Mindful moments (with children)

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Creating mindful moments can be hard, even, or especially as an adult, and even more so when there are kids running around the house all day long.

One thing I’ve learned though is, that especially children sometimes need some guidance to calm down and centre themselves, because they’re not as in tune with their body’s and mind’s needs as we are (or sometimes aren’t and we need this guidance just as much) and we can help them slow down and create mindful moments throughout the day.

Here are some techniques to get started:

  • It’s important to be grounded when trying to centre yourself. Whether you are standing, sitting on a chair or sitting on the floor, make sure at least your feet are (firmly but comfortably) in contact with the ground to help anchor you in the moment.
  • A great way of releasing tension can be to press your fingertips against each other and release the pressure a few seconds later, feeling your muscles work and relax and focusing your mind on the task while closing your eyes to shut out any other distractions from your environment.
  • Open your windows – settle down comfortably and ask your child to close their eyes for a minute and listen closely to what they can hear, feel, smell. Let them take it all in and start a conversation about everything that’s happening around you. It helps them to find their focus again, especially when they’re doing schoolwork/homework and fresh air always helps to clear the mind as well.
  • Do some yoga – even if you’re new to this you can look up some simple yoga practices and give them a try, because they raise awareness for your own body and release some of the muscle tension that may occur throughout the day – it also helps get the wiggles out, which may be a nice side-effect 😉
  • Try guided meditations – in German these are known as “fantasy journeys” for children and I am really fond of this term, because it’s so fitting for this type of meditation. It helps children calm down, focus, lessen their anxiety and fears and can even help settle them down for sleep at night. There are some guided meditations on YouTube and I found some great ones on green child magazine (simply type “guided relaxation in the search bar to find more) that you can read to them, but if you’re creative you can also make a story up as you go! (these work best when laying down, but you can also do them while sitting and comfortably resting your head on your arms on a table)

Of course there are many more things you can do to help create mindful moments throughout the day (think colouring, especially watercolours, reading a not too exciting book, etc.) and the focus should be on progress, not perfection. Some days you might not find the time or simply forget about it, and that’s okay too, but establishing a routine and creating these small moments can work wonders and I’d love to hear how it’s going for you!

PS: And always remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup!

 

 

 

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