Kahlon Family Services > Uncategorized > Stress Less (Part 3) – Feeding Your Soul

Stress Less (Part 3) – Feeding Your Soul

fun

  [fuhn]  Show IPA
noun
1. something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
2. enjoyment or playfulness: She’s full of fun.

ad·ven·ture

  [ad-ven-cher]  Show IPA noun, verb,ad·ven·tured, ad·ven·tur·ing.
noun
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

hob·by

1  [hob-ee]  Show IPA
noun, plural hob·bies.
1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a mainoccupation: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.

 

(We thought we’d start off this post with a few words you may have forgotten about. Please revise these terms/commit them to memory.)

When was the last time you had fun? Did you know you can actually work playfulness into your everyday life – with your kids in tow? If you think the only way you can (personally) enjoy life is when the kids are asleep/with someone else, think again! Maybe it is just time for a paradigm shift.

What feeds your soul?

As a parent, your life is now totally about the well-being of others. It has been said that people can not give away that which they do not possess. Therefore, without having time for yourself you are unlikely to have stores of calm, patient niceties to give to others. Your anxiety, your mood and your attitude affect your entire household. If you want to raise kids who see life as an adventure, yet you model the constant, never-ending drudgery of the daily grind – you will probably not be too successful in your goal. You don’t need circumstances to change before you change. Your days may be packed to the rafters with activity, work and errands. Your days may be so similar that they all seem to meld into one boring weekly snowball. You may think that adulthood stripped you of the ability to have fun.

Life doesn’t have to be monochrome. Let’s add some color!

(1) Take up a hobby.
You don’t necessarily need tons of time or money to have a hobby. You just need to choose a sensible hobby for you lifestyle. If you’re an office-bound CEO and you decide your hobby is storm-chasing, it’s probably not a great match time/availability-wise. (But if you can do it on the weekends, go for it. It’s your life.) Joining an interest group is not always realistic (time-wise) when you have young (or special needs) children, but the internet has endless forums that act like interest groups for your hobby. Taking photos, making things, hiking, playing board games, baking – these are all hobbies that can be done individually or as a family. Think of something you like.

(2) Find ways to make boring things fun.
You’ve seen Mary Poppins! While her ability to sing and have the toys put themselves away may be far from your skill set, she showed us all that, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun… and snap! The job’s a game!” If you make an effort to add fun to tasks, you may find your kids more willing to participate. Try making pack-up time into a game, by adding a song. You could play a song aloud from your phone (the same song each time for an auditory cue) and the game is, “Let’s see if we can pack everything away by the time the song is over.” Of course, you may need to add boundaries like, “The song will be paused if you’re not helping. I will only play the song if you are packing up.” You could also try making up songs with your kids about the items on the shopping list, errands that you’re running or your to-do list. You have permission to be playful! Making up funny rhymes will make your kids laugh, and will also help them understand the form of narrative. You can actually make your kids smarter by being silly with them.

(3) Get out of the house.
You don’t need tons of money or time to get out of the house, either! If you usually drive from A-B, take the kids on a bus or train from time to time. You have no idea how much it means to a child to have a wide range of different experiences. Go to the beach and write in the sand. Climb a hill. Visit a museum. Visit friends and relatives. Go to a coffee shop and reconnect – sometimes we even see parents with kids (usually over 5 yrs old) at coffee shops, doing their own thing and teaching their kids to do their own thing too. Bring an iPod, a coloring book, a picture book, a game – you can have time with your child and with your own brain. Life is about balance – spend uninterrupted personal time with your kids, then feel free to show them that you can love them with or without conversation.

If you find your life seeming like that movie Groundhog Day, make an effort to restore the adventure that life brings. Be the parent that you want to be, not the parent that you think you should be.

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