Looking for a mental detox? Join your child in having fun

Enjoy what your kid enjoys. (Source: Getty Images)

There’s nothing better than spending time with your kids, doing things they enjoy. It will make your bond stronger.

By Vaibhav Datar

Life is so strange, isn’t it? I distinctly remember when I was in my school days and we got only two TV channels. One was the national news and general education channel and the other, an entertainment channel, where we could watch cartoons every afternoon. After watching those cartoons, I felt I could jump over buildings or fly high in the air and, if need be, have the power to beat the demons.

Each story had a meaning they were my way of relaxing from the stress of school. Not that our schooling was tough, but it detoxed my mind.

In today’s world, when I see my mid-life clients for the first time, they are completely freaked out, not knowing how to handle difficult situations. They visit the spa, watch movies, eat out and do everything possible under the sun to relax themselves. If you are facing something similar, let me take you through what I do to relax and unwind.

I watch a nice cartoon with my child. Yes, a nice light-hearted, fun-filled cartoon, like a Tom and Jerry or Mr Beans, where you don’t have to read through the annoying sub-titles. It offers the following benefits.

Spending time with your child

There’s nothing better than spending time with your kids, doing things they enjoy. It will make your bond stronger. The family that eats together stays together. Applying the same principle, a family that has fun together, stays together. Enjoy what your kid enjoys. If you have a logical mind, leave your reasoning aside for some time and go with the flow. Most importantly, keep your mobile on silent mode or turn it off.

Relax yourself from the constant chatter

Your mind is a chatterbox. Unknowingly, we spend a lot of energy in thinking, which often does not lead us anywhere. Thinking is necessary at times but not always. In a meditative state, your thinking is effectively put on silent mode. Do that when you are watching a movie or TV show with your child. You will end up saving energy.

Get immersed in the character

As you watch the movie or cartoon, just relax and enjoy. Have a good laugh, just like when you were a kid. Get involved. Think of yourself as the main character and everything is happening around you. Get immersed. When my kid plays the car game, he behaves as if he is Michael Schumacher. When he is playing football, he is Leoni Messi. So be the hero of the movie and detox yourself.

Be playful

We are living in a world of work overdose. If you see people returning from office, you would often see sadness written all over their faces. Actually, anything you do in life, either drains or fills you up with energy. If you are draining faster than you are gaining, then you are going to have difficult times ahead. You compensate the loss in energy through food, mostly junk. Why not try a better way for an energy refill? On a weekend or after you’re back from work, spend some time playing indoor or outdoor games. You can unwind as well as gain some playful energy from your child.

Be on the winning side

In my book, I talk about watching a game of cricket with my child. I was supporting our local club and I casually asked him to choose a side, assuming we could have a little playoff. But his answer surprised me. He said, “I am on the winning side.” No matter which team scored runs or got the wicket, he was excited and cheerful. I learnt a big lesson. Does it really matter who wins or loses? Our life is going to be the same. So, why worry?

Just relax and enjoy

Remember the good old days when you watched TV and felt relaxed. You now have company of your children. Just put on the TV, pick your children’s favourite character, put aside your thinking cap, get a packet of chips and enjoy your personal home theatre.

(The writer is a mid-life coach and author of Simplify Your Life.)