22 Jun Creating Mindful Moments During a Busy Summer
By Kara Ferreira
Summer is a time of joy, adventure, and shared memories for families. However, it can also be a busy time with mingled work schedules, kids’ activity schedules, and more time spent together. Building “mindful moments” into a busy summer schedule can benefit the entire family, fostering emotional resilience, presence, and an appreciation for the present moment. Here are some tips for creating more mindfulness:
Prioritize Family Connection
In the midst of summer activities, it’s crucial to carve out dedicated time for genuine connection with your children. Create intentional spaces for conversations, where you actively listen to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Establishing a consistent ritual like a family mealtime, evening walks, or bedtime stories can foster a sense of togetherness and deepen your bond. These activities don’t have to be long and it’s ok if you miss them from time to time. Don’t let the guilt of not doing enough prevent you from doing something, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Engage the Senses
Summer provides a plethora of sensory experiences that can be utilized to bring mindfulness into your day-to-day activities. Encourage your children to pause and notice the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around them. Whether it’s feeling the cool grass beneath their feet, listening to the birds singing, or savoring the sweetness of a summer fruit, these small moments of sensory awareness can ground them in the present.
Create Mindful Spaces
Designate specific areas in your home or garden as mindful spaces where everyone can retreat to find tranquility. Consider incorporating elements like cushions, soft lighting, nature-inspired decorations, or a small water feature to create a peaceful ambiance. Encourage your children to use these spaces for quiet reflection, reading, or engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as coloring or journaling.
Practice Mindful Breathing
Teaching children the power of their breath can equip them with a lifelong tool for managing stress and emotions. Encourage them to take deep, slow breaths in and out, noticing the rise and fall of their bellies. Engage in short breathing exercises together as a family, especially during moments of overwhelm or transition. This practice can bring about a sense of calm and centeredness amidst the chaos of a busy summer schedule.
In our technology-driven world, it’s essential to create boundaries and take breaks from screens. Encourage designated “tech-free” times or days during the summer. Use this time to engage in activities that encourage presence and mindful engagement, such as board games, art projects, or outdoor adventures. By disconnecting from screens, you create space for meaningful connections and deeper self-awareness. For more tips on managing kids’ screen time, check out our other blog post here.
Creating time and intentional space for these mindful moments will not only enhance your summer experience but also equip your children with lifelong skills for emotional resilience and self-care. And remember, summer does not have to be (and will not be) perfect. Try not to get caught up in getting it all right. Hopefully, slowing down and carving out time to be mindful will help you remember you are doing the best you can, and your kids love you for being you!
Mindful.org, 7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently
Children’s Hospital of Chicago, 8 Mindfulness Activities & Exercises for Kids
Positive Psychology, 25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens
Kara Ferreira is a G3 Contributing Writer. This post was reviewed by Dr. Julie Galvin and Dr. Elizabeth Snyder.