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  1. I hope that you have weathered the storm as well as possible over this exam period.  Depending on which educational stage your student is at you are probably nearly at the end of this incredibly trying time.  Hopefully you were able to use the breathing technique from the previous blog to help you through.  Now is the time for a little self care.  You will probably have residual stress which can take a little while to settle down.  Might I suggest consciously doing something relaxing, think candles, deep sweet smelling baths and maybe a relaxing walk or film with a good friend. These things will start to replenish your energy after the last few months of background worry.

    Now here is an exercise to try and shrink the worry about the results down to a manageable level so that you can actually enjoy the sunshine when it returns.  Imagine yourself into a wonderful picture of you at your happiest, looking good, laughing, maybe add friends, music and good food and wine - your choice.  Make this into a big bright picture.  Now I want you to think of another picture of the stressed family, tired, grumpy etc.  Make that picture one that you can imagine.  Now I want you to imagine that these pictures are on an ipad.  Whenever the negative picture or thought comes up, notice it, then make it into a picture on the ipad and put a cross through it saying NO! and then immediately swipe to your happy picture and smile.  As you smile you will release a little of the feel good hormone Endorphin and as you can't have a positive and a negative thought simultaneously you will begin to feel happier!  Simple!  All you need to do is use your imagination. Give it a go and have a stress free summer.  Happy Holiday.


    Tips & techniques #1

    Parenting a teenager through exams?  Don’t panic, there is help!

    Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of meeting friends and clients who have teenagers.  Well I say it has been a pleasure, what I actually mean is that they are a wonderful bunch of people, they are!  Here comes the AND!  They are facing some of the most challenging times since potty training and sleepless nights!  Hormones, chaos, exam pressure, stress, desperation and outbursts are dominating their homes (on both sides) and it is unchartered territory for them.

    Well here is the good news.  They’re not alone and they’re not the first – I’ve been through it myself!  That may or may not give hope.  It may feel impossible sometimes and the outbursts unfathomable, but what I can tell you is that there are several techniques that can help to soothe you all in the exam weeks ahead.

    I think it's easiest to start with small changes to yourself.  Finding calm is essential.  Here is a breathing exercise to get you started:-

    • Sit comfortably whilst you learn this; It helps if it’s quiet but it’s not essential. 

    • Imagine that your head is number 5, your chest area is number 4, your tummy area is 3, your upper legs 2 your lower legs and feet 1 and then say relax. 

    • Take a full, but gentle, breath in and as you breathe out imagine the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.. relaxing down through your body. 

    • Repeat this 4 times.

    When stress fills our lives and homes, our bodies feel under threat and we experience cortisol release - an adrenal response.  Now don’t get me wrong, Adrenalin is lifesaving when we need it.  However in this case all it does is make strong responses to perceived threat; it makes us sharp and quick to respond and this can lead us into conflict and combat before we even know what’s happening. First point of call then is to turn away, shut your eyes and take those 4 lovely breaths.  They will calm your mind slow your thoughts and reactions and give you the space you need to come up with a less combative response.  You are already on the way to better relations with that young person, who is in fact likely to grow into a glorious adult who you would like to spend time with. 

    There are lots more things you can do help the whole family through this summer and beyond.  Keep your eyes peeled for more useful tips here over the next little while.  In the meantime if you would like some individual tailored help with your family dynamics and a way to steer you all through it, take a look at the family package offer or 1:1 help available to purchase from Victoria Heath Hypnotherapy.