When we hear all the great benefits of mindfulness meditation, or maybe from personal positive experience, we promptly want to share this incredible tool with everyone we know, including our beloved family. Following are some ideas for how you can bring the attentiveness and non-judgmental awareness that comes from mindfulness meditation to your family. Incorporating one or more of these ideas will have you on the road to a mindful household.
Self-care, self-love, and personal practice. As caregivers it is important to remember that building a mindful family begins with you. Especially as parents, we often forget that we must first take care of our own personal wellbeing before we can care for our family. This may mean taking 15-30 minutes at some point each day to sit in meditation, or maybe it means taking a quiet walk outside or curling up with a good book. Taking this ‘me’ time is imperative and will enable you to give more of yourself to your loved ones, as you will be coming from a place where you feel refreshed and reenergized rather than overworked and underappreciated.
Setting an example. We know that children learn from us by seeing how we behave so setting an example is key. This doesn’t mean being perfect, but rather approaching mistakes in the right way. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, you could choose to pause and take a different path forward. When you do inevitably mess up and get angry, set a good example by not rushing to criticize yourself when you become aware of your unintentional reaction, but rather compassionately acknowledge the mistake without harsh judgment and move on. Opportunities to practice the lessons of your mindfulness meditation practice are abundant.
Fully present family time. Jam-packed schedules full of work, school, and extracurricular activities often don’t leave much time for quality time as a family. . Setting time aside regularly to spend unplugged, fully present family time will help family members to reconnect and have fun together. Whether taking a camping trip, spending time outdoors being active together, playing board games, or reading books together, giving our children and loved ones our complete, undivided attention is truly the best gift we can provide.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. Register for a group class at Mindfultime today.