During stressful times, it is so important to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the act of being in the moment. It is the courageous act of appreciating every small, seemingly insignificant detail with zero judgements or expectations. Mindfulness does not equate to being inactive, rather it is to actively choose to be present, cherishing the “now”. Here are 5 ways to bring mindfulness into your home to share with your family this season.
- Take it Slow
First and foremost, mindfulness should never be made into a chore. Start with a few minutes a day and practice the way that you most enjoy. Whether this is sitting in silence and observing the world around you or time spent doing yoga, practice what brings you the most joy in the present moment.
- Wake up with the Sun
A perfect way to start practicing mindfulness is to allow yourself and your family plenty of time to wake up in the morning. By giving yourself a few moments to appreciate the new day given to you, you start the day by feeling grateful and more appreciative of your time. Consider practicing deep breathing and moments of gratitude with your little ones early in the morning. Ask them what they think the new day will bring; you might be surprised by their answers!
- Break through Autopilot
Try combining mindfulness with an activity that you find yourself going into autopilot, such as doing the dishes or exercising. It is easy to get lost in activities that we are used to accomplishing day in and day out. Autopilot occurs when our minds are empty, and our bodies take over. Have you ever driven yourself home yet not remembered the drive itself? Autopilot can cause memory loss and increase fatigue. Practice breaking through these moments by acknowledging the world around you on your drive home, while exercising, or while doing chores. How does the sky look today? How do your sneakers feel when running against the ground? What does the dish soap you use smell like?
Implement this practice with the entire family and enjoy your newfound awareness.
- Take advantage of Red Lights
There are very few periods of waiting that people enjoy and waiting at red lights is no exception. In a world where everyone is in a hurry to get to where they need to be, why would anyone enjoy a moment stopped at a long red light?
One aspect of being mindful is finding stressors, such as red lights or bad drivers, and not allowing them to change or impact your day. There is a saying that happy people stop for yellow lights. Maybe these moments are meant to happen. Use these moments to notice the world around you and your family. Ask them if they see shapes in the clouds above, or if they notice how green the grass is outside today. Show them ways to appreciate the moments they are held up.
- Find Small Reminders
As busy families, often we simply forget to practice mindfulness. Between work, dentist appointments, bills, soccer games, it can be difficult finding time to show up for yourself. Practice mindfulness during your most routine moments. Is there a drive that you normally take that could use some relaxing music and bonding time? Is there a coffee break you can implement mindful breathing during? Finding routine moments in your day to associate mindfulness with can help make it a habitual practice for everyone.
Here at The Nest Schools, we practice mindfulness, mindful breathing, and yoga at a young age. We find that it is incredibly important to find time to show up and be present in your life and all three of these are great tools to help facilitate this.
Take time to show up for yourself and watch your happiness and appreciation skyrocket!