We all need to de-stress and our kids are no different. Our lives are often so busy, it’s easy to let too much junk and time-wasting activities crowd up our time that we forget to stop and simply “be in the moment”. We need to teach our kids to understand the deep connection between their mind and their body so they can be more mindful and present in the world.
If we’re stressed, anxious or our inner “monkey mind” is thinking about other things than the present moment, we may not be the best examples for our kids. We need to be present for our kids so we can be more aware and conscious of their wellbeing and mental health.
If we sense that our children are stressed or need more time to relax, here are some helpful ideas:
One of the best ways to show your kids the connection between their minds and their bodies. And no one is too young for yoga. Babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers – there are great yoga exercises for all ages.
Simply focusing on our breath is an easy yet powerful way to relax and calm the mind. It doesn’t need to be a complex exercise for your kids to be aware of their breath and to relax. Even five-minutes sitting quietly and just breathing deeply in and out without rushing it can do wonders for your children – and you.
Often we feel that we need to be constantly “doing something” or we think we may be not using our time the best way. It’s not always the best approach. When you’re out with your kids for a walk or at the beach or at a park, stop and listen. What do you and your kids hear? What sounds have you not heard before? It’s a great way to focus the mind on listening closely to our environment instead of our busy thoughts.
Try to plan in some quite time in your children’s day. Turn off the TV, unplug the iPad, mute the mobile phone, get rid of all distractions. Just five minutes of quiet time away from gadgets and electronic devices can help show your children how quiet and stillness is important to good wellbeing. And if your kids are interested, they may like to extend the time and explore some simply meditation techniques.
A nice way for your kids to wind down after a hectic day is to play calming music in the house. Depending on how old your children are, this can sometimes be tricky if their personal taste in music doesn’t match up to your interpretation of “relaxing music”! It’s also a nice way to expose your kids to different musical styles and to ask them how they feel when they listen to different songs.
Regular exercise is another great way to show your kids how their minds and bodies are connected. Exercise helps refresh and rejuvenate our wellbeing, and is crucial to maintaining good physical health.