Getting Started with Mindfulness
Although many of us hear about March Madness, here at CI we are focusing instead on March Mindfulness! Although to some mindfulness may seem more fad than focus, research continues to show that being able to focus your mind, your physical being, and your emotions may help you achieve in many different areas of your life. How can we, as people who work with children of all ages, develop our own mindfulness routines in order to better teach and model the practice to the youth we work with?
This month, what can we do physically, to become more mindful? We can attempt to become more aware of our breathing, and how we can control it in times of stress to alleviate anxiety. We can visualize our muscles as we purposely relax them, starting from our feet, working our way up our torso, and into our neck and head. And we can experience nature with a walk outside, focusing solely on the sounds, sights, and smells along the way, without the distraction of our phones or music.
In terms of our emotional mindfulness, we can focus on those rituals that allow us to release some of that inner dialogue that keeps driving our motors. Practice some self-talk, whether it be aloud or internal, in order to calm yourself and boost your confidence. Create a nighttime ritual such as journaling, reading something soothing, or writing out that dreaded to-do list and setting it aside, in order to relax your mind as well as your body as you get ready for sleep. Finally, do not forget the importance of focusing on gratitude – beginning every day with one thing that you are grateful for can often shift your mind and focus to a more positive slant for the rest of the day.
Last month we included a Beat the Clock game in order to increase physical activity with children. This month we have added a Mindfulness Version of this game in order to slow everyone’s racing thoughts and bodies, and help them focus before the testing season begins.
As you head into your own March madness, we wish you a mindful and peaceful spring! Please see our vlog for more tips on Mindfulness and go to our website to register for our Spotlight Series on Mindfulness in April!