“Active resting” clears your parent brain

Clearing your mind doesn't necessarily require retreating from the world. Here's how hedra reboots her parent brain:

Dancing along with the kids to some Motown on the CD player is one of my favorite ways to 'sweep' my brain. Dance for me has always been a form of physical meditation. I just try to stay in the moment with it, concentrate on the physical, how it feels, where my balance is, how I'm breathing, even just focussing on the lyrics, and not on what's going on in MY head. If my thoughts intrude, I just say to myself, 'not now, it's <insert song here> time!' and carry on.

Motown is one of the best for this if I'm home. I can pick up a child and just dance. Or demonstrate the moves (the sillier the better). I can also clean without THINKING, just pick up stuff and put away, while dancing and singing along. If I have to think, I pick up something else instead, or swap to cleaning/scrubbing, because that takes less thinking. Just do, and be, do-be-do-be-do. Nothing like a little STOP, in the Name of Love! to get me to be here now. [DO and BE. Did you notice how significant that is, hedra? That's exactly what you're encouraging us to do with this hack! — Ed.]

For other things to try that are 'away from home' (if you're so lucky as to have the time and babysitting options on any kind of regular schedule), try Tai Ji Quan, Yoga, dance of various sorts, walking alabyrinth (check out the labyrinth project), or hire a personal trainer. Labrynth walks are great, since you usually just have to get there while they're open/available (some churches have them painted in
the parking lot, so you can go ANY time), and don't have to go every week. I also have a tabeltop labyrinth (ceramic) that I use for calming my mind at work.


  1. Sara in Austin says

    Yep, big fan of labyrinths here, too. Very mediative and relaxing.

    And for dance I — this is so retro, I know — love jazzercise. Excercise + music, on someone else’s schedule (so I have to *make* time for it) I’ve stuck with it longer than any other excercise I’ve taken up…

  2. Bob says

    It’s nice that it worked well for her. I believe that every parent has their own unique way of clearing their mind of parenting and rest for a while.

  3. Danni says

    I agree with Bob that we all have our own way of doing it. But I think dancing is a good idea and will most likely work, especially if you love dancing.

  4. Carrie says

    Maybe I should try this one. I don’t really have a problem with resting as in sleeping, but I could use a break from all the worries of life and try to dance it out.