The Southport School

Zen Zone, a mindfulness-based wellbeing health initiative, is designed for our Year 2-6 students to teach practical strategies that aim to enhance focus and concentration, self-confidence, compassion and emotion regulation.

We know that mindfulness is a way that we can ‘train our brain’, but we need to practice this regularly. Meditation is an example of formal mindfulness practice, but we can also benefit from informal practice. Here are a few examples of how you can practice informal mindfulness at home.

Get the kids involved in cooking – Engage those senses. Ask your kids to assist you in the cooking process and don’t be too hard it they want to try an ingredient (particularly fruit, veg or herb) before it goes into the meal! Ask them about the different textures, flavour and aromas that the ingredient omits. Talk about different ways to cook the ingredient. You can practice this again while you’re eating the meal!
While you’re driving – Regularly comment on what you can see outside your car. Wind down a window and listen to the noises outside the car. Take note of the smells, particularly when driving past the ocean or a park.
Stretch it out – Ask your son to join you in a family stretch. Take the time to scan your body from head to toe any note any sore areas that might need additional stretching. Alternatively, place your legs against the wall to increase your vascular circulation.
Take a walk – Getting outdoors and amongst the ‘green and blue’ encourages our boys to use their senses and focus on their breath. While you’re walking, ask your son to ‘notice’ three things that they can see, hear and feel (e.g., trees, leaves brushing together, cool breeze).
Three deep breaths – Wherever you are, encourage yourself and your son to take three deep breaths together. Notice the in-breath and the out-breath and try the 3:2:4 method of breathing in for 3 seconds, holding for 2 seconds and breathing out for 4 seconds. You could also try ‘Teddy Bear Breathing’ by asking your child to place a teddy bear on their belly (whilst lying down) and get them to notice the teddy bear rise and fall with every breath.
Give it a go and let us know how you go!

Miss Caitlin Anderson 
Wellbeing Health Promotion Officer

Posted with permission
Original article published here