I want to start off by being clear that I have no issues with screens. I tend to work on one screen while another one is playing a video or a podcast. I rarely clean the house without listening to or watching something. Unfortunately, my children are also very interested in keeping busy by watching screens including movies, YouTube, and educational programming.
Yesterday I spent a beautiful afternoon with my 6 year old. We took a family yoga class, then got ice cream together. We then did some more workouts and cuddled up on the floor of our Rec Room in front of a toy tent he had set up. In these moments of connecting screen free, I learned so much about my son. We laughed. We snuggled. We truly enjoyed our time together without interruption. Not only was this time to get to know each other better, but it was also time that was relatively anxiety free. I was not worried that my son would stumble on a YouTube video that would frighten him or would be inappropriate for our household. There was sense of community vs. the isolation of staring at a screen in an empty room.
A trend that has started some time ago is Screen Free Sundays where families get together free of a screen and spend some time together. Setting aside screens for a day can be daunting for some (including myself) so here are some tips for getting started with screen free time.
Start Small - If taking on a full day of screen free time is overwhelming, start small. Maybe it's just no screens at dinner or taking time away from screens for the first hour or two of the morning. As everyone gets used to less screens, you can try extending the time and eventually taking on an entire weekend day.
Plan Activities - Plan activities for screen free time. At first children (and adults for that matter) may be "bored". You may even meet as a family, and create a list of things to do when not watching something on a screen.
Be reasonable - There will be times when the entire family is sick or needs more downtime. Being reasonable means allowing space for this without turning back on your plans to reduce screen time.
Have fun! - Have fun with this project. Make sure everyone in the household has a voice in the process, and after one week review how things are going.
Enjoy this time together, and let me know in the comments how it is going!
As Nelly said, "it's getting hot in here"... or should we say it's getting hot out there! Summer is rapidly approaching and alongside your summer vacation plans and cookouts, yoga may be a priority for you. Here are some tips for FREE yoga all summer long!
Home Practice: There's nothing like a home practice. You can practice at any time, with minimal propping, in any discipline, and for any length of time. Your home practice is FREE, and I like to pull some poses together that I like the most or want to work on and add a short meditation at the beginning and end. Great way to start or reset your day especially if you have little ones at home and do not have time to get to a studio.
YouTube: There are a lot of great videos and teachers on YouTube. My advice just like at a studio is to try a few teachers to see who fits. You can also search for a style of yoga or even an intention and work from there. And starting June 5, you can practice with ME (yes, me!) 5 days a week on YouTube. Just search for Valerie Kacian Yoga on YouTube, and let's practice together.
Eventbrite: Looking for a FREE outdoor class in your area? Maybe a community class in a cool studio? Check out Eventbrite and search for "free yoga" or "community yoga" and check out what may be happening near you.
Community/Library Calendar: Many community centers and libraries offer free yoga options for both adults and kids. Check out your local calendar to see what may be offered in your area.
Low Cost Options: Summer is a great time to SAVE on class passes at many studios. Grab a summer membership at a studio or fitness center and enjoy yoga and perhaps some other perks.
However you get your yoga this summer enjoy a moment to yourself to refresh your day and refocus. It's a perfect time of year for an outdoor practice or a cozy indoor practice. Those of you with children can join me on this blog or on YouTube for tips, idea, and a practice just for you!
Hi, I'm Valerie Kacian! I am a mom of three and a yoga teacher. I am also a writer who doesn't write enough. This is my way of giving you the answers you are looking for and also to keep in touch with my first baby, writing.