The Mindful Life™ Blog

What could 30 minutes of downtime do for you?

mindful life for parents Jun 03, 2024

If your to-do list is as long as mine, I bet the idea of stopping for 30 minutes to do nothing makes you feel anxious.

Am I right?

But guess what? When your brain is overwhelmed by all-the-things, you’re in fight, flight or freeze mode, which means the “smart” part of your brain (the prefrontal cortex) basically shuts down. Good luck being productive when you can’t think straight!

It sounds counterintuitive, but when you take some down time, you calm the “alarm” part of your brain (the amygdala), the smart part of your brain can work again.

One of the best things you can do for your stress level is to schedule some “whatever” time for you and your family.

Do you ever find yourself beating your head up against the wall trying to solve a problem, and then you take a shower or go for a run and the perfect solution just pops into your head? That’s your amygdala calming down and your prefrontal cortex coming back on line.

“Whatever” time has the same effect. 

No plans. No expectations. Just spontaneous enjoyment of each other.

Maybe you can find time for an hour or two on the weekends. Maybe you fit in 30 minutes one or two nights a week. Just get it on the schedule.

Then stop, relax and listen to each other. No phones or devices. Just have fun.

Think of  a time when your family is usually all together, and book it.

If you’re struggling to envision what your “whatever” time would look like, click on my list of 25 Ways to Enjoy "Whatever" Time with Your Family that I created just for you.