Working on homework can be stressful, overwhelming, or just annoying for both students and their parents. It’s the time of day that everyone wishes they could skip over to avoid the drama. Now, imagine if you could feel calm, confident, and even enjoy doing homework! Well, it is possible. By adding some mindfulness to your homework routine, you and your child may dread homework a little less.
We encourage you to share these helpful homework tips with your child or teen. He or she should follow these steps before doing homework, to approach tasks with ease:
1. Move into a comfortable sitting position.
2. Allow your hands to rest in your lap or on your desk.
3. Pay attention to surrounding sounds and “allow yourself to be in the room right here, right now.”
4. Rest your hands on your stomach and become aware of how your stomach gently rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.
5. Take five breaths, without changing your breath.
6. Observe how your body feels now.
7. If you feel anxious (or have any other unpleasant feelings), take one deep breath. As you breath out, imagine that you are releasing all of these feelings.
8. Take your next breath, and imagine that you are inhaling calmness and peace as you breathe in.
9. Visualize yourself working on and finishing all of your homework with calmness and confidence.
10. Imagine yourself gently putting down your pen or pencil when you are done and congratulating yourself on putting forth the effort and doing your best.
You are now ready to start your homework with a calm and mindful mindset. If you feel stuck or stressed at any time, remind yourself that you can always return to your breath and repeat this practice.
After the first time you try this exercise and complete your homework, think about how this experience felt different from other times. Then, have more confidence next time you sit down to do homework!
(Source: The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens by Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT)