Mindfulness is, without a doubt, a source that can help us lower our stress level and allow us to recharge when our tanks are running empty. Day after day we focus so much on “getting things done”, sticking to the planner, and dealing with the unexpected. As part of our mindfulness practice, is important to practice it as a family so that as a family we can be aware and grateful for the life we are living.
Below are options that can get you and your family in the mindfulness path and the rewards are worth the try.
Go for a mindful walk or hike: I like doing this a lot with the family. We take a very short walk (or loop) but we do it practicing awareness. We walk and talk about the smells, the colors, the sounds, how the trees or leaves are to our touch, how the sun feels if its cold, or hot, or humid. We take turns pointing out what calls our attention. This has been a great practice, especially for my husband and kids as a way to incorporate mindfulness into their lives as well.
Do yoga for beginners class: Nowadays you can find tons of Yoga tutorials on Youtube or other apps and these are great to do with the family, especially with younger kiddos. Taking a yoga class for about 10 to 15 minutes will help you and your family to connect through a healthy activity that is fun as well. We would usually clear up the living room and each one takes a spot. We let it be fun so laughing is allowed!
Cook a three-course meal as a family: There are times in which cooking at home is just a necessity (maybe you have small kiddos, or you are budget conscious), we try to cook at home as much as we can and usually the cooking is done by me. Lately, I have been incorporating cooking as a way to mindfully connect with each other. From picking up the menu (each one in the family propose an option) to cooking it and finally to eat it. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, a simple appetizer (like homemade hummus or bruschetta), easy meal (like veggie tacos, pastrami sandwiches or chicken wings) and a delicious dessert (chocolate mug cake has been the one to go lately) are sufficient to make any afternoon a mindful moment with the family.
Listening to music!: This works! We are four members in my family, and we all have different music styles so we each get to pick the “next song”, no matter what we pick we need to listen to it. It is so fun when my 12-year-old picks a Bad Bunny song, followed by Gavin Degraw (my 9-year-old favorite artist), followed by Journey (my husband pick) and finishing the first round with Paul Simon (because I want to). We would do up to 4 to 5 rounds and it is all fun. We get to dance a bit, we get to sing out loud, we learn to appreciate the differences between us and respect our unique artistic preferences.
Do a guided breathing mediation as a family: This has been a great practice as a family. We only do 5 to 10 minutes, but I really enjoyed watching the kids taking the time to do the breathing exercises. They do recognize that it calms them down, that the mind feels lighter, and they are more relaxed.
Practice gratitude: We have been practicing gratitude as a family for a while, I even have a post on this blog just about this. It is really life-changing to hear your kids and your husband says out loud what they are grateful for. We usually say two to three things and can go from the chicken wings they had for dinner to be grateful for having a bed to sleep on tonight. Making your kids hear you saying that you are grateful makes them recognized that although there are things that they want, what they have is enough to be happy.
As we are all trying our best to work our schedules, checking items to our to-do list while adding more it, it is important to recognize that the journey we are on is a shared one and our family is directly impacted by our actions, reactions, and inactions. Working together as a family to be mindful is an opportunity to share more time together, create memories and make love simply flourish.