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By the time the New Year rolls around, the stress of holiday shopping, gift wrapping, cooking and partaking in all of the festivities has worn most families out! Then it’s back to the just-as-busy everyday routines, and it seems there isn’t a chance to fully recuperate. Sometimes even the little things, like pulling out crafts to do a project with your little one or reading a bedtime story to your child, may feel like a lot of effort.
How can this state be overcome? By making a conscious shift to always be mindful. Being mindful is all about being aware, being in this moment. It does not take any physical effort to be mindful and the rewards are huge! Here are some examples of what you can do:
|You want to:||So all you have to do is…|
|Expose your child to a variety
|While brushing teeth at night, turn on different kinds of music. Which does she like best? How did each kind of music make her feel?|
|Play outside more with your child but there does not seem to be enough time.||Get bundled up and go outside for just 10 minutes to play or walk together.|
|Have your child watch less TV or spend less time on the computer.||Ask him for help with folding the laundry, making the beds, emptying the dishwasher, or washing the dog—chores that need to be done anyway. Talk about each other’s day as you work.|
|Talk more with the children, not just to them.||Pull out a deck of cards or a board game, and play one hand or one round. This is another opportunity to talk to each other while you play.|
|Laugh and have more fun with
|Read a Dr. Seuss book together or rent a Charlie Brown movie – both have kid and adult humor. And it won’t matter how old your child is, there will be something for everyone. Try it – laughter is an amazing bonding element!|
|Make dinner time last longer, but it seems like you eat, and bam, you all are onto the next thing.||Make it a new ritual that during dinner everyone reports the best thing that happened to them today and the worst.|
There are so many ways to change the flavor of your evening routine to make it anything but routine. Being mindful yields a huge benefit to the whole family. With little effort you can create moments that are fun and educable—even ones that build fond memories.
How do you make ways to spend more quality time together as a family?