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Doing What Brings You Joy

by Vanessa De Jesus Guzman
September 19th 2021


Society tends to overschedule kids with extracurricular activities. While this has great benefits, it’s important to remember kids need space to play and just be. On... More

you're listening to the free to be mindful podcast which provides bite sized tips for busy parents, educators and anyone working with kids. These real talk conversations focus on mindful living, mental health and personal growth, helping all to learn, grow and inspire with mindfulness in mind. I'm your host, Vanessa to jesus Guzman, educator licensed professional counselor, entrepreneur and mom. I'm passionate about helping folks live life with peace of mind and ease of heart while not losing their well, you know, here we go. Have you ever tried to practice meditation but have no idea if it's working or even if you're doing it right, we didn't be awesome if there was something to let you know when you're in the zone to let you know to do more of that. Well, there is something that does exactly that it's called muse muse is a brain sensing headband that helps you find more calm, sharper focus and better sleep.

It does this by measuring your brain waves and lets you know exactly when you're in a meditative seat. It's an awesome tool for kids and for adults alike. You can get 15% off any muse product by clicking the link in the show notes below. Check them out at choose and again, don't forget to use that link for 15% discount at checkout. Hi and welcome back to the free to be mindful podcast. I hope that you're feeling good, looking good and doing better in this world than you were yesterday. So at the end of every episode, you know that we end with a very short guided meditation. However if you're looking for more, I welcome you to join a movement that I've co created called Mindfulness with people of color where we see you because we are you we meet every Tuesday night at nine PM Eastern Standard time And for only 30 minutes we build community and we have a guided meditation via zoom and this can be done with the cameras on or with the cameras off.

So if you're interested, feel free to swipe up and check out the link below in the show notes and you can register there. So if you're listening in your most likely an educator or a parent or a caregiver of some sort and you most likely work with kids in some capacity. And even if you don't, this episode has an important message which may still resonate with you. So I invite you to stick around. So by now the middle of september all kids are in school around the world and along with the regular school day. We also have a lot of after school activities and for most of our little specifically we go from being a mom dad caregiver to Uber driver to driving from one activity to the next. My household has also experienced this as my son is now in digit two and piano lessons and religious education lessons and we keep a pretty light schedule compared to some of the other youth that I work with which literally go from one activity to the other and to the other.

And I want to talk first about how this impacts our kids and then how this type of schedule also impacts us. So I am a strong proponent of kids being involved within their schools and within their communities, especially when they're in school. I truly believe that when they feel that they're a part of something bigger than themselves, then they tend to make better choices and being more involved can keep them out of trouble too. So I really feel that it's great all the way around. However, there are two ends of that spectrum. I have seen students all the way on the other end of the spectrum that are so over scheduled and so overworked that they have an extremely hard time of finding any time to themselves because of course, yes, school is important and we all want our kids to be successful in school. And yes, being an extracurricular activities is also important, but just as important is the aspect of play, Kids are still kids and they still need time to play and bonus points when they're playing with caregivers and parents who love them.

If you do this with your child, you get to know them so much better and it has long range benefits for you and for your kids as well. In addition to play, kids just need time to be on their own sometimes when we're so overworked and when we're so over scheduled, we don't realize that we don't get to know ourselves as individuals because we're always seeing ourselves as part of a group now. Yes, I just said that it's important to understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. But it's also important to understand our likes and our dislikes to understand that it's okay to have some downtime and it's okay to be alone sometimes and be comfortable with that. It's important that in that space and in that time that we take the time to figure out what we do for fun and not what we do because we have to or because someone else wants us to.

It's important in that downtime and that alone time to also figure out our coping strategies and our coping skills. It's during these times that we figure out this, reading a book, helped me calm down or just listening to music by myself put me at ease. Or sometimes you just need a little cat nap to get back to it. Or even some time with yourself in the mirror and having these conversations and playing things out. And if our kids are so over scheduled back to back to back with extracurricular activities, they don't have this necessary downtime to play and to be themselves, which is just as important when developing their character as going to school because almost anybody can read a book and answer some questions, but we want to make sure that we are raising kids that can contribute to a society by working with other people and can contribute to a society by knowing what to do in order to calm down when getting frustrated after working with people.

So there's definitely skills to be learned in this time now. Again, super duper important to yes, be involved in outside things and not just in a video game, but it's also in time to have some downtime to, and now shifting gears to talking to be adults just as in our kids schedules that we want them to be involved. It's also important for us to be involved, the same things apply. It's great when we have our downtime and more often than not because we're taking care of others. It's really hard sometimes to find that downtime in order to take care of our own physical, mental and emotional needs. So finding that downtime is crucial for us while we're in between being uber drivers driving our kids from place to place, but flipping it a little bit, it's also just as important to find hobbies that we enjoy doing as that can bring an added layer of quality of life and even of life satisfaction overall, let's say that you're an accountant and all you do is look at a screen all day, I'm not really sure what accountants do, but let's say you were just you in a cubicle by yourself all day long and you really love to go golfing or to do martial arts or to dance then yes, take that time once a week or a couple of times a week.

If you're lucky to take a class, take a painting class, take a dancing class, do something that pushes you perhaps a little out of your comfort zone that makes you grow as an individual and that perhaps even helps your physical self as well. When we are able to integrate these things in our lives, we may notice how much more at ease we are because we're finding ourselves a little bit more so when we're talking about our kids, we over schedule them and they need time for themselves when we're talking about us, Yes, we need time for ourselves. But if we can schedule something where we are doing something because we desire it instead of because we just need to do it can really go a long way again in life satisfaction. And perhaps before we even make the time, we need to kind of figure out what can work for us. What were things that used to bring us joy before life pulls us in a lot of different directions.

And when we find that taking the time to do it. And does that have his challenges? Absolutely. As I might have shared in the past, I love to dance and prior to getting married, I used to be in a salsa performance team and I absolutely loved it. It brought me so much joy and it of course helped me physically as well after getting married and having my son, I took a little break and when myself as a toddler I was able to go back, but then focusing on making career changes. I don't have that time that I used to, but I still want to, when we do things outside of work and even outside of our homes, it can be so beneficial for our mental health. It really helps us with lowering our anxiety, our stress levels. Being able to cope perhaps with anxieties or with depression. It increases our interaction with other people and that can bring a lot of value not only to our own life, but the lives of others as well.

And finding a hobby also gives us the opportunity to learn new skills, which gives our brains the opportunity to get a workout and really stay young. It gives us a sense of self care, in a sense of accomplishment when we are able to master something new. The benefits really outweigh the aspect of just not having a good time. It is my hope that you can take out the time to really ask yourself, what brings you joy, what is something you used to do that perhaps you needed to put on hold because of family needs or career needs or physical or mental health. And once you're able to pinpoint that item of joy, it's my hope that you find a way to integrate it somehow in your life. Maybe you start off with just 30 minutes once a week and perhaps you can increase that as time goes along and whatever way works best for you. Perhaps it's leaving your house for a class or taking a class via zoom.

We're checking out something on youtube or just making time again to do what brings you joy Because remember we cannot pour from an empty cup and while we love our kids and would do anything for them, our well being is just as important so that we can be there to raise them the best way that we can. I hope that you can make the intention for this week to find something that works well for you. I'm looking forward to hearing it on social media where you can find me at counselor V to jesus. So right now, regardless of where you are or what you're doing, take a full inhale through your nose and breathe out slowly, mm hmm As you breathe in whatever way works best for you. I invite you to reflect on something you loved to do as a child. Perhaps it was a sport an extracurricular activity.

Something that brought smile, enjoy to your face. Mhm Hold that emotion and really picture yourself as you think back and how doing this thing that brought you joy helps your interactions with others and perhaps how it helps you get through some hard times. Also, whether it be taking a class at a community center, exploring something new, joining an intramural team or perhaps just making time to read more books. Yeah, take this moment to make an intention of something that you desire to do and really take the moment to reflect on how this desire is probably a need as well, a need that helps you feel focused, a need that helps you feel fulfilled and a need that brings you a sense of purpose and value to your life.

Have a great week. I hope you enjoyed this week's show. It would mean a ton if you took this moment to review the free to be mindful podcast on the platform, you catch your favorite shows that quick and easy act lets me know what you enjoy and it helps others find the podcast too. And of course don't forget to subscribe so you can listen along next week. In the meantime I welcome you to catch me on social media at counselor V to jesus and as always remember in a world where you are free to be anything that you want to be, you are always free to be mindful. Catch you next week

Doing What Brings You Joy
Doing What Brings You Joy
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