Helping your kids stay calm amid the COVID-19 pandemic
While our world is facing uncertainty during this time, we can help our children remain calm by teaching mindfulness skills at home. Mindfulness can be incorporated into our daily lives to help reduce stress and anxiety. Children who practice mindfulness see improvements in their level of happiness. It improves mental well being, combats anxiety, helps manage worries, and increases feelings of calmness.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while staying calm and recognizing and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness can be achieved through many activities that only take a few minutes out of your day. Parents should practice mindfulness with their children to help model the behavior and techniques.
Here are some of my favorite mindfulness activities to do at home with your children.
Mandalas: Mandala means “circle.” Mandala’s are special circles that have unique meanings to each child. Mandala’s can be made using paper and markers, paper plates, beads, paint, rocks, shells, and sand. Any craft item you have at home can be used. The child can create their own masterpiece.
Blowing bubbles: Have children blow bubbles and concentrate on taking deep breaths and slowly blowing out as they blow the bubbles. Teach them to focus on their breath and slowing their breathing down.
Mindfulness walk: Go on a walk with your children and tell them you are going on a “Safari!” Have them search for different kinds of birds, animals and small bugs. Help them use their 5 senses to find things in nature.
Cloud watching: Have children create a comfy space outside and watch the clouds. Have them find different images and describe them to you.
Deep muscle relaxation: Have children lay down and get comfortable. Guide them through tensing up each muscle in their body for 10 seconds and then relaxing them for 20 seconds. There are many great deep muscle relaxation videos on YouTube for children.
Enjoy this time with your children by teaching them valuable skills to better their mental health and well-being!
Provided to you by: Jill Blake, LSCSW