This week’s Thrive In Five is about Doing Something Relaxing Together as a family during the homeschooling day
So this is the last in the series of at-home Thrive in Fives. This week is all about doing something together that helps to relax your nervous system.
Moving from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic part of nervous system
The autonomic nervous system comprises two parts- the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates the fight or flight response during a threat or perceived danger, and the parasympathetic nervous system restores the body to a state of calm.
When we are in a stressed state, we are sympathetically driven. But that could be a positive (eustress) or a negative (distress). The parasympathetic side of things is the state we should be in when we are sleeping or when we are eating.
So we talk a lot about breathwork, meditation and heartfulness. Heartfulness is about connecting with something you really love or doing something for something that’s bigger than you. That takes you out of self. As adults, some of us are really good at that. Some of us are just learning those skills. Breathwork, meditation and heartfulness these all help you move into the parasympathetic or rest and digest side of the nervous system.
Coping with homeschooling
An interesting little anecdote came to me the other day. Somebody who’s a friend of ours and a client of the business said their young son joined in with their relaxation session the other day. For a while, they were twitchy and agitated and couldn’t settle. But then after about five or 10 minutes, they started to settle into it.
By the end of it, they were in that wonderful parasympathetic part of the nervous system, the same as their mother. They were really getting the benefits of slowing down. That can be harder for kids, but what better way to teach them than to role model that behaviour ourselves. And in fact, do it together.
So as part of your homeschooling day, by doing something relaxing together, you can learn to relax together with the kids or as a family. This can create space and calm within what can otherwise be a very stressful time.
I know there’s some of you who are very stressed, and might be watching this thinking, HA! There’s no chance of that, but just give it a try. Start with just five or 10 minutes and see how you get on.
The power of doing something relaxing together
It’s a wonderful thing to be able to teach kids, that ability to wind down their nervous systems and teach them how to calm themselves is an incredibly important thing. Something that will stand them in really good stead into the future.
So that’s it for me. I wish you all the very best with that. If you can teach them that, then you’ve done them a wonderful service. And perhaps bought yourself a little bit more of a relaxed time of it as well.
So stay healthy. All the very best for now. And I’ll talk to you next week.
This is the third in a series of tips that relate to wellbeing at home, working from home and homeschooling. You may also like our tip on doing one thing for yourself each day and
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