The mental and physical well-being of your family is often attacked by the stresses of everyday life. Stress is triggered through external stimuli that blares so loud, it distracts from self-reflection and relaxation. It is important that you set aside some downtime for yourself and your family, so you can all recharge and refresh. A quiet and lucid environment is ideal for the time dedicated to intellectual, emotional and physical health. Here are some activities that will give you some quiet time and help enhance the overall wellness of you and your family:
Meditation & Yoga
Meditation is a time where you can delve into mindful reflection. The practice of meditation requires you to sit comfortably, for at least 10 minutes, with closed eyes and an open mind. Meditation can increase your attention span, increase your immunity, reduce aging, keep you stress-free, improve your sleep and make you feel more connected. If meditation is new for you, there are apps and programs that will provide guidance. Headspace is a wonderful app you can use on your smartphone, tablet or computer, that will guide you through your meditation and help you understand the process.
Yoga requires a similar state of mindfulness, though unlike meditation, yoga incorporates conscientious body movement. You can purchase a yoga DVD for an introduction of the exercise or reference a Yoga Magazine. There is even a Yoga Kids website that tailors their yoga tutorials for various behavioral issues. Yoga will help your kids understand how they can control their behavior and the benefits of a calm demeanor.
Steer away from the entertainment of your phone, radio or TV. Instead, engage in alternative activities that are educational and will increase your focus. A good book will engage your mind and take you into a new world. Choose a book that will inspire you and keep your mind actively engaged. If you have older children, you can start a book club with them. Everyone in your family can read, and then set a weekly meeting where you can meet and discuss what you discovered within the story.
Puzzles are another quiet-time activity that will work your mind. You can put together a jigsaw puzzle with your kids or solve word puzzles. You can create your own word puzzles, for free, at BusyTeacher.org. The practice of writing is another therapeutic activity that will help you evaluate and reflect on your thoughts. Encourage your entire family to journal, every day, after school or before bedtime. The release of their thoughts that they document on paper will help them shed their stresses and have a more restful sleep.
Ignite your imagination with an artistic activity. A classic, creative pastime is knitting. Knitting is something you can do with your kids while you listen to music or a book on tape. It is an activity that requires focus and will enhance your ability to multi-task. The rhythm and repetition of knitting will provide you with a calm state of mind, similar with meditation. It is shown that crafting can help with anxiety, stress, depression and chronic pain. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi identified the neuroscience behind crafting as a phenomenon of flow. In a TED talk in 2004, Csikszentmihalyi said, “When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and a sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”