As a meditation teacher and mindfulness educator for teens, parents and a variety of ages: I get asked quite a bit how it works for families to be able to breathe together (and find the time to do so)!
Here are the top 3 questions from my community on meditation and mindfulness (p.s.: meditation is one form of mindfulness) and how you can incorporate it more into your life so that you feel less stress daily, rest well at night and have tools when things come up in life:
Question 1: I don’t know when I will find the time to meditate or take a breath - are there quick ways that I can do so as a [busy mom of teen boys], [parent of an energetic, strong-willed child], [teen girl who is feeling stressed], etc.?
Answer: Meditation and mindfulness are ALL about finding moments of time and physical places or times during the day (and lengths of time) that work for YOU because it is your own comforting, sacred practice where you simply connect to yourself and a higher power (if you feel called to). This relieves stress, helps you to find stillness in your mind and body and you feel recharged and more confident with whatever is going on.
For example, I love to use the “4 in and 4 out” technique with parents and children where they count to 4 when inhaling and again when exhaling (closed eyes are optional) as a simple way to reset the nervous system and body with your hands placed over the heart and belly - it only takes a minute!
Also, a great way to release any anger and frustration (or even before reacting with frustration to someone or something) is by taking a deeper, longer inhale for 5-7 seconds and breathing out slowly through the mouth for the same amount of time as if you are whistling. If you're curious, you can learn and practice many more techniques like these in a 30-minute session with me here
Question 2: Do I need to have all of the fancy pillows, cushions, decorations, yoga mats, beads, jewelry, malas, etc. and a religious affiliation in order to meditate?
Answer: Nope! You don’t need any of that at all - what helps is simply having a comfortable space, clothing that helps you to feel more relaxed and the openness to find a few moments (even 30 seconds to 1 minute) to breath deeper and deeper so that your body can relax and you can take a moment for yourself before reacting with anger, fear, frustation and much emotion. Breathwork helps you to connect to your body and mind and know yourself best - and in practicing this, your children are able to be shown how to find moments of quiet, too! Whether that be:
-To start your day
-While eating a meal
-Before going for a drive in the car
-Before an exam or sporting event
-Before bed so you can rest well
Question 3: So then how can I get my child to sit still? What if they don’t want to do it or do it with me?
Answer: The great thing about mindfulness is that it works well in a variety of ways - and it doesn’t always have to involve sitting still in the way that meditation is practiced. Mindfulness can be a child who likes to enjoy the quiet moments of trying a new recipe with you, a song that helps them sleep well, creating art that feels fun and playful or a yoga class that you can do with or without your teen. When we find what works best specifically for us: we're more likely to do it again in the future! :)
Bonus question: I've heard about essential oils. What kinds of oils can I use to help me relax my mind and body in general?
Answer: The top oils that I and my oil community love for mindfulness, breathwork and meditation are Frankincense, Peppermint, Rose, Cedarwood, Black Spruce, Balance blend, Breathe blend, Peace blend and Steady blend (DoTerra Kids Collection).
Basically, anything that is woodsy (trees and barks that are grounding), with mint (invigorating to help breathe deeply) or floral (calms the nervous system - even Magnolia oil is lovely and similar to Lavender) helps!
Could you use more help for you or your teen to de-stress?
30-minute guided meditation sessions help me to choose the best music and environment for YOU to feel more relaxed as a parent (and help your child find options, too)! These can be done through FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and Facebook Messenger video. I’m also available for in-person sessions in Morgantown, West Virginia (United States) - read testimonials and book a session with me here.
1-hour coaching sessions help to get clear on what is and is not working and finding ways that YOU can practice meditation, mindfulness and help relieve stress for your family through effective communication, growth mindset, positive affirmations, ways to release emotion and more - schedule a free introductory phone or video call with me so I can help you find 1 solution right now!