We have provided some helpful and fun resources for you and your family to stay mindful while you practice social distancing.
How to Belly Breathe
The foundation of all mindfulness: breathing. Pro tip: grab a pillow or tell the kids to get their favorite stuffed animal to put on your bellies and watch them go up and down as your bellies expand with air. #bellybreathing
Benefits of Deep Breathing
Learning diaphragmatic, or belly, breathing brings numerous benefits including strengthening immunity and helping you relax.
Using Senses Mindfully
We are using our senses in the practice of mindfulness. See the attached infographic we made to show you how each of our senses helps us connect with our environment and remain calm, focused, and present.
Mindful at home: Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a family activity you can do from the safety of your home. Yesterday we posted an infographic on using your senses mindfully. Check it out with your kids and then enjoy this mindful scavenger hunt of things that can be found at home. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. Some people do stickers for finding things, or putting check marks, making a list for children old enough to write, and some just go find the items and report back. The important thing is to have fun and recognize how using our senses helps us discover and connect with our environment. Wouldn’t it be awesome to discover your home in new ways after being “stuck” inside?
Finding Mindful Moments Outside
Mindfulness challenge: Fresh air isn’t cancelled! Take your family outside for a walk and experience your surroundings in a whole new way. What do you see? What textures can you feel? How many sounds does everyone hear? It’s likely you’ll all experience the world in different ways and those differences are what makes us...well, us! Helping each other experience new things is part of the fun.
Acts of Kindness Bingo!
Kindness BINGO! You can set some fun rules, like a little treat for filling a line and a bigger one for filling the whole board. Make sure kids know they don’t have to finish it all in one day either! This is an opportunity to remember kindness is ongoing.
Gratitude Practice: A Guide for Families
You may not be on a plane to a fabulous destination or on a cruise ship, but you’re probably surrounded by people you love and things that make you happy. Spend some time together looking for new ways to appreciate what you may just naturally take for granted.
Look at the attached text from the future. This is a powerful illustration of one of the messages we’ve been trying to get out with our activities. We may be inconvenienced, many things in life might be on hold: but making moments with your family is not one of those things!
And so, we’re issuing a challenge to you right now: Create Family Moments.
Create A Family Crest
What would you choose to represent your family? The beach? Love? Favorite Books or movies? Travel? Adventure? A flag representing your heritage? Laughter? Family recipes/favorite foods?
Make them online by adding photos or print the crest and color it in together!
Toss and Talk Ball: Family Edition
Find a ball you have laying around or get a new one delivered if you can find one. Blow up beach balls are great for this. Grab a sharpie and cover the ball in questions. See the attached list we’ve made with a ton of suggestions. Try and include a mix of thoughtful questions and fun activities or silly questions. Then get together with your family and toss the ball around. Wherever your right thumb lands when you catch the ball, is the question you answer.
Enjoy the time together learning new things about each other you may never have even spoken about.
Protecting Your Mental Health During COVID-19
Mental health during this pandemic is just as important to protect as your physical health. We’ve prepared a quick reference sheet for all ages.
CREATE YOUR 2020 FAMILY TIME CAPSULE
This will be a year for the history books! Create your own version of the history by making a time capsule future you and future generations can look back on. See the attached picture for some ideas we’ve put together about what you can include. An empty large jar, or empty paint would be perfect ideas of containers to use. Even if you don’t have them at home just yet, you can still collect your items and pack the jars once you’re able to get out and get them again.
TIPS for Improving Focus in Children
Many of you are struggling with Day 1 (or 5 or 10, or more....) of finding yourselves homeschoolers. We know this is challenging. And, we have lots of ways to help you out.
Here is our first “Learning From Home Series” tip sheet for you. We’ve decided to start with focus, which is certainly no easy task when children are trying to learn with parents in an environment outside school.
TIPS to Improve Task Initiation
How did everyone’s day of distance learning go? One thing we’ve heard a bunch today from some moms is that it’s tough to get the kiddos motivated to start and do their work. Doing school from home is an adjustment for everyone! Kids are being asked to use their brains in different ways than they’re used to while at home. Human brains actually get very used to learning in specific environments!
Is it ANXIETY?
How’s it going today distance learning and homeschooling parents???
It sounds like a good number of you are picking up on anxiety based on some of the questions and concerns we’ve heard today. To help, we’ve put together this visual to help you identify ways anxiety manifests in children. If you’re feeling frustrated about children being defiant or having emotional outbursts, please consider whether they might be feeling anxious about the current situation, or even specific school-related stress.
Family Game for Practicing Gratitude: Fortunately/Unfortunately
Fun weekend activity alert: The game of Fortunately/Unfortunately is a creative way to foster communication, explore the ups and downs of our situations, practice looking for the good in the bad, and just have some silly fun. 😁
In Fortunately/Unfortunately, someone starts with a “Fortunately” situation, and everyone takes turns building the story from there. Have fun taking your story in different and creative situations. See our attached example.
What Can I Do if I Feel...
What you’re having to do right now is not easy, parents! First, we acknowledge how difficult this is. Second, we remind you it’s tough for the kids too! Next time everyone is feeling frustrated or angry, print this out to help your kids choose something they can do to calm down and try again. #mindfulness
Why is Sleep So Important?
Getting a good night’s sleep is so important, especially now. Stress, anxiety, disrupted routines, and changes in diet and activity levels are leading to disrupted sleep cycles around the world. We’ve prepared some quick reference resources for you on why sleep is so important, and how to get more of it.
How To Get Better Zzzz
In addition to this resource, we also posted a video from Dr. Erin demonstrating a favorite sleep strategy. You can catch Dr. Erin’s video on our FB page, or here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTaMN_PtB88
IS YOUR CHILD ERUPTING?
Learning in a new environment is a challenge for everyone. Add to that heightened emotions during these unusual circumstances we are all facing, and you may end up experiencing more anger outbursts from your children than you’re used to. Here are some tips we’ve put together to help calm the volcanoes.
PIECES OF ME PUZZLE
Weekend activity idea!! Print and cut out this puzzle and have your kids write in or draw their responses. Now they have a puzzle all about themselves, their favorite things, and it even helps them begin to explore their emotions.
Have fun and stay safe!