Sometimes the kids are going through something big in their lives, and I am so happy to be there for them through those hard times. But it’s also the small daily challenges that I know will have dramatic, long-term effects.
A few weeks ago, I had a student looking at the work she needed to get done over the Thanksgiving break, and she was feeling very overwhelmed. She kept saying, “I have SO MUCH work to do, it feels like a lot, I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.” When she said these things, her posture was slumped and she shared that she felt sweaty and her chest felt tight. She was experiencing anxiety. As we talked through it, I helped her change the words she said in her mind. She chose new words like, “I have some work to do for each class. I can figure out a plan. I am capable of getting it all done.” When she chose those new words to say, her whole body relaxed, a smile spread across her face, and I could see the change in her body language. She felt CONFIDENT. With that came relief and clarity. I know that simple change made a huge difference in how she approached her work over the break, and I can see how that new self-talk will make a difference for her as a college student, as a working professional, and eventually as a parent.
* Students’ names have been changed in the interest of privacy.