This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Things have been very even more stressful for my family (than usual) for the last 9 months since my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Some of the ways my son and I have coped is through exercising together at night, and then calming down with some meditation (on his side). My son’s blood sugar is usually high after dinner, so the combo of exercise and then a calm down actually helps him feel better. Trouble is that I don’t really know how to do guided meditation and the YouTube videos I found weren’t really cutting it. Plus I desperately need to find some peace myself. I wasn’t really sure where to start. I also want to get my whole family involved, because who couldn’t use more peace! Recently I attended a luncheon with Headspace, the Mindful Meditation App and I think this might help my family and I to relax more.
If you’re not familiar with Headspace, it’s much more than just a way to meditate. There’s science behind it. Headspace wants to “advance the field of mindfulness meditation through clinically-validated research on their product. They are currently in progress on research studies with large national institutions that could be among the largest mindfulness meditation trials ever conducted.” Headspace wants to actually make an impact in people’s lives. I will admit I didn’t know that much about mindfulness – but the more I hear about mindful meditation, mindful eating, and mindful parenting, the more I’m intrigued.
Momtrends Media conducted a nationwide Parenting Stressor Survey last month and it was revealed that 40% of American parents said that summer was their most stressful time of the year, followed by back to school and holidays (both at 22%). Parents said that the leading cause of summer stress was “change in routine” (40%), too many activities (19%), and fear of brain drain (15%). For their children, parents said that change of routine (46%) and boredom (34%) are the leading stressors. What stresses you out as a parent?
So how can this be helped? A good way to start is being mindful. Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicome spoke to us as we enjoyed a delicious lunch in NYC and suggested several ways to be mindful and how spending more time “in the moment” can improve your time together as a family.
Mindful Parenting Tips
1. Daily Family Meditation – research shows that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and anger. It also increases focus, compassion, and happiness. To me, that’s the perfect reason to meditate. If you don’t know how to start, Headspace and Headspace for kids offers easy and fun meditations for the whole family. Use it to start your day right or wind down at night. For my family, winding down at night is key and I plan to do this with my whole family, not just my son and I.
2. Device-Free Dinners – we already practice this. We don’t allow devices at the dinner table and while it’s really tough not to check my email at dinnertime, I give my kids and my husband my 100% attention. It’s sparked great conversations and my kids feel that they are being paid attention to.
3. Mindful Eating — this is something that is so important. Pay attention to the food that you are eating, what the shape is, how it smells. Remember to eat slowly and call out the flavors that you are eating. This helps kids to focus on what they are eating, not just mindless consuming their food.
4. Write it down – Parents, this one is for you. Keep a small journal and every night before bed, quickly jot down 1- 2 things about your child that you appreciate. Do this for a few months and then gift it to your child to read. They will appreciate how much you care about them.
5. Breathe – everyone in your family will benefit from this. When you feel the pressure and stress building, take 30 seconds to just breathe. Take 10 deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Taking those 30 seconds will help in diffusing most of the stress and pressure.
After Andy spoke to us, he lead us in a short meditation. It was amazing how relaxed I felt after.
Last night my son and I sat down to check it out Headspace.
We chose a 6-minute meditation for kids to promote calm and it did exactly that. We loved hearing Co-Founder Andy’s super-chill voice and we both felt very peaceful after.
I look forward to using this every night with my family.
It’s free to download Headspace but only the basic pack session is free. A subscription gives you access to the full Headspace Library, which has hundreds of meditations, mindfulness exercises, and animations to help you build the practice.
-Over 30 packs of themed meditations on specific topics like stress and sleep
-Dozens of one-off exercises designed to add more mindfulness to your day
-Super-short mini meditations you can do anytime. Great for busy schedules
-Sleep Sounds that help ease the mind into a truly restful night’s sleep
-Animations that guide you through essential meditation techniques and bring to life traditional stories like the Very Impatient Yogi
-Continued guidance from former monk, and Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe
Photos courtesy of Momtrends.