Sunday, February 2, 2014

Favorite Activities to Create A Quiet Moment

Do you ever have those times that you just need a few minutes of peace?  Say, maybe after your 3 year old dumps out the Costco sized bag of goldfish, then proceeds to stomp on them while you're trying to remain calm and clean them up?  Hypothetical of course.  That would never happen at my house :)

Finding quiet time in a house full of 3 active little boys is tricky, because it is NEVER quiet.  I decided that if there was any hope to regain some calm in our days, I was going to have to create it.

Here is a list of some of the resources and activities I have found that engage both myself and my boys, and allow us to re-charge and have some down time.

1) Go Exploring

Going on an easy walk or hike either by yourself, or with the little's, can be a great way to relieve stress, breathe some fresh air, and get out some energy.  Every Trail is an easy to website that allows you to type in any destination, and pulls up trails in that area, as well as reviews and information about the trail.

2) Listen To Music

The CD Deep Calm is one of my absolute favorites!  Listening to a few songs in the afternoon can give me the break I need to get through the rest of the day.  It is also great if you are having a hard time sleeping--I have never actually heard the end of the CD!

3)  Book Time

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a wonderful and easy to read guide of activities that can help increase your happiness.  While you sit down with this awesome book, let your little one's read through the book "How Full Is Your Bucket For Kids."  You can even look it up on YouTube and the book can be read to your cutie while you read your book.  Win-win!

4)  Yoga!

Downward Dog, Child's Pose, and everything in between.  The best part about Yoga For Stress Relief is that you can choose from several different time lengths.  This relaxing program is easy enough for even young children to do with you.  My 3 year old does a great Downward Dog…then immediately turns into a puppy for the rest of the day.

5)  Quick Finish Projects

 I love to play with my kids.  There are also times when they are playing independently, but want me near them-and thus not doing anything else.  I've realized lately that this is actually a great time for me to get a little downtime and enjoy the company of my kids.  I picked up a Knitting Board loom and some yarn at the craft store and was able to sit down and (easily!) make a scarf and a few other things.  It's easy and repetitive and results in something pretty.  What could be better?

6) Coloring- Not Just For 4 Year Old's Anymore!

Mandala's can have a calming effect, and even help reduce anxiety.  Who knew coloring as an adult could be such a beneficial activity?  And bonus, I even found some printable Mandala's for the little's.  Yea!

7)  Meditation

Got 5 minutes?  This app, called 5 Minute Relaxation, from the iTunes store offers a quick meditation to give you the deep breath you need before diving into the rest of your day.

What happened yesterday, last week, last month?  What is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month?  These thoughts often run through our heads…sometimes to the detriment of the present.  Mindfulness teaches the importance of being present in the moment.  "Sitting Like A Frog"  is written for adults, but has a 60 minute CD of mindfulness activities geared toward children, and still enjoyed by adults.

"Get ready, let's go! Right now!"  Do you say those words?  Like a lot?  We live in a fast paced world, and it can be a challenge to slow down.  The CD Still Quiet Place offers simple guided meditations to help yourself and your kiddo's relax and re-charge.  The tracks are between 3-12 minutes and are geared to kids, (but I enjoy them as

The Last Word

Finding quiet time can feel a lot like finding a needle in a haystack (or the keys in the diaper bag!)  It can be easy to get stuck in the "doing" mode of life-checking off lists, doing chores, and running from one activity to the next.  This can often leave us feeling burned out and frustrated with ourselves, not to mention those around us.  Stopping and creating time in our day to mindfully enjoy a few quiet moments can actually help us to recharge and become more focused on the tasks we hope to accomplish.

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