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Conciousness for Girls

The idea of mindfulness can feel so idealistic. As adults we understand the importance of getting up, and hustling through our day. We are responsible, after all. For most of us “the hustle” is a way of life. It’s how we live our lives day in and day out. We get up, we rush to get ready, we scarf down some breakfast (if we’re lucky), run out the door, maybe hurry to take the kids to school, and hustle throughout the day; however that day looks for you. By the time we 5:00 pm rolls around, not only are we completely done, but we are not even close to being done, because we have a whole evening ahead of us. So we rush to make dinner, maybe consider a workout but quickly brush that off because nobody has the time or energy for that. Then we help the kids with homework, or rush them around to various responsibilities, all in time to grab a glass of wine, plop on the couch for 30 minutes before dozing off for the night. Rinse and repeat.

 

This is how we hustle, day in and day out. It’s how we’ve been told to live our lives. Society tells us that “hustle is the new black”. If you’re not busy, well clearly you aren’t that important, or maybe you’re just not trying that hard. Clearly you don’t have much going on.

 

But here’s the thing… our constant hustle, is making us sick. It’s wearing us down. It’s stressing us the eff out. And in turn, we are teaching our young ones that that’s exactly how they should live.

 

Do we ever stop to think of the impact that this way of life is having on us and our kids? When we are in a constant state of stress, our bodies respond to try and help us. Our cortisol levels raise, our heart rates jump up, our blood pressure rises, and the list goes on. Many of us know that too much of these symptoms are not good for our health as adults, and even more so for our developing young ones.

 

Our bodies are so smart, they even try and do us a favor. If we are in a constant cycle of stress, calm down, stress, calm down, our bodies eventually say “well I’m expending SO much energy trying to get from stressed to calm, I’m just going to stay at a generally heightened state since I know I’ll be called back to that place soon enough”. And so we never really return to a state of calm. We are always in a degree of stress.

 

So, what do we do? We make self-care, and helping our bodies to truly relax, a priority. And we make it a priority for our families and loved ones.

 

The following are some easy ways to incorporate self-care into your and your families lives:

 

·         As a family spend 3 - 5 minutes at the end of dinner, breathing deeply. A simple breathing exercise to practice is the box breath. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts. Repeat for the desired amount of time.

·         Take time at the end of your day to journal. This can be done as a family, or solo! Reflect on the day, your stresses or your learnings. Get it all out on paper. Writing out anything you are holding onto throughout the day is an excellent way to relieve the stress that is stored in your body.

·         Listen to a guided meditation either first thing in the morning or before bed. But ideally both! These can be found on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, or any music provider! Pop those headphones in and zen out for however long you choose.

·         BE GRATEFUL. If you only do ONE THING, make it this... List 3-5 things you’re grateful for every day. Sitting and reflecting from a space of gratitude for what we do have, not only relieves symptoms of stress, but also allows us to bring in more of that goodness into our lives.

 

Simple mindfulness practices can do a world of good for our health and our families health, yet it’s something we rarely take the time to do. By learning and practicing ourselves, we can then teach our little ones the benefits of mindfulness too. And what it really means to be present and enjoy our lives. So I challenge you to ask yourself… How can I bring more mindfulness, and more importantly peace, into mine and my families lives?

 

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness Elyse is running a workshop starting next week! You can find more details on her Facebook Page or email her directly (ecathrea@gmail.com)

 

Deanne Ferguson