As the half term break comes to an end in England, children and teachers are starting to get back into school routines. The second half of the summer term is often a busy time with end of year performances, day trips, sports day and the summer fair. All very exciting! However, for some children and teachers, these events can be quite overwhelming and may bring about uneasy thoughts and feelings that result in unsettling behaviour. This is where mindfulness can help.
Mindfulness is about connecting to the present moment and tuning into how we feel by recognising any sensations that may arise without judging them. Mindfulness isn’t about sitting crossed-legged and meditating (although this has amazing benefits). Mindfulness is about being mindful and totally present in the here and now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not yesterday. But being in the present moment – right here and right now. So whether you are painting a picture, going for a walk or hugging a friend, mindfulness is simply about being present.
The core of mindfulness is connecting to our breath. When we breathe deeply, and show children how to do the same, we begin to focus and slow everything down from within. This includes our heart rate, which in turn has a calming effect on our physical and mental health. Regular deep breathing activities, particularly when combined with physical activities, can reduce stress and overwhelm; improve focus and concentration; and help boost our confidence.
Here’s a video showing Lazy Eight Breathing. This is a mindful breathing activity from my book, Mindful Little Yogis, which features a range of practical and creative self-regulation tools to help calm children and adults.
I hope this post inspires you to incorporate mindfulness and deep breathing into your everyday routines. For more practical techniques, feel free to check out Mindful Little Yogis book on Amazon and internationally in all good bookstores.
Miss H ♥