Are you celebrating Chanukah or Hanukkah with kids? This beautiful holiday celebrating The Festival of Lights provides ample opportunity to introduce your family to stress-reducing techniques and mindful moments.
Light the Menorah
- This is an excellent opportunity to try out the concept of “being still.” Ask the kids to try to be still like a candle. (Oh, the miracles!)
- Incorporate showing your family how you can stop the constant chatter in your mind by turning your mind’s focus to the flame. Gently guide everyone to keep gazing at the flame until it is the only thing you see or until the background begins to fade. Try squinting your eyes to see how it changes the way the flame looks.
- Turn this exercise into a game and see who can hold their gaze the longest.
- Create a guided visualization for your family. “Imagine the warmth or color of the flame filling your body. Feel a warm orange glow starting at the bottom of your feet and traveling up your legs.” Continue the visualization until you get to the top of your head.
- Tell the story of Hanukkah. Telling stories is a wonderful way to bond, connect with your family, and keep traditions alive. Lower the lights to create a relaxing environment and soothing ambiance.
- Introduce relaxation breathing after or throughout the story. “Breathe in 2, 3, 4 and out 2, 3, 4. Breathe in miracles 2, 3, 4, and breathe out miracles 2, 3, 4.” Ask your group for additional ideas of what words you can use in your breathing. Words like hope and life support the story and can trigger a relaxation response.
- Cooking together is a stress buster. Put the cell phones in a basket and leave them in another room. Focus on infusing your cooking with love.
- Be mindful by really noticing the activity at hand. Notice how it feels to be calm as you mix the batter. Leave plenty of time to enjoy bonding and cooking with your children.
- Play spin the Dreidel. Playing games without all of the bells and whistles of screens provides a brain break for all ages. Nurture your inner child by participating. Read up on how to play Dreidel.
- Choose dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. It turns out that eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate can reduce the hormones in your body that make you feel stressed.
When you look at the holidays with an eye for creating mindful moments, you will introduce your family to stress management tools they can utilize throughout their lives. For more information on relaxation techniques, visit Stress Free Kids. Enjoy!
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite is a freelance blogger, social media strategist, parenting expert, and successful entrepreneur. Her line of books and CDs are designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, doctors, and yoga instructors. Lori’s award winning books received national attention on Shark Tank and her sort after accessible tips have been featured in hundreds of publications to include: CNN Living, Real Simple Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, Working Mother Magazine, and Web MD. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.