Life creeps up on us and can take us on a roller-coaster of chores, jobs, tasks, responsibilities and errands. Each day we try and pack more and more into every single hour. Endless lists needing to be worked off. Multitasking helps us cut corners timewise but the downside is that we cannot give our undivided attention to each task. We live in a world where it appears to be quantity over quality, while deep down we all know it should be the other way around.
The same can be said for children. We are the role models and they see us running around like headless chickens. It’s time to slow down, not just for ourselves but for our children. Lead by example.
What is mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness means being more aware and alert of emotions, surroundings, actions and physicality in a gentle manner. Tuning into your thoughts during the day helps you navigate through situations with less stress. Take a step back for a moment and touch base with your senses. Take a deep breath and close your eyes for just a brief moment. What are you touching? What do you smell? What do you see? Look around, up and down. Don’t have your blinders on. Are there any sounds? Do they stress you out or make you feel happy? Is there a taste in your mouth? Why is it there? When continuing on with the task at hand, focus on the task and take your time. What’s the big rush anyway?
Mindfulness tricks for kids
Sit comfortably for a minute, slowly inhale deeply through your nose. While filling your lungs try and become aware of your body. Hold that intake for a moment and then slowly exhale again through your nose. Repeat this a few times, straightening your back with each intake.
Stand up, place your hand on your heart and feel your heartbeat. Once you have a sense of your heartbeat; jump, dance or do jumping jacks for around one minute. Once finished, put your hand back on your heart and feel the difference in the beat and your breathing.
Standing still, clench and tighten the muscles in your feet. Hold that feeling for 5-10 seconds. When releasing the muscles, do so slowly and gradually. Next, repeat the exercise with your calf muscles. Then thighs, bottom, tummy, back, chest, shoulders, arms and neck. While doing this exercise, try and listen to your body.
The benefits of mindfulness for children are extremely positive. You can strengthen your self-control, lower anxiety levels and increase positive moods and self-esteem. These exercises aren’t just useful for children. Try them out yourself anytime you think you could use a little TLC.