Shannon’s Corner

5 Essential Spring Break Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

As spring approaches, parents are gearing up for the inevitable excitement and chaos that
comes with it. While spring break can be a time of fun and relaxation, it’s crucial for parents to
prioritize safety, especially if their children are embarking on trips or adventures. Here are five
essential safety tips to ensure a worry-free spring break for both parents and children.

1. Plan and Communicate: Before your child sets off for spring break, sit down together and
create a detailed plan. Discuss where they’ll be staying, who they’ll be with, and how
they'll be getting around. Ensure they have important contact information, including
yours, emergency contacts, and local authorities. Encourage them to keep you updated
regularly and establish check-in times.

2. Practice Sun Safety: If your child’s spring break involves sunny destinations, emphasize
the importance of sun safety. Remind them to wear sunscreen with a high SPF, reapply
regularly, and seek shade during peak hours. Encourage them to wear protective clothing,
sunglasses, and hats to prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion.

3. Stay Hydrated: Whether lounging on the beach or exploring new cities, staying hydrated
is key to a safe and enjoyable spring break. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water
throughout the day, especially in hot climates. Remind them to carry a reusable water
bottle and avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which can lead to dehydration.

4. Use Safe Transportation: Discuss transportation options with your child and emphasize
the importance of using reputable and safe methods of getting around if you will not be
with your child during their trip. If they're driving, remind them to obey traffic laws,
avoid distractions, and familiarize themselves with a map or GPS before getting in the
car.

5. Trust Your Instincts: Above all, remind your child to trust their instincts and prioritize
their safety at all times. Encourage open communication and assure them that they can
always reach out to you if they need help or advice. Remind them that it's okay to say no
to anything that makes them uncomfortable and to seek assistance if they find themselves
in a risky situation.

Spring break should be a time of fun, relaxation, and new experiences, but it's crucial for parents
to prioritize safety. By following these five essential tips, parents can help ensure their child's
spring break is not only enjoyable but also safe and worry-free. Encourage these practices to
your child to make this spring break a memorable and safe one for your child and entire family.

 

part 2 of Addressing anxiety

By Ann MacFadyen


In the first step of managing anxiety I talked about the first strategy AAMO, which is an acronym I created to represent “ammunition”, The second strategy is utilized by visualization.

You can begin by drawing a tree with several branches and leaves. Make the leaves big enough that you can write a word in them. Label each leave ( or as many leaves as you need) a worry or anxious thought. Once you label the leave, draw the same leaf falling off the tree and blowing away in the wind. By doing this you are “journaling” your anxious thoughts to get them out of your mind  and on to paper (acknowledging and accepting) and you are sending them on their way with the wind.

 

Use this tree as a reminder that thoughts don’t have to be dangerous or permanent, they are just thoughts and they come and GO! If you do not want to draw them out, you can practice visualization. Visualize the leaves with worries on them blowing away one leaf at a time. It’s almost like counting sheep. Each leaf (worry) is gently falling, on a beautiful fall day, and blowing away out of your mind, and into the wind! You are once again, moving on!

 

 

Managing Anxiety for All Ages

Feelings of anxiety can hit a person at any time on any given day. Anxiety doesn’t always wait for an anxiety provoking event to occur, it can appear thinking about a past event, a present situation, or a future anticipated event. Anxiety can actually appear out of nowhere just by your brain linking a similar situation or seeing a person that reminds you of someone that caused feelings of anxiety.I have found that there are three strategies that have been successful in managing anxiety. In the event you experience anxiety, especially in a public place that warrants a quick strategy to manage it, this first  strategy may be helpful…
AAMO. I created this acronym that represents “ammunition”. The first A stands for Acknowledge. Acknowledge that anxious thought. Do not try to push it out no matter how uncomfortable it feels. When trying to force certain thoughts out of your mind, it actually can have a reverse effect, The anxious thought most times comes back with a vengeance. Instead acknowledge it.
The second A stands for Acceptance. Accept that you are feeling anxious. Instead of saying “I am anxious” Tell yourself, ” I am having a thought that I am anxious”. In the case of fear, instead of saying “I am scared to death”, Say to yourself, “I am having a thought that I am really scared”. How does this help? When you talk in absolutes, you own the thought and label it as permanent. When you change your language to “I am having a thought she does not like me” It tells your brain that it is just a thought, and we have thousands of thoughts in a day, therefore this thought will pass along through like the many other thoughts we have.
The M, stands for Move, and the O stands for On.. Move on. Move on after you acknowledge and accept the thought. Chances are the thought that is bringing you anxiety will move on out of your mind because you are accepting it and not forcing it to leave. It reinforces to your brain, and self, that it is safe to have these thoughts, they are not going to harm you, and you can safely send them on their way in other words, you are MOVING ON!
Coming up next week, I will introduce the second strategy that you can practice to be more at peace, and be in control of anxiety at any time, anywhere!

Clinician

Ann macfadyen, lpc

“When trying to force certain thoughts out of your mind, it actually can have a reverse effect. The anxious thought most times comes back with a vengeance. Instead, acknowledge it.”