For most of us, mindfulness comes too late in life and often after times get tough. Yet with anxiety and depression sky-rocketing, it’s important to teach kids the tools early in life to deal with what life may throw at them.
That’s why we love the work Leah Chandler from Kids-Fit Australia is doing in helping both parents and kids to chill the hell out.
Without being a total hipster, kale drinking Bondi-dwelling wanker, put your Skinny Bitch down and get a big fat cup of zen into you and the kids with a few basic, starter tips from Leah below.
1. When you wake up – be on your own and for 2 minutes – lie or sit down and close your eyes and focus on breathing slowly in and out and from the bottom of your belly. Pay attention to how your body and mind are feeling today.
2. Each day, write a list of 5 things that you are grateful for and then close your eyes and imagine each one and why you are grateful for it.
3. Eat slowly and focus on taste, texture and savour your food. Try this at least once a day to practice mindful eating, which means you will be more aware of what you are eating and why!
4. Take 3 mindful breaths before doing homework, tests, participating in competitions or feeling stressed at school. Breathe in and out slowly and breath from the bottom of the belly. This will help your nerves and you will become more focused.
5. Have a few minutes to yourself each day, especially when you feel tired or overloaded. Go for a walk through a garden or park (always take a parent or big sibling with you so they can help you stay safe, even if they sit away from you). Or just hang out in your room or the backyard and relax and breathe. It is a great way to bring your mind and body back to calm state, especially after a big day at school.
If these help you then maybe you can teach a friend and their kids to be mindful too! Peace.
For more on Leah, check out her website here www.kidsfitaustralia.com
Social Media – #kidsfitaust
It’s no secret I can’t bear to organise a birthday party. A combo meal-deal of working full-time meeting a distinct lack of creative ideas means we usually end up a bowling alley or the park. Boring, I know, but one can’t fake a good party.
Jo Power from Melbourne greeting card company and party blog Things by Bean provides fab tips to ensure your next birthday isn’t a dump and run babysitting session – and the parents actually stick around for some fun too. And she has a few cracker ideas up her sleeve when it comes to inspiring your next party. No matter where it is.
Photo shoot fun – Everyone can let their hair down with a silly photo shoot. Pick a spot with good lighting (indoors or outdoors) and put together a backdrop of balloons or streamers. Near the backdrop, set up a small stable of props – feather boas, crazy sunglasses, masks, big fake flowers and hats are perfect. If you have an instant camera (Instax or Polaroid), encourage guests to take snaps with their phone and post them on Instagram with a hashtag just for your party (ie. #jamieturns8).
The mummy – It doesn’t matter how old you are – wrapping someone in toilet paper is fun! This is perfect for birthday parties because the bigger the group, the better it is. Break into groups of 4-6 people and give each group a roll of toilet paper. Each group nominates one person to be The Mummy and starting at the same time, each group has three minutes to wrap the toilet paper around The Mummy – and I mean the entire roll! Whichever team makes the most creative mummy wins. Make sure you document this one, you won’t stop laughing at photos of the finished Mummies!
Eat the donut – This deliciously fun game can be played by anyone who loves donuts! Which is just about everyone. For each person playing, thread a thick piece of string through the hole of a donut. Tie the ends of each string to a clothesline or tree so that the doughnut dangles in the air (keep the height of each player in mind). You can play this game with teams or individual players. For each round, a player from each team must eat the donut off the string without using their arms or hands and without the donut falling on the ground. Whoever finishes their donut first is the winner! But, really, everybody wins because everybody gets to eat donuts!
Pin the something on the something – With a little tweaking, this old-school game can be great fun for party guests of all ages. For the kids, do a classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey, positioning it lower on the wall so the little ones can reach it. For the adults, think of a pop culture icon of your generation that your guests will love and find a photo of it. Upload the photo to Rasterbator (a free online tool that enlarges and divides photos so you can print out big wall art at home) and tape it up on the wall at adult height. Next, create something funny to pin onto it! You could get guests to Pin the Scar on Harry Potter or Pin the Halo on Beyoncé.
Party bags are not just for the kids – Don’t send your guests home empty-handed! Goodie bags are a great way to send a bit of the party home. When you’re putting together goodie bags for your next kid’s birthday party, do a batch of goodie bags for kids and a batch for adults. The kid’s bags can be filled with the usual lollies and trinkets – they’re always a hit. For the adult goodie bags, turn it up with beautiful dark chocolates, rum balls or soy candles set in elegant glass jars.
Head to www.thingsbybean.com to stock up on Things by Bean’s bright and cheeky birthday cards and fuel party inspiration with creative DIY ideas and cake recipes. I can genuinely say they are better than mine. Which isn’t that hard in reality.