Here are three easy ways to be more mindful over the Holidays this year!
The holidays are full of happiness, wonder, and cheer, however, they can also be hectic and overwhelming for families and children alike. The hustle and bustle of family gatherings, events, and family trips can put a toll on our mental health as we sacrifice our regular routine. The best way to keep a happy and healthy mind and body this holiday season is to practice mindfulness at home as part of your daily routine.
Don’t know where to start? Not to worry, here are the top three ways to practice mindfulness at home this holiday season.
1. Use an App!
There are so many wonderful apps available today that teach our kids to be mindful. Some of our favourites areStop, Breathe & Think Kids, an award-winning meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace anywhere. It allows you to check in with your emotions and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel. Another isNinja Focus, a digital tool to help children learn to cope with stress and understand their emotions. They also include yoga flows and poses to increase confidence, wake up the body, help with sleep, fight anxiety, and more! And lastly, the well-knownHeadspace app has meditations and exercises just for kids. This is a great place to learn the basics of mindfulness for beginners and is suitable for a wide range of ages.
2. Do a Daily Body Scan
While your child is unwinding at bedtime, practice a body scan together. The body scan meditation has many benefits and can promote body awareness, stress awareness, and relaxation.
Here is how you practice a Body Scan:
Have your child lie down on their back, or in another comfortable position.
Ask them to take 3 belly breaths; in through their nose and out their mouths.
Now tell them that you are going to start paying attention to different parts of their body.
Start at the feet, how do they feel? Are they cold, warm? Are they sore?
Then move up the legs. Notice how they feel.
Moving upwards through each part of the body until you get to their head. Through each body part, remember to continue your slow, deep breaths.
At the end of the body scan, you and your child will feel completely relaxed and ready for bed!
3. Breathwork (But Make it Winter-Themed!)
One fantastic introductory way to practice mindfulness is to do deep breathing exercises. As a parent, this may seem impossible with your child but trust us, it's fun! Practicing deep breathing brings awareness to your body and allows your mind and nervous system to calm down.
Try out this fun winter-themed breathing exercise called, “Hot Cocoa Breath”:
Ask your child to sit in a comfortable position with a straight back.
Have them close their eyes.
Pretend to hold a cup of warm cocoa in their hands.
Take a deep breath in through your nose and smell the hot cocoa. YUMMMM…..doesn’t it smell delicious?
Then have them breathe out slowly through their mouth, pretending to blow on the hot cocoa as it is too hot to drink.
Repeat several times.
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About the Author
Michelle Faber is the Founder and CEO of Little Yogis Academy. She is dedicated to making the tools of yoga & mindfulness accessible and available to all children.