from you! Do you worry about the long days of summer? How have you dealt with it that’s worked?

I’m wishing you lovely peaceful days ahead that you are able to fully enjoy. Thank you so much for reading! Please pass it on if you’ve had some benefit.

Be well,


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