Freeze Up! Warm Up!
Each day is made up of different situations - good and bad. And just like yoga poses, some situations may be difficult causing us to freeze up or want to get out, while other situations (or poses) makes us feel good and relaxed. Being in new places or meeting new people may make us feel so shy we don't know what to do or say. Being in the dark or in deep water may make us feel so scared that we panic. All of that is okay. It's important to notice what makes us "Freeze Up", so we can learn how to handle those situations and learn how to "Warm up!"
On a hot day on the patio by the river, the Alluem Kids stuck their hands in a bowl of ice. Why? To cool them off, sure, but to also teach them a lesson about letting go of stress and maybe even how to deal with the people, places, and things that cause stress. They were encouraged to hold the ice for at least 30 seconds, but knew that if it became too much, they should listen to their bodies and put it down. After holding the ice cubes, it was interesting to see the way each child dealt with the cold sting. Some said, eh, no problem and dealt with it. Some screeched and wanted out after 15 seconds (which of course, I reminded them they could put the ice down at anytime!). Some felt the cold for the 30 seconds and then threw the cube back in the bowl, immediately caring for the cold hand - holding it with the warm hand or wrapping it in a towel. After putting as many feeling words as possible to how our hands felt, we realized that everyone deals with stressors differently.
At times when we "Freeze Up" (like our ice cold hands), we might forget that we can in fact make ourselves "Warm Up" and be the ones to care for our bodies and minds. Some may instinctually react and self soothe, but for some we may need a gentle reminder. Making a list (writing or drawing) of things that freeze us up (things that make us feel bad or scared) right next to the things that warm us up (things that make us feel happy or loved) serves as a great visual to help us through those "Freeze Up" moments. And seeing or thinking of those things that help us "Warm Up" is always a good way to keep us happy and healthy!