Summer scene - mindful moments

Top three tips for surviving the summer holidays

Beautiful Summer Holidays

School’s out for the Summer and, if you’re anything like me, the Summer Holidays conjure up fabulous memories of long hot care free summers days of your child hood. Days filled with daisy chain making, the aroma of freshly cut grass and not an ounce of boredom to be seen. I grew up in the Norfolk and, even having removed my rose tinted specs, the daisy chains, freshly cut grass and long hot summers are a fairly accurate reflection of my 1980’s childhood.

It’s harder to feel that way about our own children’s school holidays ‘tho, isn’t it?

 

Summer Holidays – the real deal

Thirty plus years later, you wake up as a parent to the first day of the school holidays and feelings are, shall we say, mixed. You’re overjoyed at not having to do the school run, cram family life into a few hours a day or make sure that your little lovelies do their homework.  The idea of lots of lovely quality time with your offspring is at first both appealing and exciting but then the dread kicks in. There’s the mess, noise,  lack of routine and constant need to entertain them (and at some cost!) to get your head around too. Add to that your need to live up to your own expectation of providing your offspring with the idyllic summer days to rival your own and it all starts to feel a little bit stressful.

I am, admittedly, a newbie at this whole Summer Holiday business but, with five shorter holidays already in the bag, I know well enough the feeling of sending children back to school after a holiday that didn’t quite turn out as you had hoped. I also know the relief at being able to put the house back together when routine returns.  Hands up, having Little Mr O home from school for the entirety of the week before Christmas Day 2016 was a challenge, and then some.

 

Approaching Summer Holidays mindfully

So, with the summer holidays approaching, I began to think about what I could do to try to help us all have a more fulfilling and happier time – on a shoestring. And if I could reach the end of the holidays still able to see the floors in my house, and without the laundry pile cascading down the stairs,  then that would be a bonus. We’re lucky to have some lovely events planned, but the rest will need to be executed as cheaply as possible.

I know that very often, my reactions make the difference between a day that snowballs into disaster and one that is snatched from the jaws of defeat. And, if I set myself up well for the day, we often avoid those jaws entirely. I’ve noticed that if  I take five minutes here and there to centre myself that I make better decisions for us all.

What I am talking about here is mindful moments – through mindful activities, it is possible to have those five minutes to yourself anytime, anywhere and completely for FREE. Even with the children right there beside you joining in.

That’s my plan – to commit to spending five minutes each day mindfully. It’s not a lot, but I am pretty sure that it can, and will, make a difference. If you’re new to mindfulness and would like to know a little more, have a read of my review of The Little Book of Mindfulness HERE.

 

Five minutes of Mindfulness – my top three tips for surviving the Summer Holidays (and the things that I am going to be trying my hardest to remember too!)

Top three tips for surviving the summer holidays

August is my Mindful Moment Month

To help you, and me, out with finding that five minutes every day, I am launching #mindfulmomentmonth and I would love for you to join me every day to spend five minutes looking out for yourself. There are no rules and having children on summer holidays is not a necessary pre-requisite for joining in. The summer holidays are simply my reason for setting the intention to make time for mindfulness throughout August. I’m suggesting five minutes because it is achievable, even on the busiest of days.

I will post a prompt on Instagram and Twitter each morning which I hope will inspire you to find your own five minutes of mindfulness during your day. Later in the day, I will share my mindful activity for the day based on the prompt provided. I will also be posting updates here on the blog. You can join in every day or simply whenever you are able. Whatever works for you.

Would you prefer a heads up?

The spontaneity of releasing the prompts a day at a time on Instagram and Twitter feels right to me and it’s my kind of thing but, if you are more of a planner than me, it might not work for you. If you would rather organise yourself in advance, I am working on a plan to get that to you and will release further information via Instagram or Twitter. Watch those spaces!

I’m very excited to launch #mindfulmoment month and I would love for this idea to develop a community feel, so please share your mindful moments on Twitter or Instagram (or both if you can spare the time) using the tag #mindfulmomentmonth. I really hope that we can all inspire each other to have the best August possible. The more folks that join in, the greater the inspiration for us all.

 

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