Meet my sweet dog, Oliver. I wonder if dogs daydream. I imagine they do. They seem to have life figured out in every other way. WAKE.LOVE.EAT.LOVE.PLAY.NAP.LOVE.REPEAT. They MUST sneak DAYDREAM in there somewhere.
Did you know that there are many benefits to daydreaming?
From the minute we wake up, our brains are attending to and problem-solving a constant stream of decisions and challenges, some big, some small, but they are constant: Should I hit the snooze button? What am I going to wear today? Should I make pancakes or oatmeal for the kids? Am I ready for my presentation? As the day goes on, our brain power is exhausted and our ability to make good decisions deteriorates.
Have you ever come home after a busy day and struggled with the simplest decisions... like what to eat for dinner? Enter poor choices.
Daydreaming periodically throughout the day allows our minds to rest. This is so important! When we make time to distract our brains from focused attention, like we do in the shower, on a walk/run, when we doodle, look out a window, or do anything low-key, we fuel our creative thinking, strengthen our memory, reduce our stress levels, and boost higher-level thinking when we reengage. Re-enter good choices!
So, if taking a brain break is that important for us as adults, imagine how important it is for our children whose brains are still developing. Many creative adults say they were daydreamers as children. Einstein, for one!
In today's society, daydreaming is flagged as negative, but please don't confuse healthy daydreaming with excessive daydreaming. There is definitely a time and place for it, and we do have remind our children about what is appropriate, but remember that it can be very healthy for your children! Allow them to time to renew their minds, so they can get a handle on their world and their ability to calm. They need it just like you!
How do you make time for breaks?