Getting out of the house in the morning can be a challenge! Most of you will have seen this but it makes me laugh so much every time!
I will soon be getting myself and my toddler out the door to get to the Tagesmutter. It isn’t always going to be easy to stay calm and present. Children don’t always want to go with our schedule! But how we handle these minutes at the start of the day sets the tone not only for our day but for our child’s too.
I have been practicing Mindfulness for over 10 years and can’t emphasise enough the benefits of it. Being mindful is being fully present in the moment, paying attention. I often describe it as seeing the world through the eyes of the child. They are fully present and engaged and find wonder and joy in all that surrounds them.
Once out of the house, Mindful Walking can change our mornings and our moods from stressed and harassed to calm and happy.
Mindful walking is a simple way of being mindful every day. Most of us do some walking in our day. Whether it is from the house to the bus stop or from the u-bahn to the office or a walk to the shops, we can all find ways to incorporate mindful walking in to our day. And you will find huge benefits if you are more mindful with your child on the way to kindergarten/school as well as on the return journey alone.
So, on the way to school, take a deep breath and with your child draw awareness to all the sensations around you – the warm sun on your skin, the breeze on your face, the sound of birds, the smell of flowers, the colour of the leaves….Try to be more like your child and see the joy in all that is around you. You will then arrive at kindergarten/school with a happy child who will interact and learn much better.
Now, it’s time for you to walk mindfully back home or wherever your next stop is. When our minds are busy, stressed or going too fast bringing awareness to our body helps counteract that. Walking mindfully is walking normally but with more attention to our walking. To help you walk more mindfully:
- Bring your awareness in to your body and to its movements as you walk – Each time you get distracted, simply bring your awareness back to your body and its movements.
- Bring your attention to the soles of your feet – This is especially good if you are rushing or are feeling anxious. Notice the weight of your body down through your feet, and be aware of the ground supporting your feet.
- Use a counting technique – This is very good if you are distracted or stressed. Count after each step – 1,2,3….until 8 and then count backwards to 1.
- Use words or phrases – Adding phrases can help you stay in the experience. Try something like ‘walking mindfully’ or pick your own.
- Let go – Pay attention to any feelings of stress or tension and walk and let go of them.
- Have awareness of the nice sensations – Your body moving, the warm sun on your skin, the breeze on your face, the sound of birds, the smell of flowers, the colour of the leaves….
Over the coming days, pay attention to how walking more mindfully makes you feel. Do you feel calmer, happier, more relaxed, focused? In a matter of days you will begin to see a change in how you feel. So whether you walk to school, walk to the car or walk to the bus or train, say goodbye stressful mornings, hello quality time with your children and more happiness.
Interested in learning more about Mindfulness and how to make it part of your daily life? Join me for my next Mindfulness course starting in March. More details are here:
More info can be found at http://julieleonardcoaching.com/