Mindfulness has been the big buzz over the las few years and there are proven studies that show how it can help with mental health and wellness, as well as build awareness and focus for kids to do well in school. It basically revolves around the concept of creating awareness of the now, focusing on the present while acknowledging your feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations in your mind and body.
There are plenty of guided meditations for adults to use mindfulness to help with sleep, but what about for children? Can they master this? Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids and encouraging calm and restful sleep, which supports creativity and concentration. There are some simple things you can do to help your kids use mindfulness to fall asleep. Here are three ideas:
1. Create a bedtime ritual. Do a short body-scan meditation before bed. Have them close their eyes, and tell them to bring their attention to their toes, to their feet, to their legs, etc. It is a calming way to return to the body at the end of the day. You can find several downloadable meditation scripts, including body scans.
2.Get your kids in bed and have them lye face up, ask them to hold a plush or their teddy on their tummies. Ask them to “breathe” the toy to sleep. The rise and fall of their tummies, and watching the teddy move while they do so, will start to make them aware of their own breathing – both deep and shallow. Your kids will be in the “now” and slowly drift off to sleep.
3.This one is great for stressful moments as well as at bedtime. When things are getting a bit stressful, or even during quiet times, ask your children to take three deep “mindful” breaths. Then mention one thing they are grateful for that happened during the day. Part of mindfulness is being aware, especially of our blessings.