Stop! Time to schedule a family reboot
Making time in our hectic schedules for ‘me time’, or to reboot, is essential to providing relief from stress.
As parents, ‘filling our own cups’, by taking time for ourselves, gives us more energy and patience for our families. It only takes a few minutes to take the time to enjoy a hot drink, listen to an uplifting song or even allow ourselves a timed five-minute nap.
One of my favourite quick self-care acts is Three Good Things.
Finding larger time periods to reboot can be difficult, but it is pivotal to our ability to cope and maintain a healthy immune system. Exercise, meditation/yoga, healthy snacktimes, reading for pleasure and even a movie with friends are all great downtime activities.
The planning of our sons’ self-care reboots is integral, as during these switch off sessions the boys need to be zoning, or at least partially, zoning out. This is possible when they have a voice about the activity and the timing.
Could we relax, if we were told when and how to chill? Giving boys control adds to the effectiveness of the downtime, which also makes it easier for them to move on when the time is up.
Shared downtimes, like building a couch fort together, walking the dog or just lying on the grass looking at clouds, can be beneficial for all. These joint actions become real downtime when we fully engage in the activity.
This is the time for us to switch off the interrogation, turn off the phone and roll with the fun. Let them lead and teach us about their style of relaxation, mindfulness and meditation. Listening to them not only nurtures their expression of ideas but also shows them we are open to learning.
Scheduled family reboots, whether they are a games night, movies with homemade snacks, or weekend hikes, all encourage bonding. If things don’t go to plan, no drama; hiccups can give rise to family in jokes.
The real aim is just to chill. Plus, family outing rituals also promote bonding.
Eating an ice cream is nice at the time but fleeting. Recollecting real self-care reboots will give rise to calm emotions and have a long-term impact.
Here are some more ideas and self-care activities to do with your family.
Jen Jones is a mother of three (two boys), has worked for many years as a crisis centre phone counsellor and is passionate about wellbeing. This article is about Wellbeing
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