Do you wait all year, longing for those warm summer days that never seem to end? The quality family time, spending time outdoors, visiting family and friends and going on adventures to new places?
Only to find yourself after a week, wondering what happened to summer…
The kids are constantly winding each other up, the play fighting has turned to actual fisty cuffs, no matter what you do the kids now seem bored within five minutes and you’ve started a physical countdown to school restarting in September.
You are so not alone.
The problem, more often than not, is overstimulation caused by:
Change (or lack of) routine
Doing too much and not enough rest
Sensory overload with bright lights and loud sounds from various attractions or holiday destinations
Increase in social interaction with family and friends
The signs of overstimulation are extreme irritability, over-excitement, fidgety, restless, outbursts of emotion and tantrums, whining and whinging.
The answer needn’t be to stop enjoying ourselves this summer, but simply adding in strategies, say late afternoon before dinner, to help both ourselves as parents, and our children, to find balance and regulate our bodies after experiencing sensory overload.
Meditation and mindfulness activities are great ways to help regulate ourselves during moments of overstimulation. They can counteract sleep issues, emotional breakdowns, negative mindset, anxiety, and feelings of restlessness and overwhelm. Practising mindfulness brings our awareness to the present moment, so a great reason to start this during summer is the increased enjoyment and satisfaction you’ll get from your time as a family. The benefits for children are just as great as for adults when practicing meditation, especially those on the spectrum. Children imitate our behaviours, so if we can start a regular practice ourselves, they are more likely to mimic this and want to try it out.
That’s why I have come up with the #MyMindfulSummer challenge – 31 daily prompts and ideas for meditation and mindfulness for children and their parents to do together. The challenge started today and will run throughout August. First steps are to download the calendar and then come and join us in the VIP Facebook group. You can also take part by sharing your activities on stories on Instagram with the hashtag #MyMindfulSummer, so we can all follow along.
Let me know in the comments if you will be joining us for 31 days of mindfulness.