Yes I know I have already finished my 21 days challenge. Yesterday. But I am now in the groove! I did my mediation today with Sura Flow. I completed day 11 of the 21 day meditation challenge. And I also watched the zoom webinar on Facebook live for the discussion on meditation as part of the 21 day challenge. If you want to see details on the meditation challenge the link is:-
I also managed to get outside for a quick walk and as always I soaked up the vision of the beautiful wild flowers and even simplicity of the gorgeous sun and blue sky. I had a lovely video chat today with my son and it was great to see him having such fun with the online lessons on the duolingo app, and the satisfaction he got when he achieved the hearts and compliments from duolingo as he moves up the levels.
Earlier in the day I managed to spend a short time tackling some of the clutter that’s been piling up here. And I found some old magazines. And they all went straight into the recycling, that is apart from one. When I saw the magazine from Vitality Health, the winter 2020 edition, I thought I ought to at least open it up and check if there is any information that I find interesting. And I found three articles in particular. The first was on children and their emotional health. The second was on running and associated benefits. And then third was on how failure is the new success.
There were also three books recommended for inspiration as follows:-
- Stand tall like a mountain, by Suzy Reading. Mindfulness and self care tips for children and parents;
- The book you wish your parents had read (and your children will be glad you did), by Phillipa Perry. Encouraging advice about enhancing the connection you have with your children.
- You are awesome, by Mathew Syed. Tips for kids on finding their confidence.
The author of the book, “Stand tall like a Mountain” Susie Reading is a chartered psychologist. Susie says junior school aged children can feel overwhelmed including from pressures from tests, body image concerns of the young age, feeling peer pressure etc. It is important to support them emotionally. To develop the skill of talking, to help deal with life’s hurdles.
We are warned against the urge to try to help your child to be happy all the time. Don’t try to make them happy all the time by moving obstacles and negative emotion, as this can backfire. As this can in fact cause children to become anxious and self-critical leading into depressed states. Susie suggested we help children to identify what they are feeling and acknowledging that it’s okay to have those emotions. We can ask questions such as what could you try and what could you do instead? This will help to boost our children’s problem-solving skills.
The article refers to the app Headspace, and their focus on children where they created Headspace for Kids. The YouTube link is https://youtu.be/N32dOgiTqQA
The website for Headspace for Kids is https://www.headspace.com/blog/2019/01/25/headspace-for-kids-meditations/
Children benefit from mindfulness meditation. And when children are playing they are being mindful because when they’re playing, they are fully present in the moment. Unfortunately, nowadays children of spending less time actually playing.
Children are sponges and as the expression goes, “monkey see, monkey do”. To see a YouTube video on the monkey song the link is here https://youtu.be/Mt8ZkpYUeu0
So that children learn from everything they see and hear. Children learn behaviour they see. So it’s important to how we as adults deal with their own emotions, and how we deal with our moods. One of the most hurtful things we can do is to not take charge of our own happiness. We need to take charge of our own emotions. We need carve out time to focus on ourselves, to destress. Ideas could be to take up volunteering, to enjoy time with friends, to take up hobbies. And it’s important we should talk to children about what we did during the day. This is to help children to cope. Whether we completed a work project, or had a nice chat with a friend. And not just speak of positive things. We might say “I made a mistake, I lost my temper, and next time I’ll go for a walk and calm down first”. This will show the children that everyone makes mistakes but what is important is that we learn from our mistakes and how we learn from them.
It’s also important we find time on a regular basis to sit down with our children. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day over breakfast, or while they get ready for bed at night. To stay connected with the children. There have been studies that show that children who regularly eat dinner with their families are more emotionally stable, and have fewer depressive symptoms. This can be a time to share the news with your family. So taking the effort to get the dining table set up, for a routine of spending time all together. It is traditional to do that but seems to have fallen away in modern times, To start by saying grace together, before eating your food, and then you can just talk about your day. This talking is an opportunity to verbalise thoughts and feelings and is one of the best things you can do for the emotional health of our children. Susie says that this helps the children to feel listened to and to feel loved. Susie says that eventually children will open up to us. Susie said you also need to keep conversations open and you don’t want your children to be so nervous about coming to you they say something upsetting online.
There is mention of having a strict rule that children do not use the iPad or tablet etc until after they’ve already finished their homework for the day and be strict on this boundary. Also, children shouldn’t watch anything on the screen an hour before they go to bed.
Self-esteem is closely linked to confidence. As parents we should be careful not to overpraise, because it could make your child feel pressure. The child could be worried if they disappoint you, if they don’t succeed. Instead we should praise the effort they put into the task, rather than their natural ability. So you should praise the effort the child has made. It’s the fact that they made an effort and put the time in, the hard work. Praise the fact that they have dedicated their time to their endeavour. We want to empower children to develop a growth mindset that you achieve success by working hard.
Another article I read was talking of the benefits of running. There were case studies, including how helpful running was for overcoming trauma including divorced, diabetes and depression. On page 41 of this magazine it outlines five ways running can help you. For example, running can add years to your life, running will improve your mental health, and running helps you to lose or maintain weight. Also running helps to keep your brain healthy and running makes you healthier in general.
Another article talks about developing resilience. Resilience is about being able to sit with painful emotions even when life is challenging. It’s about being able to adapt to learn lessons and move forward. Emotional stability and resilience can be learnt and nurtured. We should also celebrate achievements even very small ones. To be resilient we need to be healthy. We need to do our best to stay physically healthy, mentally healthy, to be physically healthy, to exercise, to eating healthy food, choosing healthy food to eat fruit and vegetables, to rest exercise. And to find time socialising. Stop focusing on being a victim. Instead focus on the positives, and how is going to improve for you in the future. We can move forward. We can focus our attention to the present, and also look forward to the things that we can do in the next five years, on our feelings I want to feel in the future. We could use meditation, and mantras, using affirmations to say to yourself over and over, such as I am good enough, and my life is good. Marisa Peer has recorded meditations and discusses affirmations. The YouTube link is https://youtu.be/L57HYnWVNfk
To return to today’s video, view the blog here:- https://alicemeditationcoach.wordpress.com
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