Mindful Rest

Welcome to In This Moment - whether you are new  or a regular subscriber, we are so happy that you're here! Our mission is to help as many children and families as possible experience the benefits of mindfulness and living in the present moment.  

Our August 2022 Box is all about mindful rest! The topic of rest can actually be a controversial one. Often, we all have our own thoughts or beliefs that go along with resting. It may bring up thoughts of “laziness”, “or beliefs that there is not enough time in the day to take breaks - especially for busy parents! However, there are actually many benefits to resting in a mindful way! A common misconception of rest is that it only refers to sleep or napping. And while sleep is an important aspect of emotional well-being, it is not the only way we can participate in mindful rest. 

First things first: what is mindful rest? As with all things mindfulness, it is grounded in being intentional and in the present moment. To do this in regards to rest, means intentionally taking the time to do things that energize and refresh us! This might look different for different people. Here are some examples: 

  • Finding a quiet place to sit and be still 
  • Doing a body scan 
  • Taking a bath
  • Reading something you enjoy (not work related!) 
  • Spending time with a close loved one

Another aspect of rest can be reflection. Reflection can look differently depending on your focus. For example, reminiscing about past trips, holidays, or times spent together is a wonderful way to foster connection and bring attention to positive experiences with your child. Reflection in this way allows your child to intentionally experience rest alongside you.  Use this month’s craft, the “treasure rest” to help facilitate and teach your kids about reflection and rest.  Do this as a “wind down” activity before bedtime! 

Instructions to make your own “treasure rest”: 

Kid Craft:
Treasure ‘Rest’

Materials:  Unfinished wood box; foam brush; paint; modge podge, stickers

  1. Paint your Treasure ‘Rest’ and allow it to dry completely. Hint: Keep the box open while drying to prevent the paint from sealing it shut. 
  2. Find a picture of a time you want to remember and cut it to fit on the box. Note: Adding a photograph is optional. Alternatively, you can draw a picture!
  3. Apply modge podge to the back of the picture and place it where desired.
  4. Use your fingers to apply a light, even layer of modge podge over the entire box, including your picture, as it will dry clear. Allow it to dry completely. 
  5. Place stickers where desired.
  6. Store your favorite mementos in your Treasure ‘Rest’.
  7. Rest and Reflect…When you open your box, take several deep breaths and spend a few moments simply resting and remembering good times.

Mindful Moment Reminder

My box holds good memories, some of the best!
May I remember these good times as I rest.

 

Our Mindful Rest box also includes a soy candle and rice bag for the adults! Sensory items can be great ways to stop, take time for ourselves, and ground ourselves in the present moment.  Heat your rice bag in the microwave for 60-90 seconds and use it whenever you want to experience extra warmth and/or comfort to help cultivate comfortable rest!

 

Mindful Moment Reminder
May this bag’s warmth and candle’s glow, 
Remind me to breathe deep, and take a break from the go, go, go
 

How do you want to be more intentional about rest? For most of us, we do not have much of a relationship with rest beyond simply knowing that it is important. Use the question prompts below to deepen your awareness of rest and to help you decide what you want your kids to know about rest and how you can model this.  


  • What does rest mean to you? 
  • After what activities do you feel rested? 
  • How do you like to rest? 
  • What did you learn about rest growing up? 
  • Are there any beliefs you have about rest that no longer serve you? 
  • What do you want your kids to know about rest? 
  • How do you already model and teach rest to your kids? 
  • Are your behaviors aligned with your values related to rest? 
  • What do you wish you would have learned about rest at younger age?

Encourage and help your kids to get curious about rest! For example: if and when your child ever admits that they are tired, ask them about it! First, validate and celebrate that they were the one to notice and name it, and emphasize how amazing that truly is! This may seem small to us but developing awareness of when we need rest is an incredible skill. Furthermore, you can also help your child learn how they rest best by asking them about what they find relaxing and what makes them feel better when they are upset. 

Everyone needs adequate sleep to function well. Meditating before sleep is another great way to “wind down”. Setting a routine with your kid not only lets them know what to expect for bedtime, but is also a great way to let their body and mind know that it is time to sleep. 

Here is an example of a night time meditation you can use with your child before bed: 


Lay in your bed on your back. To help our muscles relax, we are going to stretch.  Raise your arms up over your head and stretch them as high as you can. At the same time, stretch your legs as far as they will go. Stretch big and hold it for five seconds…five, four, three, two, one, and relax all of your muscles. 

Let’s do that one more time, stretch, stretch your arms above your head and stretch your legs out as far as they will go.  Hold really tight for five seconds…five, four, three, two, and one. 

Good. Now we are ready to get comfortable. Comfort is key. Take some time to wiggle and move around until you find that spot that’s just right.

Now we are going to focus on our breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose and when you do, feel and see your belly filling up like a balloon. Breathe out through your mouth and watch and feel your belly fall. Do this a few more times. Breathe in through your nose to make your belly rise and breathe out through your mouth, letting your belly fall. In through your nose and out through your mouth

Good, now close your eyes and imagine the night sky. You see thousands of sparkling stars! Watch them twinkle. Watch them light up the sky. Do you see them?!

Up above, there is a big, full moon….reminding you you’ll have sweet dreams soon!

Off in the distance you see a shooting star. You are just like that star. Unique, magic, and amazing.

Notice how relaxed and light you feel. May you rest well so you can dream big tomorrow.



Here are some articles for additional tips on better rest for your kids!


https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/service/sleep-disorders/good-night-sleep

https://childmind.org/article/how-to-help-kids-sleep/

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/sleep-strategies-kids

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