This time of year is pretty challenging for some families. School is ending, routines and schedules are changing and the worry and anxiety of not knowing what’s next sets in for some. Here is a video of my dream team friends and I chatting about transitions and how we manage them in our lives. It’s a really great one, you won’t want to miss it!
Here are 6 of our favorite tools for transitions
1. Set Goals
As a family, think of a goal or goals you’d like to set for this summer. You can write it out on a big chart paper, make a list for each family member individually, or write some as a family. My friend Sue from Budding Buddhas did this activity with a group of tween girls and said it made a huge impact on them. Use my FREE download Goal Writing worksheet with your kiddos.
Some ideas we like for goals are:
- do 6 new hikes this summer
- learn to ride a bike
- eat 1 new food a week
- clean out the garage
- spend an hour a day in the garden
- eat dinner outside every night
An example for a young child who may not be able to think of one themselves can be as simple as:
- together we practice a favorite breath daily so that when you need it, you are ready!
- read 1 new book alongside the favorites each night
- no more diapers!
You can extend this by writing out goals for the rest of this year as well.
Writing down a goal is terrific but what helps achieve the goal is thinking about the kinds of qualities it takes to achieve your goals. With your kids, brainstorm all the qualities it would take for all of us to be successful! Write it together, or have them write it in their own journals.
2. Fun Breathing Exercises
We have loads of ideas for activities and breathing exercises on our Mindfulness Month youtube channel here, but getting creative with the breathing has been helpful in many of my classes this time of year. Superhero breaths are so much fun- kids LOVE them AND they are so familiar to them that with transitions happening, keeping something familiar and safe is important. Kids also love to make up their own based on characters in movies, shows and books that they like. We have some pokemon breaths, dinosaur breaths and other ones here on my Full of Joy Yoga youtube channel. You can find the Superhero breaths HERE.
When you find that schedules are changing and there is much unknown, it is helpful to keep your own routines at home the same as best as you can. Even if you are moving, or starting new classes, camps, schedules, you can still keep the same bedtime routine, morning routine, dinners, etc. There is so much unknown for kids this time of year, that sticking to what you CAN control is important. My partner Jen from YoPlay Yoga 4 Kids says this is the best way they can manage their transitions from one place to another as they travel and constantly move in their happy bus these last 2 years. (You can read about their nomadic lifestyle here on their blog Byers Without Borders)
4. Gratitude Practice
Find time to write in a gratitude journal every morning or evening, and do it with your kids daily. This keeps them feeling safe, calm and able to find joy when things seem a bit out of control. Even if you are not sure of where you are going to be next, or what is going to happen in your new camp, class, etc, remembering to be grateful for those little things that you have, that aren’t changing, is a great reminder.
5. Practice yoga, mindfulness & meditation over the summer!
Some kids were so lucky to have yoga in school, or after school programs and then find themselves without it in the summer. See if you can find a yoga camp or weekly/monthly class, or even schedule a yoga play date with local friends if possible. This keeps that routine going and helps them to remember what they learned all year in school. We want them to keep up with the breathing, poses, games, mindfulness as a daily/weekly practice – especially if they can use what they learned all year on their own at home. They may need a parents nudge and doing it together is even better! If you can’t find a class- use the Mindfulness Month for kids daily videos!!
6. Guided Visualizations
Adding some visualizations to allow kids to get calm and be able to focus on a safe and familiar place can be really helpful.
Make up your own, or play one of these we really like here or here.
What are some of your tips and tricks for dealing with transitions?
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