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Get the Ball Rolling Some kids might instantly know 10 or more things they’d love to do this summer. Others might struggle to fill out their list. Take care to not make suggestions yourself; your kids’ ideas should be entirely their own. Instead, ask some questions to help spark ideas.
Dream Big Let your kids come up with any number of outrageous ideas, without regard for budget or even the laws of physics. “Make s’mores” and “Watch fireworks” are summer staples, but don’t say no if your kids want to “Fly to Italy” or “Walk on the moon.” Encourage your kids to dream big, but remind them that the bucket list is a wish list, not a promise. Just because something is on the list doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to do it. Of course, the “impossible” ideas might give you opportunities to get a little creative this summer. For example, if your kids want to walk on the moon, a road trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho might be in order. When Summer Ends You probably won’t get to everything on your bucket list. DisneyWorld might not be in the cards for your family this summer, or maybe you’ll run out of time. On the last night of summer, take the list down and talk about all the great memories you made while doing the activities you checked off. Then, put the list somewhere safe and revisit it next summer. This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems. What is meditation? Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness. Does meditation work? It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
There may be things your kids aren’t interested in anymore or new ideas they’d love to add. A Few Suggestions Here are a few great summertime activities to jump-start your family’s summer bucket list:
What are your favorite things to do? What is something new you’d like to learn? What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
• • • • • • • •
Go to a drive-in movie. Build a lemonade stand. Have a picnic in the park. Run through the sprinklers. Make lunch with food from a farmer’s market.
Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Ride a Ferris wheel.
Fly a kite.
A n A ncient S olution to M odern P roblems family have a fun summer! Let your kids know they don’t have to fret about coming up with incredible activities for everyone. Their list could include simple activities like “Lay in the grass,”“Look at the stars,” or “Watch a sunset.” If your kids are only able to come up with three ideas, that’s okay! You can always add more to the list as the summer goes on. No Pressure This bucket list isn’t meant to create the “perfect” summer. It’s meant to help your
Visit the public library and find books to read before bedtime.
A summer bucket list is a great way to make fun a priority and encourage your family to spend more time together during summer break.
Have a fun and happy summer!
less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression. How do I meditate? Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calmor Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well- being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.
T he T ruth A bout M editation
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