I received a call today from a father inquiring about doing a yoga class with his 5 year old son. He said he had been doing yoga, himself, for a few years and thought that doing something with his son would be a great way to connect and also pass along his own experience of the skills to de-stress, breath and be mindful. I was so impressed with his creative thinking about how to spend time with his son this summer that I thought about some other ways to support families!
Summer is a more relaxed time which leads to less stress and more energy for yourself and/or your family. During the school year, in the Washington, D.C. area in particular, families are running children all over the place for various activities that, ultimately, create so much stress and a lack of “down time” for everyone and this is having an affect on people’s mental health and wellbeing. A recent article in the NY Times discusses how today’s generation is anxious and overwhelmed. So why not take time this summer to re-evaluate your activities for next year and also take time to connect with yourself and your family.
Here are some summer ideas about things to do that are mindful, holistic and regenerative:
Take a family yoga class.
Do an art class.
Find an art class, either a one time event or series for yourself or with a family member.
Walk in nature.
Walking in nature by yourself or as an outing with the family is wonderful. The research shows so much evidence about how nature relaxes our brains and bodies.
Sit outside with your kids.
Sitting outside with your kids and just listen to the sounds of nature, the outdoors and then share with one another what you heard, saw and experienced. This can be a 5 minute mindful meditation activity.
Watch your children play.
It’s amazing what you notice when you just sit, pay attention and see what they are doing. Their creative energy can be really touching.
Take a day off and go to the museums.
Take a walk along the Potomac river, go kayaking, canoeing or a hike! They are all easily accessible in the Washington, D.C. area and during the weekday, things are less busy. Do this alone or with your family.
Find an interesting, local scenic drive.
Go to one of the many wonderful local parks and have a picnic.
Do a day trip to the Chesapeake Bay and see Sandy Point Park.
Go to a daytime theater matinee –
There are so many wonderful theater companies and kids love doing something new and different.
Whatever you do this summer, think about relaxing and really “smelling the roses”. Life is too short to spend summertime in a stressed state of mind or attitude. Think “now”, think “togetherness”, think “connection” to yourself, your family and your life.