Summer Mindfulness Challenge – Week 5

Summer Mindfulness Challenge – Week 5

With just a couple of weeks left of the holidays, I thought it would be nice to turn to practices of thanks and gratitude. Recent research has shown that gratitude, being thankful, and compassion uses parts of the brain that are associated with socialisation, pleasure, and emotional regulation. Therefore, when we feel grateful it creates a more relaxed body state which, over time, provides a huge number of physical and emotional health benefits.

So why not try some of these activities this week and reflect on how it makes you feel in your journal. You can download a worksheet of all these activities here.

Gratitude wall

Using coloured post-it notes, each day every family member writes a note about something they were thankful or grateful for that day. Pop them up in a dedicated place in the house and see the wonder grow over the week.

Family tree

Children often create family trees however this is one with a difference. Draw your tree and place your family members names around the outside. Now, add flowers on the tree to represent gifts that others have given you (not necessarily physical) and fruits on the tree to represent gifts that you give to others.

Meditation

The loving-kindness meditation is a practice that is all about connecting with the love that is inside all of us.  Start by asking your child to think of someone or something that they love, ask them to think about all the things that make that person or thing special and invite them to put their hands over their heart. Speak out loud:

May I be well, healthy and strong. May I be happy. May I be at peace. 

Then send that feeling out to others by repeating:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be at peace.

A full meditation script can be found here which can be adapted for use with children and teenagers of any age.

Bedtime thanks

This is a lovely moment to add into the bedtime routine. Simply ask your child to think about the best moment in their day. Or, or older children you can extend it through a reflective conversation.

Summer holiday board

All too often our photos stay in their digital form. Why not print some out and have a mindful crafting session making a holiday collage? As well as pictures, you could include other things such as leaflets or objects you’ve collected on your travels.

Make thank you notes

We hardly ever write to people nowadays, except perhaps in a card at Christmas or birthdays. Why not jot down a small note to say thank you. Perhaps to somewhere you really enjoyed on holiday, your favourite cafe, or someone who did something nice for you. Imagine how they will feel getting your letter through the post!

Donate something

A lovely way of supporting children to be grateful for what they have is to help them think about others. Invite them to gather together toys that they no longer use or play with and donate them to your local charity shop

Good luck with your mindfulness practices this week. Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment or posting a picture on social media using #calmstrongminds. 

See you next week!

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