A Mindful Method to the Madness
Summer is winding down and many of our SFC families will soon be swapping beach gear for school gear as the academic calendar starts up once more. For all of the parents out there, I know this can be a chaotic time: rallying the kids once more for those early mornings, preparing lunches and outfits, and mobilizing everyone out of the house on time for school and work. However, incorporating a few mindful practices into your daily routine can help transform the process from chaos to smooth-sailing.
Mindfulness Tip #1: Wake up 5-10 minutes early to meditate
- I know, I know…waking up earlier than you already have to sounds like sacrilege. But hear me out: carving out 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning to meditate will allow you begin your day with a clear mind and increased focus. This sets you and your family up for success that day, as you tackle the long list of to-do items from a more calm, centered state of mind.
- Never meditated before? Intimidated to start? Don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple! Sit in a chair with a straight spine, feet flat on the floor, and hands resting on thighs with palms up or down and elbows tucked into your side bodies. Set an alarm with a peaceful sound for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breath. Count to yourself, “1-2-3-4” on every inhale, “4-3-2-1” on the exhale. Anytime your thoughts wander away from the count, simply start over. Once you become more comfortable, you can increase your meditation time and/or try holding for 4 counts at the top of the exhale and then 4 counts at the bottom of the exhale.
- Another option is to use a free app like Headspace or Calm which offer guided meditations. These are easy to use, free, and can be especially helpful to follow someone’s voice in order to get the mind to settle.
- Pro tip: Designate a set time for your meditation so that it becomes part of your schedule.
- Mindfulness Tip #2: Prepare the night before and get the kids to help out
- We can all relax a little more when meals are pre-planned, outfits are picked out, and bedtimes are set. Meal prep for the week ahead and encourage your kids to help you pack lunches and prep backpacks the night before. This way, everyone plays a role in the routine.
- Speaking of backpacks…throughout the month of August, SFC is offering free back-to-school backpack posture checks for all of our SFC families! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get the kids healthy and ready for the upcoming school year.
- Mindfulness Tip #3: Digital detox
- No doubt about it, we live in a digital age and much of our time is centered around using our computers, phones, and TV. That said, Mindful Life Today states that, “putting your kids in front of the TV or computer elicits a stress response in the brain making it difficult for them to use the part of their brain responsible for paying attention, solving problems, and controlling impulses.”
- Experiment with less screen time in the mornings and evenings and celebrate your screen-free time spent together as a family–whether that be around the dinner table, helping the kids with homework, or taking an evening walk around the neighborhood.