Updated: May 23
I used to think that meditation is only for spiritual people. I was pretty intimidated by it at first, to be completely honest. That changed for me a few years ago when I was in a staff meeting and my colleague, a mental health professional, invited us all to place both feet flat on the ground and take a few breaths together. And wow! did I ever notice the shift. There was nothing scary or spiritual about it. Just a moment to relax together and be calm as a team!
Meditation has grown into one of my favourite secret weapons as an educator. In a role that requires me to think on my feet, keep a steady pace and stay on high alert … finding moments to pause, catch my breath and reconnect to the moment helps me to maintain my composure. As a solo toddler educator, my classroom can be pretty busy. Often my own needs aren’t considered until I take my break or I’m done for the day. If I allowed myself to continue to run like this without taking moments to recenter - it could be a recipe for disaster!
We know that children need a regulated nervous system to help them regulate their own nervous system and when we ourselves are overstimulated and overwhelmed- there isn’t much we do to help children regulate themselves.
Meditation, breathing and mindfulness helps.
If you've been considering meditation and don't know where to start here are my top tips to start your own practice. 1) Create a calming space where you can take a few moments uninterrupted, a chair or a cushion on the floor is perfect. Even sitting outside during a lunch break works!
2) Meditation can be done sitting, standing or laying down; Experiment and find what works best for you. Don't let anyone dictate how you do it.
3) If you aren’t sure where to start, beginning with a short guided breathing meditation is a good place to begin. Aim for anything between 2-5 minutes and go from there.
4) There are thousands of free guided meditation resources online. You can find apps, articles, or videos on YouTube that match your preferred guided meditation. Better yet, you can use my Meditation for Beginners series as a jumping off point! 5) If you find that you are getting restless, that is totally normal and okay. Don’t force it, try again another time. 6) Have fun with it!