Are you stressed? Is your child under stress? Is it hard to unwind at the end of the day because of big or compilation of little stressors in your life?
I've been having trouble falling asleep lately. As soon as my second child started consistently sleeping through the night, I started staying up way too late staring at a screen working after both kids were in bed. When my head finally hits the pillow, it's racing with ideas and stress of wanting something you put your heart into to be successful. Not to mention, the day to day stressors of being a parent.
As I head into the new year, I plan to put more effort into setting a healthier nighttime routine. I want to practice reflecting on what I've accomplished and let go of things I didn't or things I have no control over. Aside from shutting down electronics for at least an hour or two before bed, I'm sharing a favorite gift I've begun to include in my wind down routine. I think other parents and children experiencing stress would benefit from engaging in this practice, too. The meditation box, designed by artist Jayne Riev and sold through UncommonGoods, thoughtfully creates a "calming oasis as the fine grain sands shift with your every inspiration."
I love how you can choose to display a positive message or alternatively shake away a negative emotion or feeling weighing down on you.
While I highly recommend this gift, the process of creating a personalized one for yourself is just as therapeutic as the coping tool itself. As a former inpatient child life specialist, I can absolutely see hospitalized kids, teens and parents enjoying making one of these themselves.
How to make your own meditation box:
Unfinished wooden cigar box (check your local craft store - I got mine for under $3 with a coupon)
Black velvet scrapbook paper (check your local craft store)
double sided tape (or glue)
wooden craft dowel (or any thin clean paintbrush/pen/pencil)
About 4 ounces of fine grain sand (any light color)
Accessories to decorate (I used acrylic paint with paintbrush and scrapbook paper, but you can also add felt, foam, etc).
First cut your black felt scrapbook paper (or any other dark option so it helps make word pop a little) to fit the bottom of the box. Please note, I did not try other styles out with the sand so I'm not sure how the sand will shift and move over them. Do not secure to the bottom yet.
Design and decorate the box keeping a relaxing, calm oasis in mind.
Secure felt scrapbook paper to the bottom of the inside of the box. I used double-sided tape because it was easy and quick!
Add first 3 ounces of your fine grain light-colored sand. Proceed to slowly add in a little sand at a time, stopping to see whether it covers the bottom when you gently shake it with the cover closed. You do not want to add too much sand or you won't be able to see your designs or words as well. You also might not want it spilling over the sides. I think I added slightly over 4 ounces to mine.
- Ta-da! That's it. Enjoy.
I truly have appreciated the moments I take time for myself to reflect and play. It can be challenging to do with children, but this has been an easy, relaxing and fun way to sneak in a deserved #doseofplay. It will definitely be something I practice daily in the new year.
Please share your personalized DIY meditation boxes with Dose of Play below or on social media!