For those of you who know me, I like to sport an English accent of sorts, actually I am a Brit, but am mistaken for an Ozzie quite often - must be my Californian drawl mix, which leads me to share some interesting habits that do seem to stick around for good or ill!! The all important nap, the tea break ( my fav) and the love for capturing breathing moments to maintain sanity!
Koi in Balboa pond at the botanical gardens
The Ritual of an Afternoon Nap by Diane Prusha and article text by Dr Susan Johnson and my two pennies worth of course!
Sitting down, putting your feet up, closing your eyes, and taking 3-5 deep deliberate breaths in and out, and picture a happy natural place, a babbling brook or a warm sandy beach, reading a book under a tree in the woods?
After lunch, the warm sun dappling the room with rays of gold, the wind softly playing with the curtains, humming a well liked song, while we wash our hands, the closing of the curtains, lying down on a soft bed, the light blanket floating down, lighting a candle, the telling of a gentle nature story, a back rub, fingers to the lips in a shhhh.... The blowing out of the candle. Stillness. Silence. An hour passes.
The quiet song returns, the curtains are gently opened, the folding of the blanket, a hug, a yawn.
A ritual has just been created.
A rhythmic breath.
A rhythmic breath.
In this silence and space, a child’s morning “food” is digested. The food is basically anything and everything that is felt and taken in by all the senses during the busy work and play. As parents and teachers, it is our work and more importantly our inner work to give our children safe, secure, and quiet out breaths. Creating little rituals in our day will help us manage the out breaths more easily.
Taking the time to establish these special times may take a bit of effort but will be well worth it for you and your child. And, children love ritual! Creating silence strengthens a child’s patience and active attention, which is the foundation for all learning.
Accordingly, a child’s natural physiological rhythm is alert and active in the morning hours but tire out at about one, with a sharp decline until about three. At this time, there is another peak and then a second decline at bedtime around seven o’clock.
Sure, children love commotion, but they also hunger for quiet. We can create quiet for them with our own relaxed breathing in and out.
It is a challenge for us to commit to these rituals and be mindful of the patterns of the day, but your child will be rested and able to fall asleep more easily promise!! This all leads to a
healthier immune and sensory system, and a more content and happy child. The added bonus for you is the feeling and knowledge that you are protecting and nurturing your child’s growth and health. This holds them in a way that gives them freedom, so they may grow into the human beings they are meant to be.