In today’s episode you hear about my deeper fear of failing my kids by such a seemingly simple activity as shopping.
If you rather watch the video than reading scroll further below.
I have been an expat the past 15 years, since 4 years we deal with the daunting issue of nursery, preschool and now coming right up: primary school.
I didn´t know it could be so difficult, given the choices.
In my home country schools are typically public. You go to the designated school according to your district. A simple and straight forward selection.
But now, we have all these questions to consider about school:
public or private?
English or Spanish?
American, British or local curriculum? For how long?
What system is the most appropriate towards my children skills and needs?
Needless to say, all of that would be a foreign concept to me, even if it was written in German.
But it is not just the kids having their first day at school, it is us parents, too.
We equally have to find our way around a new building, new teachers and systems, possibly in a foreign language.
While we are smiling at our kids assuring them it is all going to be okay, most of us parents deal at the same moment with all sorts of thoughts, emotions and level of anxiety.
Is it really going to be okay ?!
Before I move on with that school story and my own anxiety tied to that here a few general words about anxiety, specifically towards the expat community as that is what I know best.
These days we here everywhere about anxiety without even distinguishing between the causes such as fear or stress.
Anxiety is all too common for a variety of reasons yet oftentimes amplified by feeling alone, isolated, not understood or even heard.
As an integrated nutrition & health coach we help puzzling the bigger picture together.
In my experience I found, that anxiety is often treated like a nuisance, easily to be calmed by a quick fix pill.
While frequent episodes of anxiety are a warning sign of your body and should not be taken lightly.
We should face the anxiety and peel it layer by layer just like an onion to discover the underlying reason for an episode.
As a root cause detective, I believe there are multiple reasons for anxiety for example:
- Western standard diet
-undiagnosed infections and allergies -toxins and pathogen surpassing the brain barrier
-lifestyle, specifically stress management -loneliness, feeling of isolation in expats
-suppressed emotions and fears oftentimes going back into our own childhood
If you feel like you need help, please contact a health care practitioner, a holistic health support can be of great additional support.
Back to the story…
As an adult and being expat, I decided to fit out.
I created my own way of living. It is a decision I made for myself, but in regards to my kids, I would want them to fit in to some extent.
Our own childhood experience might feed into that fear of fitting in or not. We don’t want for our kids to be bullied because Mama didn’t buy the correct books, because the school supply list seemed Spanish to her.
How do my decisions affect my kids specifically in regards to schooling?!
After all its all meant to be for the best of our kids.
There is a deeply rooted fear as a parent of doing wrong towards our kids and be it just in the form of an uncool backpack.
It is our own fear and prior experience projected onto our kids. Which manifest in anxiety.
Do you think a pill can truly fix that?
That said, just looking at the small printed and endless list of school supplies in a foreign language raised the level of my stress hormones to the max. All these thoughts racing aimlessly through my head ...
...this is gonna cost a fortune...
...this gonna take hours and days to get it all...
...I don’t even know what it is or means..
...I cant do it...
...I will fail my kid...
... I am a failure.
. ...back home its so much easier there I would know what to do....
...mixed with standard expat approach, Cant I just pay someone to do it?
Here are a few tips on how to gain control of an anxiety producing situation:
1)Investigate prior to the task and set your intentions. Use your network, as your best resources about prices, best and worst shops, tips and local rules.
Ask questions, there is no shame in not knowing it all. Over here I typically ask until I like the answer.
2) Comparison is the thief of joy. Yes, it is not like home.
Try to keep an open mind. Try new things you might like it.
and for the rest we have Amazon.
3) Accept help when offered.
4) Leave room for error.
Rome wasn’t built in a day (allow extra time, out of stock situation, always follow up closely and get people´s name and phone number).
5) If you feel overwhelmed stop.
One step at the time. Learn deep bell breathing technique (super simple ) to return back into a calm body state.
6) If you had a positive experience, thank those that were involve. Don’t forget to share it back with your community and friends.
Click here to watch the full video with more tips.
Comment below how you calm your anxiety attacks