I’ve been swamped – I mean swamped – by my to-do list this spring. It has left me yearning for time to slow down and connect with my children, my partner and the rest of my family. Our summer has become the perfect way to do that. Spending time outside, in nature hiking, swimming, kayaking, exploring, playing, and just being with each other feels like the perfect balm as we wrap up our school year in a frenzy of commitments and social events.
So – how is it this desire to slow down leaves me certain that this is what we all need to do? In part, intuition – but let’s face it, I’m a professional with a profound interest in how my children’s brains are developing, and how all of us can move past “survive,” and into “thrive.”
Taking time to just BE, not DO, is one of the best ways to get our nervous systems to recalibrate, and move away from always being wired and ready to go. One step more – just BEING with our children – has been shown to help them feel secure, confident, loved and cared for. In return for that, they become more relaxed, more in tune with themselves, and they grow more connections in their brains. So much research holds this to be the case now – what further reason do you need to put your phone down, turn off your wifi, and hang out with your family this summer? Set aside some time in the evenings, and whole days as much as you can on the weekends. Your children will grow memories that keep them with you long term, and you will remember how awesome it is to appreciate the frogs at the edge of the lake, the snails found on the rocks, and the butterflies in the park through the eyes of your child.
Looking to learn more? Here are some favourites: Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods”; Kim Payne “Simplicity Parenting.”
- At the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre, part of the clinic mission is to provide the Best Naturopathic and Integrative Care possible. Administering integrative and individualized care for her patients, and the patients of the clinic is at the core of Dr. Colleen’s every day. As her general practice allows, Dr. Colleen sees patients from birth until the end of life – providing bio-identical hormone therapy, B12 injections, neurological and brain health care, pediatric care, healthy child visits, adult care, and palliative care.