This year has been a rough one on all of us. And unfortunately we aren’t out of the trenches just yet. As we near September, parents are left with the biggest decision of whether to send their children to school for a hybrid program or opt for remote learning. As much as I would like to see the kids go back, I really in my heart do not think it’ll be safe for them to do so. They miss their friends dearly, and I miss our routine!
We’ve had zero planned with the kids for summer and have taken socially distancing very seriously. Apart from two little weekend escapes, we have not participated in any camps or sports clinics, but the one thing I did plan was to introduce a daily meditating with Headspace! A few years back, I attended a luncheon hosted by Momtrends and Headspace, where I learned about all of the benefits of meditating, and surprisingly how it could be great for kids too.
I started with a five minute meditation routine before bed. Late at night, my brain typically remains in overdrive, making mental lists for the day to come. Somehow, after those few minutes, I felt more relaxed and ready to conquer the next day. I was intrigued that I slept much better following those brief periods of mediating.
We use the app on most mornings just after breakfast or right before bedtime. I think my kids come to enjoy that peace, calm and quiet, which rivals our typical AM reality of craziness and chaos. With just this three minute guided meditation, they seem more focused and I am all about the little changes.
A few tips I learned from Andy the founder of Headspace that I wanted to share!
Daily Family Meditation: Research shows that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety and anger, while increasing focus, compassion and happiness. Taking deep breaths and closing your eyes and clearing your head with a 3-10 minute daily meditation can add much needed peace, balance, and togetherness for your whole household.
Device- Free Dinner – This is already a rule in our home. But there is something special about a shared dinner together, even more so when it is free from digital devices.
Mindful Eating – This activity is best described as a game. Putting a piece of food on plate, ask your child to tell you where they think the food comes from, where it was gown, how many miles it may have travelled etc. Talk about the ingredients, the shapes, smells and flavors. This will vary with age but this game helps to develop a healthier relationship with our food and environment.
Write It Down – This is one for parents. Before each night write down one or two things you appreciate about your child/children, whether it’s something specific they did that day or something about their character that you admire. Start this journal right as summer starts that way you can give it to your child before school starts as a special surprise. It will help them to be more mindful, show how you care, and will be treasured. Gratitude journals have been shown to aid sleep, even help you feel more rested and relaxed!
Breathe: For the whole family (and definitely something we do not do often!) When you feel the pressure building, stressing out, take 30 seconds to breath. Simply take 10 deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. It can help prevent any later regret or guilt at having lashed out too quickly or having been overly reactive due to other stuff going on in our lives.
With summer coming to an end and an unclear rest of the year, meditating with Headspace will be the only thing on our agenda, besides just having fun!