Developing a Peaceful Practice

The energy of a New Year carries with it an opportunity to revise and implement positive habits in our daily lives. This is true for children and adults alike.

I often make the mistake of evaluating myself based on how much I get done in a day. This January, I am practicing habits that take the focus away from “productivity” and allow me to experience peace and calm no matter where my day takes me.

Below I offer strategies that can be used at home to cultivate more peace, for our children or ourselves:

Express gratitude – Showing appreciation for all of life’s blessings will attract even more things to be grateful for. At the breakfast or dinner table, children and adults can get into the habit of sharing three things they are thankful for; the answer could be as simple as “sunshine.” This could also be done as a journaling practice.

Stay hydrated – When we are consistently hydrated, we are assisting our bodies’ natural detoxification functions. Dehydration can cause muscle weakness, low blood pressure, headaches, and dizziness, just to name a few. Remind your child – and yourself – to drink water throughout the day at school or at work, and at home.

Reduce screen time – Excessive screen time has been linked to anxiety, depression, and ADHD. It is unrealistic to eliminate it completely, but we can help reduce screen times for everyone by establishing tech-free zones or times in your household. For example, no phones/tablets at the table or no TV before 5 pm.  

Music – Turning on music with a slower tempo can help quiet the mind and calm the body. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management. Turn on a bit of slow, instrumental music as a part of the morning or after-school routine.

Eliminate inflammatory foods – Diet has a direct impact on chronic inflammation, a factor that is widely thought to be involved in depression, anxiety, fatigue, and lack of focus. Reducing processed foods and sugar in your family’s diet will contribute to a better mood and improved energy.  

Exercise – Look for ways to incorporate exercise into your family’s everyday routine. While students do move their bodies throughout the school day, they will benefit from 60 minutes of aerobic exercise after school and on the weekends. Going for a walk, playing at the beach, or even dancing around the house are all simple ways to get moving.

– Ms. Kate, Spanish Teacher

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