As an educator and teacher’s teacher, I see rushing, chaos, and disorganization as dominant stressors in the lives of students and educators. I see kids cramming papers into desks and teachers rushing kids. As a mom, I know how it can feel to let one activity bleed into the next, making the house — and my mind — a mess.
So how can we make it better?
Let’s take a pause together to experience how a 1-minute activity can help us be more neat, organized, calm, and grateful.
Taking a pause to put one thing away mentally and physically can have a huge impact on how we perceive our days as stressful or not. Give it a shot
Before running to your next activity, try this activity out. Take a moment to put things away. Then put them away in your mind. Make space by breathing in gratitude. Then prepare the space and your mind for what’s to come. That little space is mindfulness!
Make time for calm, organization, and keeping our belongings in good condition all in a 1-minute activity!
You can do the 5 Breath Space-Maker in between activities so you mark one as DONE before you move onto the next.
What’s the benefit?
Focusing fully on one task at a time has been proven to help us build up our “attention muscle” or that is how much control we have over how well we are able to focus our attention (Chris Bailey, A Life of Productivity.com). We have grown to believe multi-tasking is the best way to be productive, but that simply is not the case. By focusing our full attention on one task at a time we actually become more productive. And taking time to transition from one task to the next by clearing our mental and physical space is the best way to prepare ourselves to focus once more, fully on the task at hand. Ritualizing the end of an activity by cleaning up and becoming grateful for its conclusion helps us practice mindful transitions and promote healthy focus.
So how can we do this?
When a task or activity is almost done, mentally note that it is almost done. If you are with a child, state it out loud. “Math time is ending.”
Next, calmly guide your child to put away the math book and other math supplies.
Next, take 5 slow, deep breaths together while focusing on gratitude for the activity that is ending.
Finally, notice how you feel!
When you are ready to, think about what is next, what you need for the next activity, and calmly get your things and go to where you need to be.
Notice the difference between taking the space and letting activities overlap. The mess will be reduced. The mind will be clear. It’s really a miracle transition activity for teachers and parents.
Build clean up time into your ritual and DO NOT rush students. An extra 2 minutes at the end of class makes a huge difference in how children FEEL when they are with you and they can leave you better prepared for what’s next. You will set a good example of how to care for your things and function in a calm, centered, grateful state.
Make clean up time a special time by bringing your mindful awareness to the close of things. Your home will be cleaner and your child will be more deliberate.
Note that encapsulating activities makes them have a clear end, so for us adults we can put away worrying and thinking about that task once it’s complete.
Help yourself and the children you love feel more calm.
Learn more tips and tools in our Integrating mindfulness into the school day course, or grab the curriculum here. Join us in the foundations of kids yoga live, online course with Lara and learn the potential that you and the kids you love can live with more movement, breath, and self-care. Finally, if you are wanting to help guide your children deeper into self-care, join our self-care for kids course!
What’s coming next week?
How do we reduce resistance to bedtime and encourage a transition into a full, peaceful night of sleep? Mindfulness can help!
Let us know how it’s going! Tag us @flowandgrowyoga on instagram and use #selfcaresaturday when you post pictures or videos practicing! Or reply here to tell us about your experiences! Photos are always welcome!
Want to learn more about teaching mindfulness & self-care to children?
Integrating Mindfulness into the School Day: This course explores how to practice little m mindfulness. Whether you are working in a school or not, this workshop will help you create a structure around mindfulness, breathing, and self-regulation in your work with children. Take it live online, or catch the replay
Self-Care for Children: In this course, we explore a framework for self-care for children, while examining your own practices. Take it live, or catch the replay!
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