Category Archives: self care

Sleep and the benefits of Bedtime Routines for children

Do your children have a bedtime ritual? 

Below is a gentle idea to soothe them before bedtime and ease them into sleep.

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A Simple Bedtime Idea

My brother in law responded to my newsletter, ‘Simple Ways To Enhance Children’s Sleep by sending over a beautiful message about his evening wind down routine. This included lighting a candle before he snuggles under his soft covers. I shared his story with my daughter.
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After she’s cleaned her teeth, my daughter lights our little buddha statue, and then settles back for a short and calming foot massage. When she was little she would enjoy calming yoga poses too.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Yesterday, my husband returned from Indonesia with stories of the recent dreadful earthquake, which we didn’t share at bedtime.

Sleep tight.

Jane

In a world of constant distraction and stimulation teaching your children the magic of silence©

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Are You Paying Attention?

The simplest things in life can have the most profound effects.

Would you agree?

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Papayas Pinched by the Monkeys

Our porch in Tanzania was overlooked by a volcano called Mount Meru, breathtaking on clear days.

Monkeys would climb the papaya tree, pinching fruit, often boldly entering the house.

Grazes, rashes or burns eased with juice from the aloe vera

The children played on the grass infront, or went off on adventures around the vast school campus.

Adults strolled together through the surrounding villages and coffee plantations.

It’s not always easy to measure the impact an experience has on us.

A conversation with a stranger.

A connection with a family member or friend.

A family adventure

Are you paying attention?

Jane Tyson
Solving World Problems One Mum at a Time
#Frustrationexpert

Distrackted

A Random DiaBlog

How Often Do you Notice you are Dis-Trackted?

Our path in life is not always clear, actually it’s pretty unclear for most of us. For those of you who have worked out your main route (congratulations), you might notice though how often you get side-tracked, dis-track–ted, or even lost, but that’s all just perfectly how it’s meant to be.
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Sometimes, it maybe just a little tiring not feeling on track,  it might be like being pulled in different directions and even trodden on.
When we do slow down and take time out, how easy do you find it to be quiet and gentle on yourself? There’s always lots of other things we need to DO and our head is busy thinking about them… a wash to put on, a meal to cook, a blog to write,  shopping to buy, kids to collect, paperwork to complete, an email to answer, a room to decorate, a lawn to mow, a car to hoover…  I’ve met people who feel guilty if they sit down. It’s really important to allow yourself time out though, whatever it is that helps you to settle and quieten, to get back on one of your tracks.

Wake Up and Smell The Trees

Whichever path you are on,  remember to look up and smell the trees, take time to pause and be gentle and kind to you.

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It may help to visualise roots growing from your feet holding you strong and  supporting you.

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Take a few nice deep breathes to slow your pace and just notice.

 Wherever I lay my path, that’s my home 
Just imagine the path is running through you, down through your centre, it is you. You are the path.  Where you are is your path. And by noticing where you and imagining this path, it may help you to stay more aligned with it and help you to place it gently onto the course you’d like it be on once more.
Everything is a perfect path, it’s OK to get sidetracked and distrackted all part of the twists and turns of life .

The Possibility of Courage

Take 2

Did you know that simply sitting for 2 minutes each morning and exploring a  a little quiet time to check in with you can make a big difference to your day.  You may enjoy meditation, journalling,  listening, chantingc  whatever works,  go with your flow, nobody is watching. 🙃

During this time maybe set an intention for how you would like to BE today in the busyness of your day.

I enjoy creating a word of the day and today, it is ‘courage’.

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It’s None Of My Business

There’s something on my mind and I’m going to say it today. And it will be none of my business how those around me react or respond.

Anytime AnyPlace Anywhere 

Morning’s been and gone and you were too busy? That’s OK you can do this anytime, anyplace, anywhere.  Allow yourself a little time out to just BE

We will explore more on resilience at this  monthly workshop. I’m running one for adults and one for children. More info here

How about you, would love to hear your word of the day.

#frustrationexpert #courage #intention

What Will You Settle On Today?

What will you settle on today?

Some people love being preoccupied with thoughts.

Thoughts provide them with constant entertainment, interaction, they believe thinking is important.

They are addicted to distraction and fearful of boredom, inner silence, or feeling alone without them.

Our minds are often likened to busy monkeys leaping from tree to tree or butterflies fluttering from flower to flower.

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We are good at multitasking, reacting, and scanning for the pleasant, unpleasant or neutral and choosing all the time between them.

Life is fast paced, work is busy, families are doing, schools are cramming…

So what can we settle on today to stabilise our mind and respond more to situations?

How can we allow the butterfly to settle, the monkey to still?

Jane Tyson

Meditation – Do you ‘THINK’ it’s boring

Is Meditation Boring? 

Are you interested in meditation? Do you have a regular practice? Would you like to give it a go but are not sure how to? I’ve heard friends say they just can’t do it, it’s impossible not to think and it’s boring!

I’ve written this as another one of my ‘How I‘ blogs and and not a ‘How To‘, with the intention that it might just give you the nudge to get started.  At times, yes meditation can be boring so you explore ways to  sit with the boredom, in the same way you’ll discover ays to ‘be’ with the upsets, the joy, the anger, the frustrations etc

Will Events Still Piss Me Off?

Yes. Some days I meditate for just 20 minutes and when I do my day flows well, I am more present with the ups and downs,  I’m calmer with my kids and the ones I teach, and I notice I manifest more positivity.  Stuff still goes on and things piss me off but for some reason it never matters so much and I’m less likely to get caught up in the drama in a negative way. I’m more neutral and sure of who I am and how I am being around it.

How I Meditate. 

I wake up early anyway, so often go downstairs to the sofa cross my legs, close my eyes and just breathe and ‘be’. It is an effort because I want to do lots of other things at the same time, plus it’s cold, dark and boring to sit on the sofa on my own, yet I have so learned to love and cherish this peace and quiet and the benefits it brings.  If I lay in bed it’s not quite the same as sitting up awake and present to what’s going on.

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I have practiced yoga for 25 years and always enjoyed the corpse relaxation pose at the end, but never quite unerstood ‘meditation’ until about 4 years ago and now life wouldn’t ‘be’ the same.

Be Patient, Patience is Wisdom

When I was teaching out in Tanzania the school paid for me to go on a course to learn how to teach mindfulness. This week I was reading through some of the notes I took from my mentor Adam from Mindspace,  and they served as a good re-MIND-er for me –

  • Build up a rhythm and a regular simple practice
  • ‘I’ve no time’ means I’ve no intention
  • Be patient, patience is wisdom, often we think it is not working
  • A bigger picture gives a lot more power to practice
  • You cannot teach it unless you are doing it
  • You will find it easy to make decisions and naturally have more confidence
  • Meditation helps you to develop a loving kindness for others

If you’d like to learn How To there’s many apps out there to get you going, courses, lots of great books which I can also recommend, and I can also guide you.

Notice How Bored You Are

However,  if this all sounds like a lot to do why not do what I do and just sit now and close your eyes and brshine-from-your-souleathe and notice. And when you notice what you notice, notice a bit more and just be with what you notice.  After a while you may like to just be with your breathing – in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, and the rise and fall of your chest, the weight of your body on the chair, the touch of your skin on your clothes.
If you notice other things too like being bored,  that’s OK, just notice when you do and then notice your breath again.
Try this for a while and notice whether you’d like to do it again another time and read this again as a re-MIND-er.

I slipped into a How To but it’s also How I.

You may like to come along to my talk here.

Jane Tyson

 

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Eating Together Improves Our Children’s WellBeing

The Benefits of Eating Together

The knock on effect of eating together as a family,  isn’t just that kids usually eat more healthily, studies have found there’s a whole host of other benefits including reduced stress, good mental health, improved grades, saving money, better family relationships and greater happiness.

This isn’t a ‘How To’ blog it’s a ‘How I‘ and what has worked for us, hope you enjoy our ‘Shamba’ below too!

What’s It Like Eating Together?

Do you enjoy mealtimes together as a family, do you have time to sit together, are you happy with the food choices you make and feel you have good variety and balance, is eating with your kids a nice experience or a chore?

What About The Fussy Eaters?

All kids go through stages of ‘fussing’ over food and it’s during these times that we may unintentionally reinforce it, so they end up with longer term picky eating habits. Eating together is more likely to encourage children to explore food more and try things out,  especially when they see us modelling how to.

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I Don’t Like Potato

I’ve been teaching for 20 years and during lunch-breaks have seen many school kids pushing their food around their plate.  They find it hard to control their cutlery and can’t wait to get away from the table and nor can the lunchtime staff, who pace around with their cloths, waiting for the next year groups to take their places on the benches.

In some schools, staff do eat with the children,  placing a high priority on the importance of eating together, modelling how to,  communicating deeply and really engaging with one other.

How can we Create Autonomous Happy Eaters?

What if we looked for more opportunities to give autonomy to our children? By allowing our child more choice we give them some space to be and to take ownership of their eating.  By including them in our family decisions we can significantly relax our control and boundaries, and we may discover our children become more relaxed across other areas of their lives, so these skills are transferable.

Eating Together

Since my kids were old enough to eat we’ve sat together at mealtimes.  From about 6 months, minus the salt, they’ve pretty much eaten the same softened food as an adult, they made a complete mess, and still often do. Yet it’s fun fun and sociable.

Make Table Connection & Conversation the Priority

They’ve never been rewarded with pudding if they eat all their food, having  a strong aversion to sticker rewards and making my children ‘compliant’ –  if they don’t eat there’s no fuss about it and if they do it’s the same, no attachment to any outcome. We enjoy being at the table with them, food isn’t the priority, table conversation and connection is.

Serving Suggestions 

Usually food is served from bowls at the table, so they can just help themselves to what they fancy and measure their own portions too.

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There might also be bread & butter, cheese, crackers and salad on offer.

Meal planning 

On Sundays, we sit together and go through calendars and planners in an attempt to get organised.  Again a lovely time to connect and communicate as a family. We often write down meals we would all like for the week, and which meals they can help prepare/cook.

Cooking Together

Encouraging  the children to join in with cooking as often as possible, such as squeezing oranges, grating cheese, making fruit crumbles and teaching them how to handle knives to chop makes them less food adverse and this can be encouraged from a young age.  Always looking for opportunities for them to get involved or do it on their own.

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The children often cook with Nanny Gill when they stay over in Streatham

Team Shopping 

Since they were very young they’ve created their own shopping lists. In the early days this really made learning to read and write meaningful, their pictures and words didn’t need to make sense it was just part of the process. They’d run along the aisles on their own to find things, then be engaged with packing, paying and then unpacking back home. They are still involved at 13 and 11, nowadays they can go to the shops alone and pick up milk, bread etc if we run short.

At most stages of the shop to table experiences they are included

Where Does Our Food Come From?

Many kids don’t know where food comes from.  For the past 12 years, we’ve been privileged to grow vegetables at our allotment, so the kids have been able to sow, grow and eat from scratch.

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Paul on our Shamba whilst we were living in Tanzania. I’d taken my class for a tour around the school searching for food, including the banana and papaya trees. Paul spoke with them about the food he’d grown.

If you don’t have access to a garden or the opportunity to plant a few seeds,  maybe see if you can visit a friend who does, or visit an allotment, garden centre or working farm. Most schools do have gardening projects, however I would say it can be rather tokenistic and dependent on the energy and enthusiasm of the staff member in charge.

Encourage children to look also at food labels and consider the ingredients, and even world maps to plot which country food has come from, they might enjoy this clip here. 

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Getting down with the potatoes in 2007 at our allotment in Woking, UK, loved that brolly too!

Look forward to hearing from you to learn more about what inspires your family eating habits, as it would be great to share it with other children,  schools and parents too.

Also,  love to find out more about you and what you LOVE to do, my linked in profile is here.

Workshops and 1:1 support for children and families listed in my newsletters at yogarascal.com tending to blog etc over there more at mo.

Jane Tyson
Solving World Problems Playfully!