As parents with kids in sports it is a non stop sprint from one event to the next.  Up at the crack of dawn, get yourself ready for work. Get the kids up and get them ready for school. Make lunches, breakfast, run upstairs to make sure all of them are up….and drag the one that is not out of bed.  Literally.  Shove them out the door to school. Jump in the car to get to work (hopefully not late if traffic cooperates).

“Damn, forgot my computer.”  Officially late. Let work know I am on my way.  Only 2 meetings today to attend (bonus), get one “to do” done off your plate.  Sneak out a bit early (“its ok, I can take work with me”), and drive home to get one of the kids off to their game. Factor in the drive home, drive to the game, oh ya, MUST be there an hour before the game.  This means leaving at 3:30. Crap. Pack more work in computer bag to do, because you will have an hour sitting around waiting for the game.

Get home, no time to make dinner (forgot to take something out this morning). Peanut butter and jam sandwiches in the car for dinner (again), and out the door.  Phew, on the road, but lets do the double check with the Lifesaving 4Rs-check list:

  • Right Equipment Bag
  • Right Kid in the car
  • Right arena
  • Right Time

This is being in survival mode!!  And yes, I have gone to the wrong arena, my husband has taken the wrong bag (2 goalies in the families and he took the wrong pads to a tournament); yes, the wrong time….as I get a call from the coach “are you coming to the game??” and yes, it was my son’s turn to be in net that game.  Thank goodness it was a home game!  And no, I have not taken the wrong kid, however a friend of mine left without his kid….that is another story, but it happens.

January 30th is #BellLetsTalk.  I want to reach out to all the parents with kids in sports to help you move from survive to THRIVE.  And this is important for our own mental wellness and health.  Your kids need you to be in your best state so you can support them.

Let’s look at 3 stats shouldn’t ignore:

  • According to stats Canada in 2014, daily stress rates were highest in the core working ages (35 to 54), peaking at about 30% in the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups. People in these age groups are most likely to be managing multiple responsibilities with their career and family.
  • In 2015, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reported that the number of teens experiencing moderate to serious psychological distress (symptoms of depression and anxiety) had jumped from 24% in 2013 to 34 % in 2015.
  • By 2030, depression will be the #1 disease burden globally: disability and lives lost from depression will be greater than from cancer, accidents, war, and stroke.  This according to Rosalind Picard, Professor at MIT Media Labs, and Faculty Chair, MIT Mind+Heart+Hand

Put these three stats together for yourself and what comes up for you? What do you need to do now for yourself to help reverse some of these stats?

Here is how you can start to THRIVE in a busy and stressful life that we as parents often have with kids in sports.

T – Take a breath. A 5 second inhale and 5 second exhale;

H – Put your focus on your heart and get out of your head;

R – relax your body while you breath in and out through your heart.

V – Are your thoughts positive or negative? Think of someone or thing you are grateful for or your appreciate.

E – experience the feeling of appreciation or grateful. We need to move beyond the thinking.

This breathing technique is adapted from the HeartMath® Institute called Quick Coherence® and scientifically proven to decrease stress and get you in a more coherent place so you are better able to deal with the daily stresses. You can take their free wellness survey for more tips and suggestions to manage stress.

Don’t just survive…THRIVE. Your kids need you to.

Picture by Robert Givens: