Staying centered as you practice the peaceful parenting philosophy is crucial, but sometimes you have to really look within to help make it work. The good news is that there are a few meditative practices and habits you can put into place to keep you grounded, and it's pretty easy to incorporate these into your life. They can really help you concentrate on the feelings beneath your child's behavior instead of simply reacting to what he does or says.
If you've never tried yoga, check out a class and see if you can get into an inner groove. Yoga can help you reduce stress, manage chronic conditions and improve your fitness level — all things that can contribute to an unfocused mind and affect the way you parent. If you can't catch a class, look into yoga videos on YouTube or check out a couple DVDs from your local library and practice at home. Having the ability to put down a mat and channel your energy for a half hour a few times a week may work wonders on your ability to parent wisely.
Go for a swim
Swimming is an all-around excellent exercise. It's easy on the joints and provides a good workout for your heart and lungs. Even better, it can make you a more introspective parent by alleviating stress and giving you time to reflect on yourself, which makes you a stronger person overall. This InTheSwim article has more information about how swimming helps you battle stress and depression, which can all help you focus more on why a child's behavior seems to be going the direction is it, and what you can do about it.
Get some natural light
Studies have shown that too much artificial light can be detrimental to your health. It interferes with your ability to sleep well and how you regulate your hormones, and it can affect how clearly you think. As a mom or a dad, you know that you have to be pretty on top of your game to approach parenting in a peaceful way, so cut back on indoor artificial light if possible, and definitely get outdoors and catch some rays. Sunlight will boost your vitamin D, which is essential for a healthy immune system, for starters. It can help you sleep better at night, can boost your mood and this can help reduce a natural inclination to engage in a power struggle with your child. And as a bonus, spending time outdoors with your kids can really keep you grounded and involved while connecting with your babies.
Ensuring alone time
There can't be enough said about getting enough quality alone time. Take 15 minutes to reflect on your day, how you approach parenting or how you are shaping your children into the adults they will become. It's more valuable than you might expect.
Taking some down time to read a book, see a movie or browse in your favorite store helps bring the rest of your life back into focus. Parenting is about your kids, sure, but you're an important part of an equation that will make your efforts more successful. Just remember — take care of your kids, but don't forget that self-care is a crucial component of peaceful parenting.