Detachment from Screen Time
Is there such a thing? I can hear many parents’ voices replying to this subject, me included. In order to detach a child from screen time, we need to replace that habit with an alternative gratifying habit, exercise or practice. There is no success in quitting or preventing our children from screen access “cold turkey” either; as that will provoke a power struggle and an internal conflict. So, try this the next time you feel screen time is becoming over-accessed in your home. For every 15 minutes of screening, “let’s do 30 minutes of movement and mindful breathing”. An easy sun salutation will guide you through at least 15 minutes, with a relaxing period of 5-10 minutes of eyes closed, screen-free tranquil pranayama (breathing exercises), and a gentle visual imagery meditation.
Medical study and research has now proven the life and length of our spine is being gravely affected by the “tech-neck” practices borne from today’s overuse of screens.
The First Remedy for Screen, we mean, Spine Misalignment
We have all heard “we reap what we sow” though something our children and tech savvy fans are not considering, is the gradual, disadvantage that screen time is doing to our spine. Medical study and research has now proven the life and length of our spine is being gravely affected by the “tech-neck” practices borne from today’s overuse of screens. Invest in a yoga mat, change into soft clothes, listen to your breathing slow on the inhale and exhale gradually, and take your first lateral stretches from the rooted feet, to a heightened crown of the head. This is the easiest way to make your first approach to using yoga and breath to lengthen the spine and free your jaw, neck and back of chronic ache.
Before we even wake our children, is it possible we set our alarms to “exist” in a peaceful state of quiet, or is the bed throllopping toddler or preschooler already splayed across your midline from a midnight approach by morning? Either way, with company in our beds, or solitude before sunrise, here are few gentle approaches to incorporate mindfulness strategies to your morning. Each will provoke a greater sense of self-calm, presence, and patience as you start your day!
- Repetition of a mantra, i.e. I am here now
- Counting 1-5 during even inhalation and then exhalation, aiming to lengthen and soften your breath
- Feeling the rhythmic pattern of your own heart beat
- Listening in stillness to the sounds of nature from a nearby window or playing a calming song
Mindful Evening Practice To Calm A Wildly Child
On certain occasion, even the most docile, sweet youngster eats too much sugar, is over stimulated by the world around them, or has a hard time settling down into an evening routine. Having three young boys, dwelling in 1,000 square feet of space, in winter’s hibernation, I’ve digested a few tried and true recipes for releasing the nervous nellies, and moving toward a state of inner peace.
Before you battle your precious precocious little one, consider a second bathtime or give up altogether, you can consider integrating these gentle mindfulness practices into your post-dinner routines. They may take a few practices to stand alone as a success, but they will be welcomed in just a couple attempts at aiming to bring peace and quiet to your family at bedtime.
- Sharing a gratitude list (reviewing a good thing that come your way that day) giving your child a voice and a positive memory to contemplate as she melts toward pajama time
- A pet, baby sibling or lovey that he/she puts to bed with calming breathing cycles. Engaging a child to be the ‘caregiver’ of another being, is a validating role that children take pride in. This is a subtle and engaging way to reflect the action you want your child to slowly match.
- Laying down together to watch the Breathing Mountain fill and empty. With your child nearby, each of your hands on your own bellies, practice breathing in (as if to fill the belly high as a mountain and then breathing out of the mouth) to purge and exhale all remaining breath in the Breathing Mountain. For slightly older aged children, the simple inhalation through the nostrils and exhalation through the mouth, with attention on the hands as they rise and fall, will put your audience into a gentle, melodic meditation with their own breath.
- Singing a yoga chant. Some of the richest, most ancient yoga chants have been practiced for deep REM, can create a family ritual, and aid in clearing any persistent or pesky thoughts from your day. There are thousands to choose from, so consider pursuing “Long Time Sun” by Snatam Kaur, or “Lokah Somastah Sukhino Bhavantu” by Donna DeLory, until you can hone in on your own favorites. Sleep tight!
Soothing Yoga Poses for Calming Anxiety and High Emotion
Toe touching with legs lengthwise in front of you. In a seated foundation, from hips to heel, hinging from the hips toward toes, resetting your nervous system.
The gentle and replenishing child’s pose, seat to heels, lying chest over knees and releasing jaw, and forehead to the mat with arms lying at either side of the resting body.
Standing forward fold softening belly over thighs, tucking chin toward chest, and nose to knees.
Powerful Mantras Good for Age 2-101!
The power of a mantra is profound. The repetitive nature our mind likes in thought recession, will allow you to identify with a positive, simple and straightforward approach toward attaining inner peace, calm and stress reduction.
Gently write down recessively, or say to yourself in the mirror, on a subway ride, laying down in the dark before bed, the following mantras. Select one to work with and try sticking to that same one for a decent # of days. Watch the positivity your mind will seed and the thoughts changing as your attention roots in a clear, simple mindset. We can’t shut down or silent our mind, but we can re-train it and encourage it with conscious mantra, to be on our side, to chatter in our favor, and to provide us peace of mind. Have fun with this,
I AM HERE NOW
I AM ALL THAT IS
EVERYTHING I NEED I HAVE WITHIN