Recently I spent time with a friend who is forging a path frowned upon by many these days – She did not sign her children up for summer activities. You heard me right, not one single activity. No sports teams, camps or any scheduled obligations away from home. When she told me this somewhat sheepishly, as if waiting for an attack, I could not help but think she was brilliant and told her so. She then began to tell me all the benefits of putting the brakes on outside obligations for the summer. The result has been a happier Mama and happier children. They leisurely begin each day and choose what they would like to do together  that day. Seeing her peaceful children, and their peaceful Mom made me think more about the value of the fast paced, do everything lifestyle that is expected of us. What is lost in the shuffle as we feel compelled to do something all of the time? This post would like to encourage you to BE rather than DO. Here are three tips for putting the “BE” back in Human Beings.

1) Schedule a day for NOTHING. Give you and your family one day without any obligations to others or any planned in advance activities. A day of Nothing offers the possibility of peace, creativity and conversation with those you love – and that is SOMETHING!

2)Place cell phones at a charging station when you arrive home. Cell phones distract us, especially the ones with internet access and emails. They can prevent us from relaxing and from connecting with those who are physically present and right in front of us at home. Try this as a family for one night and see if you notice a difference.

3) Breathe. This is a great reminder that you are a human “BE” ing. Taking three intentional deep breathes has been shown to change difficult emotional states and reduce stress. Breathing brings us back to basics and to something so important – LIFE!

We are not Human DOings, rather we are Human BEings and time with a wise friend has reminded me why this is so important.

If you or someone you love is looking for a therapist in the Twin Cities please contact Trisha Falvey, M.A.,LMFT