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Unwind Before You Unravel


The most wonderful time of the year is now upon us – the holidays! There is more to do and seemingly less time to do it: dashing and decorating and dining, and days and days of doing. PAUSE. Let’s take care of ourselves, and help teach our children how to do the same.

Amidst the hubbub, let’s take time and be mindful. The library has resources for parents and caregivers to learn about mindfulness with their little ones. Mindfulness means paying attention to the world around you. It is one’s awareness of feelings and senses in the present moment, and is a critical life skill. Some studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure and heart rate, while increasing the function of your immune system. It can improve awareness, focus, and clarity, and elevate brain functioning.

Here are some library resources to help you and your loved ones learn essential mindfulness practices:

Youngest Children

Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl – Learn self-soothing from Monkey. See him express feelings, embrace his blanket, breathe, calm with a song, and learn stillness in this easy-to-understand picture book.

Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga by Rebecca Whitford – Practice yoga poses following colorful illustrations that show you how to move on along with the animal you are mimicking. There are also practice tips for parents. Enjoy trying the butterfly, monkey, lion, and frog poses. Have a bit of play time with your kiddos between poses!

ABC for Me: ABC Mindful Me by Christiane Engel – Study the alphabet while learning breathing, listening skills, and more. This book introduces the broad concepts of awareness, compassion, feelings, and meditation using the alphabet… perfect for toddlers! Ebook only.

Now by Antoinette Portis – Be in the present moment, feel wonder, and cherish favorite things. This book is both simple and profound. It is a fabulous read-aloud that focuses on being outdoors, concentrating on each one of your senses, as well as the joy of sitting and reading together.

Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids by Kristen Fischer and Andy Jones – Peek at this easy-to-follow guide. Learn poses from zoo animals bear, cobra, eagle, and friends. The rhyming and the counting make the journey fun. This book reminds you that yoga is perfect for “when you want to calm down and feel strong.”

I Am Yoga by Susan Verde – Instruct your body to be still, your mind to be quiet, and your breath to be slow with this calming yoga book.

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey and Anni Betts – Try 30 techniques for practicing breathing and for managing your body and your emotions. Practice these simple movements and breathing methods anywhere. This will help your little ones gain focus at home, school, and on the go! Also available on DVD.

I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde – This book teaches toddlers how to steady themselves and work through worry and rushing thoughts so that they are able to confess feelings, share kindness, and connect to and appreciate nature.

Older Children

Breathe with Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm, and Happy by Mariam Gates – Feel better using breathing exercises. Learn the rainbow breath, dandelion breath, counting breath, belly breath, and balloon breath with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems by Kate Coombs – This work is beautifully illustrated. Children can learn to relax and work toward inner peace. Their complex emotions are addressed, as is releasing their tension, and appreciating stillness. Also available on DVD.

You are also cordially invited to visit any of our branches in person, make yourself comfortable, stretch out, and relax. While you are there, you can peruse any of our locations’ Family Resource Centers for more information. They contain scores of positive parenting and mental health resources for you and your family.

Feel less busy while getting things done. Or, concentrate on doing nothing. We avidly – and mindfully – support you!

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