Dealing with Separation Anxiety

As I sit here listening to my children jumping on the trampoline and giggling at each other I wonder how I can be about to leave them for two and a half weeks.

I leave in two days for India and the UK; India to visit Sri Narayani’s ashram near Chennai and then the UK to visit my father who is now 89!

When I think about leaving them I feel a physical pain in my heart, in the chest region, and a bit nauseous in my tummy. The separation anxiety is all mine! Both children (2 and 4 years old) have always dealt with separation really well, always waving me off “bye mummy!”, but I have consistently done a few things to help with this that may help others dealing with separation anxiety in themselves or their kids:

  1. Always hold a vision of them having heaps of fun without me, a time for them to bond with someone else and develop trust and friendship.
  2. Encouraged them to have very affectionate relationships with others without feeling they will love me less, or prefer them. Holding the view that love multiplies, it does not have to be rationed.
  3. Energetically cutting from the children when I leave them. I do this by intending to release any unhealthy cords of attachment between us and bringing my arm down in front of my body in a cutting action. Then I imagine them having lots of fun the whole time I am away.
  4. I let them know in advance what is going to happen. I have always done this even when they were babies. I started talking to them about my India trip about a week ago so they know I am going to leave and come back again. My little girl has been thinking about it and said to a stranger yesterday “My mummy comes from India” … so something is going in!
  5. I regularly tell them they are safe. This is key. That they generally have a feeling of stability and safety. I affirm to them regularly that they are safe, especially after a fall.
  6. From an early age I have talked about my presence being in their heart. That if I am not there and they need me to feel me to feel into their heart and I will surround them with love. I tell them that they are in my heart too, and that’s where I feel them when I am not with them.
  7. Dealing with the anxiety in me – all of the above helps, with the addition of the knowledge that having a break makes me a better mum. When my cup gets filled elsewhere I come back with more to give them. More patience, more compassion, more energy.

Let me know of any other techniques you have used and found useful we can add to the list, and I can try out for the future.