Mindfulness Matters

We are almost in the last quarter of 2022. The move back to the “usual” normal after Covid-
19 restrictions are taking longer than expected. On top of this, there is a war in Eastern
Europe, natural disasters in several countries and people starving in drought-stricken
countries around the world. Add to that busy schedules and increased screen time and we
are headed for a disaster. We are all feeling the effect of this and so does our children.

So how do we change the narrative? One way is by practising mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about being fully present. It’s about being aware of your feelings, thoughts,
what you’re hearing, and anything else you notice in the present moment. You can also
think of it as having a kind and honest look at what you’re currently experiencing.

Entering the school system can be very overwhelming for our children. Learning how to
speak, developing social skills, and practicing self-control are all things our kids find challenging
on a daily. When we teach mindfulness to our children, we give them tools they can use to
cope with all of this stimulation.

In a nutshell, mindfulness helps:
 Reduce stress levels, anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviour
 Increase focus, classroom participation, self-control, and compassion
 Assist in improving academic performance
 Improve children’s overall well-being

Let’s explore some mindfulness activities that we can practice at home:

Belly Breathing – To get started, have your child place one hand on their belly and another
on their chest. While breathing, have them notice the gentle rise and fall of their chest and
You can count out loud while doing this exercise. Encourage your child to try breathing in for
a count of four, hold for two counts, and then breathe out for a count of six.

Draw An Everyday Object – For this exercise, you’ll need to hand your child an ordinary
object, like a flower or a leaf, then encourage them to take a moment and look at it closely.
They’ll need to look at the interesting colours, lines, patterns, and anything else they notice.

This exercise encourages children to pay full attention to one thing for a little while.

Nature Walk – Embark on an outdoor walk that will encourage your children to engage all of
their five senses in observation. Allow them to share what they see, hear, smell, taste and
feel on their walk.

Take the time to say yes to rest and play with your children, and for yourself!

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