Mindfulness for Children and parents

Within scheduling, it can be important to make time for holistic self-care. During the morning, I dedicate time to exploring daily self-care by using medicine wheel teachings. Each sector influences the other.

For instance, if we have negative thoughts, it may affect our emotions. We may feel anxiety, shame, doubt etc. These may the influence our bodies, feeling nausea, exhaustion and headaches. All of these impact our spiritual health, disconnecting us from each other, ourselves and the land.

Graphic made by the Anishinaabe Bimaadiziwin Cultural Healing and Learning Program

Physical: We take daily walks outside and follow online yoga videos (my youngest loves cosmicyoga on youtube). Dress for the weather (we are in a transitionary spring climate that shifts from -13 degrees to +16). Dress for the weather. There are so many teachings the land can offer (snow, rain, sun, wind). We take care of our bodies with nutrition and gardening. Yoga practices breathing and creating mindfulness is a good step to learning self-regulation.

for parents: take time for yourself to also walk with them or to follow your own exercise program. Model physical activity, which may inspire your children to do the same.

Mental: We make time to talk about our thoughts in the world, which naturally unfold when we make art and play together. The children have the opportunity to share their fears or musing about the future. We have made art and took time to process them. Additionally, by doing STEAM activities, they are exercising their executive functions like problem-solving, adapting and reflecting.

for parents: take time to talk to your support network and process your thoughts. Facetime, phone calls, text or online forums to practice safe social distancing while maintaining connection with others. Do activities for yourself too, whether that be work, reading or keeping a daily log. Journals do not have to be just for teens, we can use them too! Jstor has also made their database accessible to the public so nows the time to explore that one thing you have always been interested in:

Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public

Emotional: We have a dedicated time to explore emotional expression. Using art and a daily art journal (which we have always had), we make time to explore feelings. Modeling that it is safe to look at all our feelings, even if we are uncomfortable, is helpful for children to learn how to express. Be there for them and remember to be the secure base for them. If you feel activated, name it for yourself and allow yourself to be there. Feelings are safe.

For parents: Again, stay in contact with your social networks. It is ok to show vulnerability to children because it shows them that they can be vulnerable too. But be mindful of how we choose to regulate. Make art, breathing exercises, exercise.

Here are some free mindfulness apps: insight timer; smiling mind; stop, breathe & think; UCLA mindful; 10% happier

Spiritual: Each morning, we begin with a smudge and the Ohenton Kariwatehkwen (thanksgiving address). We practice spiritual connection when we connect with each other and the land.

For parents: spirituality does not have to mean religion. It can mean connection.

Although these are separated into categories, they often interconnect–especially when making art or spending time in nature.

 

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