How to Be Mindful with Your Kids on Snow Days

After you put the shovels away, enjoy the awe of the season with a little mindfulness.

snowday-in-post

oloya/Dollar Photo Club

How do you fare on snow days?

Hours spent inside with the kiddos, while waiting out a storm or blizzard can evoke cabin fever in some parents and caregivers.

“Being at home with your children and taking on the idea that you have to be the entertainer, with no sign of sanity-saving alone time for yourself can cause anxiety,” says Susan Verde, a mom of three, kids yoga instructor, and the author of, I Am Yoga. Worry may also stem from the inevitable and repeated words, “I’m bored.”

Added pressure comes from outfitting yourself and your kids in snow apparel, retrieving sleds, tubes and other snow play items, and anticipating the slushy mess that will inevitably be trekked inside, especially if you have more than one child.

To set a mode of calm before a pending storm, shift your mindset, advises Verde.

While waiting for conditions to ease up, encourage kids to take in nature’s awesome show of beauty. Discuss how snowflakes are formed. Watch and listen as the peace and quiet of winter white cloaks your neighborhood.

“Embrace a snowday as an opportunity, as opposed to a daunting task,” says the author. “Start off by setting an intention. Commit to find the joy and wonder in the day. Tell yourself you’ll try to keep things fun and peaceful. Remember to be forgiving and have compassion for yourself if things don’t go as smoothly as planned or take a different turn.”

Prolonged togetherness with your kids also presents mindful teaching moments.

As the first snowflakes fall, most kids are raring to be a part of the heavenly action. But winds and frigid temperatures aren’t safe to get caught up in. While waiting for conditions to ease up, encourage kids to take in nature’s awesome show of beauty. Discuss how snowflakes are formed. Watch and listen as the peace and quiet of winter white cloaks your neighborhood.

Before romping in the snow outside, ask your kids to pitch in with shoveling and clearing pathways. Doing so helps to ensure your family’s safety from slips and falls. Fun and games await, but tackle the busywork first as a unit.

Set imagination loose. Free to run wild, a child can pretend to be a snow angel or an Eskimo. Join in the fun and build snow animals, forts, and other playful snow creations together.

While warming up inside after a long day of snow fun, remind kids to count their blessings. Not everyone is lucky enough to be safe and cozy indoors. Try practicing a mindful meditation together, says Verde.

“Sit quietly for a moment. Breathe in gratitude for your warmth, your home, and the fun you had earlier,” she says. “Exhale compassion for those who are less fortunate. Send them good energy and wish them well.”

Practice: Snow Day Yoga Sequence

The following poses are excerpted from I Am Yoga, illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds.

mountain pose

Mountain Pose
Stand tall, with your feet together or slightly apart. Find an equal balance on both feet. Firm your thighs and pull in your belly. Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears. You can let your arms hang down by your sides, palms facing forward, or lift them straight above your head and bring your palms together. You are a mountain.

Breathe in and out slowly. If you like, close your eyes and imagine you are strong and sturdy, still and calm.