To practice mindfulness is to slow down from the daily rush life can bring. This pause gives us time to notice our thoughts and ask ourselves questions. What are we giving attention to and how is it making us feel? What do we need to accomplish in a particular moment and what may internally be holding us back? It also allows us to pay attention to what’s happening around us and where we can lend a helping hand or when we should leave a negative environment.
Why is mindfulness important for your Girl Scout?
Teaching mindfulness at an early age can help your Girl Scout live a more balanced life but learning it together with the adults in her life can encourage healthy relationships and promote understanding. We can take the reins of our feelings and choose how to better react with compassion and patience.
During the last couple of years, our world has faced numerous stressfully challenging situations. It is at times like these when it is essential to check in with yourself and your girls. Easier said than done, right? So, let us create a mindfulness toolbox that we can pull from during difficult periods.
Create a Mindfulness Toolbox
Here are some great ways to implement mindfulness into your wellness routine with your Girl Scout.
Get up and move! Sign up for a local exercise class like yoga, boxing, or an upbeat dance class. Exercise has a positive chemical effect on the brain and reduces stress and anxiety. If you cannot make it to a class, play your favorite song and have an impromptu dance party with a friend!
Breathing exercises! Sit with your Girl Scout and practice deep breathing for 3-5 minutes or research other techniques like box breathing where you breathe in for 4, hold for 4, and exhale slowly for 4. Click here for a helpful video from Headspace to guide you in this practice. You can also begin to count as you inhale with 1, exhale – 2, inhale – 3, exhale – four, and so on until you reach the number 20.
Write in a journal! Expressing feelings can be difficult when we do not know how to find the right words to say aloud. Writing is a helpful alternative because she can write it all out privately, giving herself time for self-reflection, before having to explain it to someone else, if needed. The journal prompts below are a great place to begin.
- Today I am confident in…
- Today I will do my best to be…
- What are things that I can do that make me smile?
- What is something that I can do to take care of myself today?
Motivational mantras! These are little reminders to the self that can be written on sticky notes and posted on the mirror or printed on flashcards. These mantras can include sayings such as “I AM strong. I AM smart. I AM brave. I AM a talented artist. I AM a good student!”
Click below to download an example from GSGLA.
Create a piece of art! The options are limitless! Drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, collaging, or simply coloring can allow us to focus on something that brings joy. Gifting a friend, a piece of your art will be sure to bring a smile too! There are even badges your Girl Scout can earn that are all about the arts! To get you started, design your own Motivational Cards to read each morning in the mirror.
Practicing faith! Turning to our individual religious or spiritual practices can bring comfort. Praying, meditating, reading a passage, or attending a service are all great resources for helping you feel better in times of need.
Creating toolboxes together can be a great conversation starter between you and your Girl Scout. It can create a sense of trust and a safe environment to speak about how they are feeling and whether they need solutions or a moment of celebration.
Share with us how you and your Girl Scout practice mindfulness! To read more about how to support Girl Scouts during events that may shake up their world visit girlscouts.org/raising-girls.