Tame the Transitions

Transitions can be tricky. Whether it is a big transition (i.e., moving, beginning new school year, starting a new season of an activity or sport, attending a special event, etc.) or a daily transition (i.e., arriving at school, switching classes, coming in from recess, etc.), we all could use a tool to help us calm down and collect ourselves during these times.

Focused breathing can be a tool to help us manage our mental and physical energy. When we breathe, we calm our bodies and quiet our brains. This can help us regulate ourselves and refocus our attention, getting us ready for whatever is next. Make a focused breathing activity part of the morning routine, after some excitement, or even at the end of a busy day.

In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try a breathing strategy to help manage our energy during times of transition

Try this:

As a class, group, or family:

· Try the Loop Breathing strategy (use the poster beside).

o Using the poster (beside) or tracing a figure-8 (i.e., on your leg, desk, or table), start with your finger in the centre.

o Take a big, deep breath in through your nose as you trace around half the loop (follow the arrows).

o Breathe out through your mouth, long and slow, as you trace around the other half of the loop back to “start”.

o Breathe and trace the loop until you feel calm and settled.

NOTE: Breathing exercises, like any other skill, take practise. It is common to have trouble holding your attention on your breath at first. With practise, this becomes easier.


Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:

How do you feel after doing the breathing exercise?

When do you need help managing your energy?

Is there a transition time that this breathing exercise could help you feel calm and settled?


Connecting to our faith:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

God is consistent, just like our breath. He remains with us always, especially during times of change, transition, and uncertainty.


Further Learning:

VIDEO: Circular Breathing (SMHO) https://youtu.be/boT7p5kw-MQ

CHILDREN’S BOOK: “Breathing is my Superpower” by Alicia Ortego · POSTER: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SEL-Posters-Secondary-Calm-Breathing.pdf

CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home” (1st activity) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf