The summer holidays are fast approaching, with some children already having broken up from school. Thoughts are turning with great expectation to time off but can the prospect of no school, and the idea of a family holiday coming up, bring about feelings of stress and anxiety than can spoil the whole “Together” experience.
Certainly is you are a working parent the holidays can be nothing more than a nightmare, juggling child care and factoring in the extra costs of “Holiday Club” entertainment and the extra financial burden of a family holiday away, there has never been a better time to look at ways to make the whole experience less stressful.
Family time together is so important. It’s a time to connect without the worries of work and school life and a time to make memories that can be looked back on and talked about in years to come. But sadly there can be occasions when being together can become fraught with tension and the good times get lost amongst rows and tantrums..and that’s just the parents!
Holidays are not just about packing your clothes into a suitcase and hoping it all goes without a hitch, they are also about making sure you are mentally prepared and have not forgotten to pack your “Compassion” in the side pocket.
Compassion is of course a concern for the suffering of others but it also means #Empathy #Understanding #Sensitivity #Tolerance #Consideration #Kindness all the ingredients you would need to make your holiday a success.
Mindfulness is scientifically proven to help as it creates a compassionate non judgemental state of mind that focuses on the present moment and makes you pay attention to this moment using techniques like meditation and breathing.
When we practice mindfulness we become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them we are more able to manage them.
Mindfulness practice can be done by all the members of the family. That long car journey can be enhanced by playing a Mindfulness CD on the car system (Make sure the driver is concentrating only on the driving). Controlled slow breathing in and out can be made into a game with little ones. Get them to count in their heads how many times they breath in and out, telling them to make sure they are breathing in and out through their noses, but keeping their mouths and eyes shut. It passes a little time away but has the added advantage of calming and focusing them for a while.
Older children can listen to a Mindfulness CD on their iPods. Download some and encourage them to use them for a while to create some down time from their music and Facebook App.
Parents need some down time too…So when the kids are tucked up in bed after a fantastic day at the beach lie on the bed and listen to a #BodyScan Mindfulness Meditation cd. The idea is NOT to fall asleep but to be aware of your body and any tensions you have hidden away and become aware of your thoughts in a relaxed and compassionate way. Then get up and enjoy a wonderful meal savouring every mouthful.. mindfully.
Throughout your holiday just make sure that whatever you are doing whether it be swimming,walking, eating, drinking, having fun just live in the MOMENT mindfully. Relish this time, because by this time tomorrow it will be the past.
Don’t just be #BeachBodyReady” be “MindAndBodyReady” make memories, but best of all enjoy being together in a calm focused and resilient way.