Friday, May 29, 2020

Inner Explorer :)

INNER EXPLORER APP

This is for everyone :)  Parents, guardians, relatives, siblings, students, children and YOU!  Inner Explorer is the online Mindfulness Program that many teachers have been using at Abbot School to support students in their classroom this year.  It includes a variety of guided daily practices on mindfulness for all ages preschool through high school.

Right now, they are offering a free APP for families called I AM PRESENT!  It is FREE through the end of AUGUST!  Try it out :)


Friday, May 22, 2020

It's time to practice Laughing :)

Laughter Exercise

Ever heard the phrase laughter is the best medicine?  Laughter isn’t really a medicine, but it can make you feel better.  Laughing can help you relax, release endorphins (chemicals that help your body feel good), and even have a positive impact on your immune system.  The cool thing is your body doesn’t really know the difference between a real laugh and a fake one and the fake ones can often turn into a real one.

Here is a short one minute video of practicing laughing!  Feel free to join in.  Then maybe see if you and someone in your family can do a 30 second laughing challenge . . . who can laugh the longest, even if it is a fake laugh!  Ready, set go!



Here is a fun video of some babies laughing!  Give it a try, it will make you smile and laugh along!  Laughing can often pass from one person to another, just like a yawn can!



Parent Tip: 

If you want to get some laughter in . . . watch this video to figure out why it could help https://safeYouTube.net/w/YZtG   It is fun :)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Raisin Meditation . . . yummy!

Raisin Meditation 

Using the raisin meditation can foster mindfulness around thoughtful eating, being aware of what we are eating, and focusing in-the-moment on what and how we eat.  This meditation encompasses all of our senses in a single, simple act of eating a raisin.  The link below explains the benefits of the raisin meditation and offers a script for “walking through” the meditation.  ***If you don’t like raisins, feel free to try this with another small piece of food (ex. orange slice, piece of chocolate, cracker, etc.).


If you can, have an adult read you through these steps while you enjoy your raisin or whatever snack you choose :)


Parent Tip:
Feel free to try this activity at home for you too!  Here is a Raisin Meditation geared towards adults!


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Kindness and Compassion

Kindness and Compassion to yourself and others :) 


One of the Mindfulness Moments that we practice before guidance lessons is an abbreviated version of the following Loving Kindness/Friendly Wishes Meditation for children. We often call this sending kind thoughts to yourself and others.  It is so important as we have talked about to notice our thoughts and whether they are helpful (inner coach) or hurtful (inner critic).  Practicing sending kind thoughts to yourself and others can help you strengthen your inner coach and show compassion to yourself and others.


Try this guided meditation at home and see what you think.  Hope you feel better afterwards :)


Friendly Wishes Guided Meditation for Kids (Peace Out)


Parent Tip: 
Loving Kindness Meditation for adults: 


 “With compassion meditation, it slows everything down so you can practice being calmer or noticing the feelings that arise and learning to be less reactive to it. This gives you more mental space to focus on the other person, to practice wishing kindness and wanting them to be well, and I think both parts are really important for effectively responding to people suffering.” 
- Helen Weng, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UC San Francisco

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sounds :)

In Mindfulness, we talk a lot about using our 5 senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch) to help us be present in the moment.  Some sounds can make you feel calm and relaxed, while others may make you feel excited or happy and some can even make you feel a little stressed or frustrated.  Please explore these SOUNDS and see how they make you feel and which one you like the best :)


Blog with links to relaxing sounds:


Positive Background Music for Kids-Morning Time (somewhat energizing)


(Water sounds):


(Forest Sounds):

Parent Tip:  Take a “Sound Bath”.  This website from the University of Nevada, Reno explains why sound and music can help in stress reduction.  This site has a sampler of 11 different types of music...take a “Sound Bath” and discover the different effects music has on your sense of well-being:




10 Benefits of Listening to Relaxing Music:



Friday, April 24, 2020

Inner Coach Poster :)

Inner Coach Statement Poster:


Remote learning can pose many challenges for children and families.  One idea we talk about in Guidance classes is the Inner Coach (positive thoughts) vs. the Inner Critic (negative thoughts).  These two “voices” are thoughts we all can have inside of our head - we make these up for ourselves, sometimes slowly over time.  We talked about this concept in our blog last month-so take a peek a few weeks back if you need a review :)


Activity:  (Inspired by a student at Abbot!)  
  • Create an Inner Coach statement poster.  
    • Include photos of things that bring you joy (ie, family photos, pictures of animals that you like, etc.).  
    • Write Inner Coach statements to coach you on as you do your work!  (examples may include “You Got This!”, “You’re half-way there, almost done!”)
    • Take a break, and take a look at your poster!  The poster can be by your computer work space, or in a different area of your living space where you could take a break.


Parent Tip:


We know caregivers and parents are working very hard right now, here’s a little acknowledgement and inspiration from Elmo’s dad! (Did you know he has a dad?)   



Thursday, April 16, 2020

Gratitude

Gratitude: What is it?  Check out this video to learn more :)




Why now . . . especially now!  During the most challenging times it is important to look for what is going well and what you are grateful for even if it is hard.  You can change the way you feel just by how you think. When you think about things you are grateful for you will feel happier. Small things count!


Practice and Grow your Gratitude Muscle:
To strengthen your gratitude muscle you need practice.  The more you practice the easier it will get. See if you can find a way to add Gratitude into your daily routine.


Here are some ideas:


*Make a gratitude jar . . . when it is full, do something specific as a family to celebrate :)


*Start waking up and going to bed saying 1 thing you are grateful for


*Start a gratitude journal . . .


*Make a poster of pictures and words (e.g. draw, write, use images from magazines, pictures, etc.) you are grateful for



Parent Tip:  

“REPEAT AFTER ME: THIS. IS. TEMPORARY.”

This is a blog that has some helpful “mantras” or phrases you may need to help you through during this time.  See if one might fit for you.