5 Ways to Tap into Your Inner Child
by Susie Beghin, RECE, Founder of Alpha’s Discovery Kids
As an educator, parent, and daycare owner, I feel blessed to be around children every day. Being with children has allowed me to learn how to tap into my own inner child. I have seen firsthand how important it is to my relationship with them. Children tend to engage with me and seek me out when I’m connected to my inner child.
What is the Inner Child?
The Inner Child lives inside you. It can best be described as “child-like”, innocent and free from worry. It can’t be taken away, but it can hide. It’s like a light shining within you that can’t burn out, but it can be temporarily dimmed.
Why tap into your Inner Child?
There are a couple of important reasons to tap into your inner child. One of the main reasons you will want to do this is to feel more joy and energy in your life. Have you ever noticed that children seem to be full of joy most of the time? They tend to smile and laugh more than adults. They are full of energy! The second reason is, as a parent, it will strengthen your relationship with your children. In the book Learn To Play, I state the importance of tapping into your inner child when you are playing with them. It will allow you to influence and educate them in the best way possible. And finally, it’s good for your mental health. When you tap into your inner child, it feels good!
5 Ways to Tap into Your Inner Child
- Spend Time with Children in Play – I found this way to be the easiest. Children naturally will bring out your inner child when you are playing with them. Resist the urge to direct the play. Just follow along with what they are doing. The more you follow, the more your inner child will come out. Let yourself be free in the play. Don’t worry about anything – like making a mess. Don’t be afraid to get silly and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Be playful and have fun.
- Be Curious – We can learn how to be curious by observing children. They naturally have a sense of wonder and curiosity about everything. They are learning about their world and there are many new things to learn. A baby is just figuring out how to open and close a kitchen cupboard. Imagine their excitement when they finally get it open! They want to do it repeatedly! Children are like scientists that are always testing a hypothesis. They are curious about how things work. We need to see the world in the same way. We need to be curious and look at the world with the eyes of a child.
- Be Mindful – Being mindful means focusing on the present moment without any judgement. Children are naturally mindful and have a heightened sense of awareness. They tend not to worry about the past or future and are mostly focused on what is happening in the present moment. We can learn a lot from children in this regard. Many of our worries and problems arise when we are too focused on the past or the future. We forget to enjoy the present moment, which is full of opportunities and joy. Want to learn how to be mindful? Click here and watch one of our videos about how to cultivate mindfulness.
- Look up – We live in a world with a lot of distractions and mobile phones have had a huge impact on us. I am guilty of spending too much time looking at my phone and scrolling through social media instead of enjoying the scenery on a drive. I have sat at the dinner table answering a message on my phone instead of engaging in conversation with the people sitting beside me. These same phones that are supposed to connect us to the world, often tend to disconnect us – emotionally. When we look up from our phones, we notice the world around us in a new way. We can’t engage with that world if we are looking down. Our inner child needs us to look up.
- Do something new – One of the best ways to challenge yourself to tap into your inner child is to try something new. Learn a new language, visit a new destination, or try out a new craft. Whatever you do, make sure you haven’t done it before. This will challenge your brain to make new connections the same way a child does when they learn something new.
Once you learn to tap into your inner child, you will be well equipped to engage with you kids and build the relationship. The spark is within you, you just need to let it shine!
Spring Cleaning for the Mind
Spring is all about fresh starts and new beginnings, symbolized by growth and new life. It’s a time when we are encouraged to clean our homes and organize our lives. It’s also a great time to give a little attention to renewing your mental health.
At Alpha’s Discovery Kids, we place equal focus on teaching children about mindful awareness and physical health as we do with teaching them academic skills. We do this because we know how important mental health is to the learning process. Engaging in self-care is fundamental to having a clear and refreshed mind. We often forget to take care of ourselves when busy schedules and caring for others is prioritized. We must actively listen to our mind and body and understand that taking time for oneself is not a luxury or an act of selfishness, but rather a critical element for self-growth and fulfillment. Doing this for ourselves is good for those around you too: your family, your co-workers, and it sets a good example for your children. You may wonder how we calm the busyness and begin the self -care process.
Here are 5 steps that can help you clear and refresh your mind, spirit and body.
5 steps to spring cleaning of the mind, spirit and body
A clear mind begins with self-love and self-reflection. Self-love starts with taking the time to do the work that is needed to be healthier, happier, and more at peace with yourself. Once you have gifted yourself the time, then reflection can begin. How can we connect with what our mind and body are telling us if we don’t pause and listen first? Renewal of the mind, body and spirit is a journey, and is successful when practiced gradually. The good news is that you have already begun by taking the time to read this blog.
Here’s a little activity you can do to start the reflection process:
- Imagine yourself sitting beside the water and the waves are crashing. Try to find your reflection in the water.
- Now, imagine yourself sitting beside the water and there are no waves, and the water is still. Try to find your reflection in the water.
The waves represent your active and stressed mind. You can not see your reflection when the waves are crashing. You must calm the waves and your mind to reflect, refresh and renew. Each of these steps require a mind free of clutter and distractions. Find a quiet place at home or in nature and just take some time for yourself to reflect, without thinking about anything on your to-do list and make sure you don’t have a phone with you or anything else that may distract you.
2.Re-write short-term and long-term goals
It does not matter how big or small. Having a set of goals can give you a sense of purpose in life and guide you toward your desired path.
Short term goals that can bring you joy, and happiness can be as simple as:
- Reconnecting with an old friend by phone or in person.
- Taking more time to do enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea alone
- Getting a fresh new haircut
- Forgiving someone who has done you wrong
Long term goals that can bring you joy, and happiness can be as simple as:
- Planning or completing a project at home
- Starting a new hobby
- Booking a trip
- Read a book
- Improving a relationship with someone you care about
3.Refresh Physical health
Engaging in physical activity has been scientifically proven to play an important role in sustaining mental health and well-being. This can be as simple as adding one healthy habit to your routine. or removing one unhealthy habit.
Here’s some ideas:
- Drink more water
- Park father away so you get a few more steps
- Put it away – Tidy up as you go
- Make your bed
- Opting for fresh over processed food
- Cutting back on sugar or salt
- Cut back on caffeine or Alcohol
- Take the dog out for a walk or run
- Sign up for a sport you enjoy
4.Renew your spiritual health
Practicing your faith can do wonders for cleansing of the mind. According to wellness coach and author of “The Adrenal Fatigue Solution”, there is a strong connection between faith and mental health. She states “There is one age-old method that can reduce stress levels. It’s free, doesn’t require a prescription, and has zero side effects or drug interactions. You will know it as faith, and millions of people around the world rely on it to see them through hard times. The results are not just anecdotal, there is evidence that it works. Faith and spirituality are abstract concepts, but they can lead to concrete results in mental health improvement and stress reduction.”
Whatever your faith is, spend more time with it. Really connect with it to engage your mind and spirit.
5. Rethink your stress management skills
Learning coping skills that allow you to accept any given situation is an important skill in reducing stress. Knowing which situations make you uncomfortable can minimize distress and encourage better coping behaviors. Making a conscious effort to notice and understand your inner and outer world at this very moment can improve your mental health. Living in the present moment is difficult when you are distracted with tasks and responsibilities. We forget to appreciate life’s precious moments.
Taking time to develop the skills needed to better manage your stress and anxiety can be as simple as:
- Take a brief pause in your day to indulge in a sensory experience (Smell something pleasant or touch something soft)
- Try your best not to dwell on what you can’t control or what is in the past
- Pay attention to what triggers your stress responses and avoid those things if possible
- Take a moment to notice the sun and wind on your face
- Remove physical clutter to clear mental clutter and stress
With these 5 steps to spring cleaning the mind, body and spirit, let’s take a moment to spring into action and be good to ourselves.