Stress Awareness Month – how mindfulness can help you, your children and your family

by Wee Seeds31 March 2021

Take a moment to think - how stressed are you?

Take a few breaths, and let this question sit. Drop your shoulders, unfurrow your brow. Breathe.

How stressed am I?

Now, think how stressed is your family? Collectively, are you calm, or is your family unit often pushed to the edge?

Don’t pass judgement on yourself, or your family. Just notice.

If it helps, grab a pen and piece of paper and start writing down your answers.

April 1 marks the start of Stress Awareness Month. The current global pandemic, with its effects on our mental health and our children’s wellbeing, is no April Fools. It has been a tough year for us all in varying degrees and in varying ways, and so much will be made of this month. We expect to see many lists of tips, from various sources, that suggest how you can try to reduce your stress levels.

This is good. As a society we need to talk about stress. About the impact it has on our minds and our bodies, the way it narrows our view and restricts our joy and gratitude, and how it can worm its way into all areas of our life, including our family.

But for today we want to invite you to step back from the lists and tips and just breathe.

We want to invite you to become your own expert. This past year, lockdowns have restricted our movements and contact with family and friends, and so taught us that we are at the centre of our world. We are the core of our knowledge.

So, breathe deep today and bring yourself back to your knowing.

Sit for a few moments and feel your body relax in places it did not know it needed to, and ask yourself how stressed am I? How stressed is your family?

And importantly are they connected?

As parents we are often the buffer for our children. We very often hold their stress, or anxiety. In the early years we help them to navigate through seas of emotions that they don’t often understand. We hold them. This year, we’ve barely been able to hold ourselves.

Notice what is inside you. Notice what you need to hold yourself. Notice what your family needs. This noticing is the essence of mindfulness.

From that place of knowing, when you read the lists of tips and tricks, you’ll be best placed to filter out what might help. Without adding a whole host of unnecessary, or should do, things to your already busting To Do List!

At the top of that list bring kindness to yourself and your family. You all deserve it.

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To help bring some calm to your home, try our mindfulness exercises for early years children and their families. You can try the first of our meditation exercises – the Pause Button - for free.