Yellow rubber duck

Mindful breathing

Getting caught up with the busyness of life can impact how much enjoyment you actually get from your day to day work. It also means you’re less likely to get to things because you run out of energy.

Finding balance is easier said than done, but it is extremely important. You owe it to yourself to take time out of each day to take a breath and find something about yourself to feel good about.

The same goes for children. We are living in a world of over-programming, no chance to think about and absorb what’s going on in our lives. Downtime for children is an opportunity to process and retain what they’ve learned throughout the day. Times of silence with space to think is something we should strive to achieve for ourselves and our children every day. Helping your child to recognise their need for downtime, and to see and explore what it feels like, will set them up for more balance in their day.

This isn’t about sitting and chatting or looking at a book together, this is about just sitting and breathing.

One exercise you can try is to sit next to your child and ask them to put both hands on their belly, you do the same. Then show them how they can breathe in and their belly expands and as they breathe out their belly deflates. Ask your child to do a few breaths like this. If they feel comfortable they can close their eyes, and you do the same. A few deep breaths in and out, and embracing the calm feeling.

Another way of practicing belly breathing is for you both to lay on your backs on the floor. Place a toy like a rubber duck, small teddybear, or soft toy on your belly. As you breathe in the toy rises up and as you breathe out the toy sinks back down. You have to breathe in and out slowly so the toy doesn’t fall off, which helps to regulate the pace of the breaths.

Gradually increase how much time you spend on the focused breathing exercises. Try to build up to a few minutes every day.

This regular practice of making space and time to collect thoughts and practice focused breathing is a way of recharging the inner batteries and creating space for new experiences.