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Week 18: Stress Management for Ourselves and our Daughters

As we approach the end of the school year, stress levels are high, not unlike the month of December. After talking with our older Powergirldancers, homework and studying topped their list this month as their biggest stressors and many have had to miss dance classes and extra curricular activities to hunker down with hours of homework and last minute studying as teachers race to complete the semester. The documentary, "The Race to Nowhere" comes to mind when I watch our girls suffer from anxiety (which can inevitably lead to depression if it's not already present) from trying to keep up with homework and tests. What's it all for? What are we really teaching them? While I am a firm believer in finding the gifts in tribulations, discipline and hard work, I can't help but wonder where our priorities are? The power of exercise, dance, sports and the arts are important to keep us sane and connected to who we are, not to mention healthy for our bodies AND our minds.

How do we manage these heavy periods of stress and how do we support our daughters through the stress? I love the mentioned quote above... stress is created by our thoughts and our thoughts cannot define our reality. We must slow down, catch our breath, look around, hear the sounds around us and be mindful of being truly in the moment that tethers us to being. When we do this, we can see that we need to drink in one minute at a time. Take a break, go to your dance class, go to soccer practice, draw and listen to music. The work will get done. It won't be perfect but we will have not compromised what is profoundly important: ourselves.

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