Rest is just as important as play for children and adults. The holiday season is a time of celebration, but all the special events can leave parents and kids worn out. Here are a few easy ways to relax, recharge, and rest all year round.
Keep routines as consistent as possible.
Routines are a source of comfort for children because they know what is expected of them, and what to expect in their surroundings. Establishing a simple pre-bed routine can help make naps and bedtime a little easier. Infants and toddlers may enjoy reading a book and singing a song together before the last bottle of the night. Preschoolers may want to say goodnight to their toys and get one last parent snuggle before going to bed. Consistency is key, so remember to take some important elements with you if you travel.
Make transitions easier.
Many families struggle with transitions: getting from home to school, from playtime to bedtime, or from coloring to cooking. Set yourself up for success by building in time to wind down between activities. Many kids also like knowing what to expect next and having choices. Choose the next day’s outfit as part of your bedtime routine. Guide children to clean up toys or craft supplies while talking about what they want to do next.
Mindfulness can simply be taking time to pay attention to your external surroundings and internal thoughts and feelings without judging or “fixing” anything. Children tend to be better at this than adults, so follow their lead! Sit down for a special teatime with chamomile or lavender tea, and pay attention to the smell of the herbs, the warmth of the tea, and other physical sensations. Snuggle up together under a warm blanket and try to wiggle each toe and finger individually as you count them.
Get moving and get in touch.
The right kind of movement can actually be restful! Bundle up and take a walk outside with your child. Try doing some family yoga poses together. Slow dance to a favorite Christmas song. Safe physical touch can also be very calming for children and adults. Give hugs and kisses of different sizes. (You’d be surprised how different a big and little hug can feel!) Take turns rubbing each other’s shoulders and back. It won’t be a professional massage, but it will certainly lead to some laughs!
We here at Sprout hope that you have a wonderful, exciting, AND restful holiday season this year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!