Summer is winding down, and all of a sudden it is time to buy backpacks and clothes, organize supplies, and await the arrival of class lists. For many children, these new routines may elicit mixed emotions. Making time for mindfulness practices within your child’s day increases self-awareness and calmness. Here are a few activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine as you start to transition from summer into the school year.
Once the new school year begins, many weekday mornings may feel rushed, chaotic, and stressful. Scheduling a daily morning breathing practice could create a more relaxing start to the day. Using a pinwheel is one way to include a fun and interactive way to breathe. The intention is to inhale through the nose until the belly expands like a balloon, and exhale slowly through the mouth, making the pinwheel spin as long as possible. Doing this three to five times before heading out the door will help your child begin their day more peacefully and productively. If you have time, try to build the breathing into your morning schedule a week before the school year begins to ensure structure and routines are in place.
Summer is a time to relax, create memories with family and friends, embrace nature, and have fun in the sun! There is a lot to be grateful for, and sitting down with your child to talk about their gratitude list will help reduce worries, and keep them smiling as they transition back to school. You will need a small jar (a half pint mason jar is a great option) and enough marbles to fill the jar (I use different colors and sizes to make it more visually pleasing). Each marble represents something you and your child are thankful for. It could be as simple as receiving a hug from a loved one, eating a healthy and delicious meal, or spending time family. The goal is to fill the jar to the very top! Filling the Gratitude Jar at bedtime may alleviate anxiety by triggering happy emotions before going to sleep.
Integrating daily mindfulness practices will keep your child feeling centered and positive throughout the school year!