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Meditation…. and breathe!

Relaxation and meditation sessions now available.

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I have been on the look out for suitable additions to compliment the 7 steps I teach as part of the Relax Kids programme.¬†I have meditated myself for some time and cover guided meditations in our relax section of the Relax Kids & Just Relax sessions I do so I am already trained within the remit of the Relax Kids programme. But I wanted to build on this and gain a further insight into it along with being able to “teach” it as a stand alone module. So when I found a flexible training option I knew the time was right to go for it!

Where has meditation come from?

Meditation has been recorded for as long as records can be found, often with references in many religious scriptures. However my meditation training was more “New Age” and completely secular – which means whatever your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) you’ll be welcomed at my sessions. If you wish to add your own slant to things in the privacy of your own thoughts that’s entirely your prerogative!

What is it?

You’d be surprised how many normal day to day activities can be meditative. Things like washing up, hoovering or mowing the lawn allow your mind to wander and relax. It can be as simple as just sitting and relaxing, without the stimulation of the television or constant checking of social media!

Some people prefer to be a little more formal about their practice though and allow time in their day to meditate; either by listening to guided meditations or using the more advanced techniques where they are able to calm their mind without external instruction by focusing on their breathing. Others like to come along to group sessions; liking the formality of having to leave the house (how many of us actually do that exercise DVD at home we got 3 Christmases ago? ūüėČ ).

Oxford English dictionary describes to meditate as such:

“To focus one’s mind for a period of time…as a method of relaxation; to think deeply about something”

The idea of meditation is to quieten the mind, and with practise you can start to connect with your subconscious thoughts. And it has scientifically proven benefits.

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So what will happen in my sessions?

I am planning for my sessions to be suitable for everyone, but will start off aimed at beginners. This doesn’t mean that if you’ve tried it already or listen to a meditation as part of your daily routine you can’t come, it just means that you will be familiar with the techniques used.

Each session will last an hour. We will start off with a focus exercise (like an ice breaker – but before anyone breaks out into a cold sweat, these aren’t going to be exercises that require you to share anything with the group if you don’t wish to!)

We will then have an active meditation, whether it’s walking, stretching or writing! Something that involves movement of some kind.

We will follow this with a breathing meditation. In the early session I will also cover diaphragmatic breathing exercises to ensure we all get the most out of the meditations. Breathing meditations/exercises are always done sat upright to allow our lungs to work as efficiently as possible.

This will lead into our first guided meditation which will help focus the mind. There are various ways this can be done, using “props” such as candles, singing bowls, drum for example, and this first meditation will be done sat upright too.

We will check in with each other after this before continuing with the main meditation(s). These can be done lay down if you prefer and will form the main relaxation of the session. Blankets and extra layers will be needed at this point as the body can start to cool down during extended meditation.

Before leaving we will have a brief grounding exercise and will again check in with everyone before we switch ourselves back “on”.

Please note: You can join in discussion at any point as much as you like, and if you don’t like that’s fine. After all, no one is going to relax if they’re anxious they’ll be called upon to do something they don’t want to do!

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And after?

Looking after yourself once the session has finished is important.

Please always bring a bottle of water so that you can stay hydrated and having a drink once the session is finished is essential.

If possible plan in a shower once you get home to help rinse off negative energy which may have been disturbed through the session.

Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol in the immediate time following meditation, the same applies with a heavy meal.

If you any issue you wish to discuss following the session please let me know, if you’d rather this took place in private that can be arranged.

If you have any concerns over the following hours or days please feel free to text me (texts allow me to reply without having to interrupt my own routines once I get back home).

So how many sessions do I need?

The sessions will run continuously, the meditations used will be different each week so you can approach meditation sessions as you would something like yoga, tai chi or other forms of physical exercise. You will gain benefits and useful skills from just one session, but long term benefits will be seen with practise. As with anything you will get out what you put in.

So where can you join me?

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Full details can be found here and as booking is essential you can click here to book.

It is also possible to arrange private one to one or small group meditation sessions. These sessions are also suitable for use in schools by both pupils and teachers, businesses and well-being days; just email me for further details.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing your meditation journey!

 

 

Raising mental health awareness

This week is mental health awareness week.

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We quite often see “that” Facebook post where you tell everyone your door is always open. The thing about mental health issues is that if you have a problem it’s very unlikely you’re going to approach someone about it. That’s kind of the thing about it!

If you’re depressed, anxious, stressed or overwhelmed the logical thinking part of your brain has often shut down. You don’t wake up thinking ” I need to go and find a friend to chat with” or “make an appointment at the doctors”!

So what *can* you do?

You knock on their door. You ring them. As often as it takes for them to answer or open the door. You ask what you can do to help. You treat them gently and with respect. You find out where people can turn so that you know immediately where to get additional help. You be a good friend or neighbour.

It’s OK to not be OK.

#mentalhealthawarenessweek #itsoktonotbeok

Just Relax Updated!

Let me explain what’s been going on

As a Relax Kids Coach I have been trained to help relax people from 3 upwards, and this includes adults! We traditionally use a 7 step process to move children from a state of high energy to one of complete calm using mindfulness, breathing and guided visualisations & meditations. This works really well, even with reluctant or hesitant children. And our believe section really helps children to feel better about themselves and be better equipped to handle the pressures of modern life.

I have successfully hosted our adult Just Relax course before but felt that the ‚ÄúRelax Kids‚ÄĚ branding undermind the adult side of things a little. So set about adding an additional arm to my business rather than keeping trying to run the two things simultaneously and Just Relax with Sam was born!

I was really rather excited about this as I really enjoy working with adults because I am able to join in with the extended relaxation at the end!

However, I was also aware that whilst doing this I needed to back up some of the learning I have done and sought additional training so I have spent a few months doing this in the background alongside developing the original resources that I already had; the emphasis of the training being on the children. I am also now qualified to give hand massages and will soon also be qualified in Indian Head Massage and as a meditation instructor too. This adds an extra dimension for corporate options along with personal service users too as I am able to do these as stand alone services outside the scope of the 7 step class.

I am now in a position to launch my new services ‚Äď I have a newly developed Just Relax Online with a freshly developed Believe workbook. I have extended the 4 week Just Relax Course to run as a continuous weekly class and I have developed some exciting Just Relax Workshops to run monthly. Everything runs in harmony and you could choose to take up all three options or just one, it‚Äôs truly flexible in that respect.

You can learn about these new options at our Open Evening on 28th April at Brafferton Village Hall (just off junction 59 of the A1M) along with trying a few of the different techniques we usually cover in a class.

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What will it cost?

Just Relax Online will be £15 per month accessed via a closed Facebook group.

Just Relax classes are £8 per 1 hour class, bookable in a 6 week block of £40 (getting one class free) РMay 19th РJune 26th (Friday) 8-9pm at Brafferton Village Hall,

Just Relax Workshop will be £30 for the 3 hour extended class and adult activity, and includes refreshments Рfirst Sunday of the month (except Aug which is Saturday) from 10am Р1pm at Brafferton Village Hall.

Early bird offer!

Book and pay for three months Just Relax Online by 1st May to receive a discounted price of £30 for the first three months.

Book and pay for the classes or workshop by 1st May to receive free membership to the Just Relax Online for 3 months ‚Äď worth ¬£45.

You can book your place by emailing justrelaxwithsam@gmail.com

International Day of Happiness Monday, 20th March

Find out what Relax Kids Darlington & Aycliffe is doing to celebrate International Day of Happiness!

International Day of Happiness was set up in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. In the UK, Action for Happiness (Patron Dalai Lama), helps people take action for a happier and more caring world.

Relax Kids is an official Action for Happiness partner and are supporting International Day of Happiness in lots of ways: classes, assemblies, a free happiness pack and together we will be creating ‚Äúmiles of smiles‚ÄĚ.

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As a Relax Kids Coach in this area I am looking for one special school for me to attend on Monday 20thMarch to present a (free) special happiness assembly. I am asking pupils, parents and teachers to contact me to nominate their school and tell me why they think their school should be chosen.

Along with this, on 20th March I will be at the community hub at the Pioneering Care Centre in Aycliffe encouraging everyone to join me and write down a happy moment or what happiness means to them. These words will be used to create a colourful miles of smiles paper chain. I am hoping to create the longest chain in the North East! Myself and many other Relax Kids coaches across the world will be doing this to create many ‚Äúmiles of smiles‚ÄĚ.

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If you would like to nominate your school please email: sam@relaxkidsdarlington.co.uk or you can find me on Facebook by searching Relax Kids Darlington where you can also find a free happiness activity pack.

Beat the SATs stress

It’s getting to that time of year where children, parents and teachers are beginning to get stressed about the upcoming SATs.
Stress can negatively affect children’s performance in tests. When children are nervous, it can cloud their focus, affect their memory recall and comprehension, and induce dreaded ‘brain-block’!
Relax Kids’ specially designed sessions will help children learn how to beat exam stress; giving them the tools and techniques to keep calm, concentrate and gain exam confidence.
There will be sessions running in Aycliffe and Darlington for 6 weeks, up to the Easter holidays. There will then be two workshops over Easter: Be Calm & Be Confident.
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Details of the Aycliffe sessions will be published soon.

Exciting news for Relax Kids Darlington!

Find out how you can get a FREE place on our Family workshops!

I am very excited to be able to announce that Relax Kids Darlington & Aycliffe will be working with Colour your Life to offer FREE Be Happy family workshop places at the Pioneering Care Centre during the school holidays.

be-happy-headerFebruary half term’s workshop ¬†will feature family vision boards and affirmation pebbles. It will run on Monday 20th February from 1.30-3pm and¬†is open to¬†everyone.

Places are still limited to ensure I am able to focus properly on the families who attend, so please do not delay in reserving your place here. You can also email Colour your Life directly using the link here.

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We are also looking at running weekly family Relax Kids sessions and an adult relaxation course! This is a very exciting step and opens up the world of Relax Kids to so many more families.

 

 

Our Tropic pamper weekend

I was recently lucky enough to be able to borrow a weekend pamper basket, made up of Tropic skin care products from Andrea at The Little Nail House.

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Within this basket there was all manner of products, from face creams to gradual tan products! I used this with my children as part of our bedtime routine.

They are quite used to having massages as part of bedtime and this is one of our 7 steps that we do in classes and workshops.

What were our favourites?

It’s a very close call between the hand and feet sets! We had the Walk on the beach¬†foot collection and In the Best Hands collection.

We all tried the foot set first. It includes a lovely, aromatic foot soak; typically smelling of peppermint but not overpoweringly so. The foot pebble succeeded in making both children laugh, but at only 8 & 4 they don’t have much that needs exfoliating!

I was lucky enough to enrol on a free Introduction to Holistics course last year (running again soon at the Pioneering Care Centre, Aycliffe, go if you can!) and have learned a few reflexology basics so the children lay back and relaxed as I massaged the repairing foot remedy in. As this was part of their bedtime routine we did this in bed and covered our feet with fluffy socks afterwards to keep all the moisture in!

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The hand set took a very close second place… mainly as the cream is thicker and not really intended for massage. The hand smooth revitalising¬†polish smells absolutely gorgeous… sweet but not sickly and it’s just the right combination of¬†rough and yet still smooth to make rubbing it into your hands a really enjoyable experience – you finish by washing off under warm water, but we all put that off as long as possible. I slowly worked the intensive care hand mask into the children’s hands, rather than massaging as such.¬†And they really¬†enjoyed it. I applied my mask later on just before bed, slept with the gloves on and woke up with super soft hands. I have a tendency to get dry, cracked skin and this had all been repaired overnight. ¬†In fact 5 days later they still feel super smooth!

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We finished off every evening with a very basic head massage, using the So Sleepy set¬†collection. This includes a temple roll on and a pillow spray. They combine 7 essential oils, and the smell is magnificent. So much more than the traditional lavender usually available. Combining a few of my favourites with the lavender – geranium and frankincense; both of which are well known for helping to clear the mind and improve general well-being. A perfect combination to promote a good night’s sleep!

What were we not so keen on?

Well nothing really! I asked Jamie if he wanted an Indian Head Massage using the massage oil¬†but he wasn’t¬†keen because he’d already been in the¬†bath. We had the “soothe your senses” and just a smell of it really did that.

And are any of them suitable for use in a Relax Kids Class?

Yes, I’m going to be working with Andrea to find the best “all round” product for us to use, particularly in the Just Relax classes for adults and the family workshops. The fact that they are all vegan and cruelty free really fits with the overall ethos of Relax Kids.

If you would like to find out more please contact Andrea at The Little Nail House

Be Happy Workshops

I am very pleased to be announcing the arrival of the Be Happy Workshops AND new venues!

The Be Happy Workshops use the fantastic Be Happy book to create a fun, relaxing, family focused workshop. Ideally aimed at children over 5 but younger siblings are always welcome. And the activities will change each time so that you can come back!

The workshops are slightly different from the normally structured RK session and so we don’t follow the 7 steps as such. We do use a few of the steps in a very family focused way.

What’s going to happen in the workshop?

The first workshop of the year will start with a few games and simple stretches then work on your family vision for the year. We will use the “feel” section of a normal RK session to showcase a face massage that is ideal for bedtimes! Before we end with a guided visualisation we will use our “believe” section to make affirmation jars. These are a great way to help bring the family together and can be used to help¬†influence behaviours and confidence.

And where will we find them?

There will be a regular monthly session at Brafferton Village Hall on a Sunday morning starting Sunday 22nd January. Future dates will be added to the booking system in due course.

New venues…

I have also secured two new venues which will be hosting a workshop during half term and the Easter holidays.

The Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe – Monday 20th February 1.30-3pm

Encore Dance Studio in Northallerton – Tuesday 21st February 10.30 – 12noon.

Booking and pricing

The price of any workshop is ¬£10 per family. The family unit attending is up to you – you’ll be working on a family activity that you¬†will¬†take home, so it really doesn’t matter if there’s 2 of you working on it¬†or 5!

I require bookings to be made in advance (you can do that here) and payment is required at time of booking to secure your place. The reason is very simple, I need to ensure I have enough resources for each family.

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Relax Kids Darlington in 2017

Read my latest blog here, hopefully going some way to explaining what’s been going on!

So hopefully you will have received my latest newsletter? You may then be confused to see me posting various¬†sessions? Let me explain…

When I did my training in the early part of last year my intention was that I would introduce Relax Kids to Darlington and Aycliffe quite slowly and build up my business in a very organic nature. I was happy with it taking a while to start to become known and also with offering free taster sessions to the community and schools too. I wanted people to come to Relax Kids because they’d experienced it and had seen the benefits first hand.

I am very proud to have had¬†a successful, though small, term of regular children coming to¬†Little Stars and Chill Skills.¬†I also thoroughly enjoyed my first Just Relax course for adults! I have worked in 8 schools and even carried out teacher relaxation sessions. So I was very pleased with how my little business was growing. I was also taking on “career development training” by doing an introduction to¬†holistic therapies course and life coaching.

Then things changed.

I have¬†found myself needing an income that I am able to support myself and my children with. As much as I love Relax Kids I’ve reinvested most of the money made to date on equipment and resources and my classes are really not yet big enough to rely on in terms of income. So I decided that this would have to take a back step and focus on finding a “proper job” but keeping my presence there so that when I offered school holiday clubs I would still have a solid group of parents who already knew about me and my sessions. Hence the newsletter.

So that’s that sorted then?

Well, in the two days after sending out the newsletter I was contacted by a numerous new parents asking about classes, including several school requests. Putting people off until Easter seemed a little churlish, especially since I do still have the time to run sessions.

What am I offering then?

Free Chill & Chat – join me in this free event on my Facebook page on Friday 13th January at 7pm to find out more about Relax Kids, ask any questions you may have and pick up a few tips! (Click to say you’ll attend and you will be able to refer back to it after the event even if you can’t join in on the night)

Currently Fortnightly Little Stars on a Saturday morning from 10 Р11am. Each based on a new story and with a small, related craft activity (new!).

Weekly Magical Adventures, Monday 5-6pm. These will follow the 7 steps and will be suitable for all ages. The theme until February half term is Explorer Adventures. Parents are welcome to join in too if they wish!

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If you’re looking for the next Just Relax course for adults then keep following the page. For obvious reasons I can’t do these with the children so I need to find a time that will suit you and I can arrange childcare for! I am open to any suggestions you may have so please pass on any¬†feedback you may have.

Is there anything you can do to help?

As with any small business owner I appreciate every comment, like and share I get. Each time you do any of those things it increases my reach and more people find out about Relax Kids. Even those who only follow for the information I share are still a valuable part of my audience.

If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter so that you can keep up to date with what’s happening.

If you enjoyed your sessions or have seen benefits please share a review – either on Facebook or as a comment on my “reviews”page.

And lastly, pass on my details to your children’s nurseries and schools for a free taster session. You can¬†even mention to your own employers; I can do in-house adult relaxation sessions in lunch hours or as inset.

But whatever you do I wish you and your families a very happy and healthy 2017!

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FREE relaxation sessions for Carers

I’m by no means a fundraiser extraordinaire, but I like to do my bit throughout the year. And like most people I look to do something at Christmas, but I’m wanting to do something different this year.

Last year I collected the bags filled with toiletries and sanitary items for homeless women, the year before I made up back packs that got sent up to Newcastle for homeless men.

This year I’m wanting to do something for carers, for various reasons. I know this encompasses family members, often children and sometimes neighbours or friends.

So, I’ve decided to hold a competition of sorts, where you can nominate yourself or a friend/relative/neighbour/work colleague and they get put forwards to win a completely free place at a dedicated Just Relax or Relax Kids session (depending on age). Anyone who doesn’t win a place will be offered the chance to attend a similar session in the New Year.¬†

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Relax Kids Darlington & Aycliffe is hosting some FREE relaxation sessions for carers this Christmas.

If you know someone who would benefit from an hour away from their usual stresses and responsibilities then you can nominate them for one of the FREE sessions*

Just Relax (adults): Friday 9th December 8-9pm

Magical adventures (under 16s): Sunday 11th December 10-11am

Both at Brafferton Village Hall, DL1 3LA

You can get a nomination form here  or email sam@relaxkidsdarlington.com

Nominations close 30th November, 9pm.

Winners will be announced December 2nd at 9am and email confirmation will be sent by 12 noon.

*you can also nominate yourself!

I promise there is absolutely no catch, cost nor obligation!

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