The Importance of Gratitude
This is a running theme in so many of my blog posts, lesson plans and general day to day living. We like to include some form of gratitude into our day whether it is writing it down before we go to sleep, talking about it, playing gratitude themed games or using it as a theme for our art.
Gratitude can make you happier and healthier, physically and mentally. I write about the benefits of gratitude more in this blog post : Have an attitude of Gratitude.
Gratitude is a mindset and not something we can hold in our hands or point to so we have to get creative in the way we teach it to our children. Instead of focusing on getting children to see it, we should bring focus on getting children to feel it. A great way to do this is through art. Children have such beautiful imaginations and it is wonderful to see their creativity flourish. This can also be a really fun opportunity for adults to get creative.
Start by setting up a clear space, without distractions of television. You could even take this activity outside if it is a nice day! Get pens, crayons, glitter, paint or anything you feel like getting arty with today and your paper ready.
Choose from the following prompts to help your child (and yourself if joining in) feel the gratitude in what they have at this very moment.
1. Draw something that makes you happy.
2. Draw someone you love.
3. Draw something that makes you feel good.
4. Draw someone who helps you.
5. Draw something that makes you feel thankful everyday.
I would love to see some of your drawings! Feel free to share with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on social media www.facebook.com/amazingmekidsyoga www.instagram.com/amazing_me_yoga or right here in the comments! Enjoy!
Three things I am doing to bring happiness and balance into these 'lockdown' days....
1. Keeping a morning and evening routine
I am pretty free flowing when it comes to the day. I tried writing out a routine to the hour but it didn't work for us. This definitely works for some but I found it too stressfull.
My morning and evening routines however, I love. They have taken work to commit to at points but have definetely found the joy in them.
My morning routine looks like this
- I wake up, usually when my toddler decides.
- I take a few deep breaths.
- I scrape my tongue with a copper tongue scraper. (so many health benefits)
- I make the kids breakfast, I drink a tall glass of water and have my coffee.
- I move my body in some way via a hiit work out, yoga, dancing with the kids etc.
- I have a cold shower. (Again so many benefits to this including handling stress better, better metabolism etc).
- We all get dressed and ready for the day.
That is it. What happens after that is more free flowing but having that structure in place really helps us to not sit about in our pjs too long (unless it is the weekend) and start our day off to a good start.
The evening is much simpler. An hour before bed every night, my phone goes on to 'airplane mode', I get comfy, put my oil diffuser on with some lavender and orange, hop on my yoga mat and do a restoritive yoga practice for an hour. I then write three things in my gratitude journal and call it a night.
REMEMBERING I AM SUPERWOMAN AND I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN
A confusing title I'm sure but let me explain. We have so much to do. If you are reading this you possibly have kids too, and if you're like me, you're wondering where all off this 'free time' people are on about is. As a single mum to a toddler and a 6 year old, I have to say, there is no 'free time'. It feels like every moment needs to be filled. Choosing to do an intense course on top of things probably didn't help that (tho I am very happy to be doing it) and then just keeping on top of the housework seems like a full job in itself. Honestly it is alot.
I don't need recognition or sympathy because you are right there too. You are doing alot right now. And let me tell you, you are Superwoman for it! (Or super man, don't want to rule out any men who are reading). But in the same breath, we are not superwoman. I mean this in the way that, not everything needs to get done. You need to give yourself a break and be compassionate if you didnt manage to do all the things today. You're physical and mental health is the priority.
I have given up trying to do everything everyday, there is only so much one person can do and we need to be able to enjoy time together and take moments of self care without freaking out about our to do lists.
Doing one thing for me
I mentioned before that I feel like I have less time than usual with trying to keep the kids alive and well etc with homeschooling, preparing a million snacks a day and clearing up after hurricane Finn. I also mentioned that I was enrolled in a course. Now this a course that I have been wanting to do for years. I didn't have the time or money and due to there being no possible ways to train in person, they moved online. This opportunity may not come up again in this way so I grabbed it. I am so excited to be doing it and I am already learning so much.
Maybe there is something you can do for you? It doesnt have to be a course but perhaps a hobby you use to do but lost touch with. It could even be something you can do with the kids such as baking, art or sewing. Maybe its something you can do by yourself like running if you have someone else in your household to kind the kids. Maybe writing or reading a good book. Whatever it is, do it for you because it lights you up. Do something that sparks joy. Even if you can only commit to this once a week.
What is one thing you are doing for yourself that is helping you through each day?
I would love to hear how you guys are getting on and if you have any tips for us or any experiences t share of things you are doing to bring a little joy to the everyday. Let me know in the comments. Have a great week every body and let me know if this blog helped inspire you in any way.