When I begin to feel the stress of being inside too long, when I am focused on the clutter around me, when I start to feel overwhelmed with the “to do” list, and when I have spent too much time on my screens, I need to get outside for a quick break to soak up the sun’s rays, feel the earth beneath my feet, take a deep breath of fresh air, and turn my sight upon the clouds.
When you or your child begins to feel these things, I’d encourage you to take a cloud break. Hit the pause button on the screen time and step out into nature’s wonderland of possible meditations, mindful moments, and opportunities to re-connect with your hearts and calm your minds.
I invite you to set an alarm on your phone and go outside several times each day. When you leave your house with your child, simply pause, breathe in and breathe out and look up at the sky.
If it is a blue sky day with fluffy clouds, see if you can feel the pace of the clouds floating by. Ask your child, “Can you feel the clouds moving?” Practice mindfulness and count how many you see in the sky. Perhaps you both can take off your socks and shoes and feel the ground beneath your feet for a moment? Or even lie down in the grass, (bring a blanket if you are sensitive to the grass).
If it is a gray sky day, focus on your breath and breathe in the fresh air. Feel the rhythm of your breath. Imagine that the blanket of cloud cover is a soft, cozy blanket to help you relax, to let go of any stress or tension in your body. Practice mindfulness in noticing the sounds that you hear. Maybe you hear a bird or squirrel in the trees? Maybe there is a car driving by? Perhaps, there’s a dog barking in the distance? A quick pause to mindfully tune in and awaken your hearing to the present moment.