Less Stress, Healthier Children
By Donna Stark
It's fair to say that this year has been difficult for us all. Between all the shutdowns, quarantines, social distancing, job insecurities, new routines, canceled events, and homeschooling, it's no wonder that many people are stressed out. But it's not only the adults that are experiencing those feelings ... our children are dealing with them too! If you have noticed some changes in the behavior and moods of your children, you may want to teach them how to manage their stress more effectively. Here are some kid-friendly suggestions on how they can do so.
Having your children breathe slowly and deeply will increase their oxygen intake and calm the stress response in their bodies. Their nerves will settle, their heart rate will slow down, and their mind will stop racing. Encourage them to breathe in deeply, hold their breath for a few seconds, and then let it out slowly.
Have you ever been to a dentist's office that has a poster of a beach on the ceiling? They put it there hoping you will focus on paradise rather than what they are doing to your teeth. Well, the same concept can be done to help your children during stressful times. Ask them to picture their favorite place, activity, or animal and encourage them to run with their imagination. You could even add soothing sounds to help them with the process.
They say laughter is the best medicine and when it comes to stress relief, they couldn't be more spot on! Laughing helps to reduce stress and anxiety, encourage relaxation, and connect those who are involved. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to make a child laugh, but if you need some help, check out the following suggestions.
- Watch a funny show
- Pull out some comic books
- Tell some jokes
- Make silly faces
- Talk in funny voices
Sometimes, the only thing that is needed to reduce stress and anxiety is some physical activity. Exercise is a great stress-buster but there are plenty of other ways to lighten things up too. Just be sure that whatever your children do, the activity is age-appropriate and safe. Here are some ideas.
- Outdoor games
There is nothing quite like a parent's reassuring touch, so stop what you are doing and give your children some extra tender loving care. That extra hug or backrub can really make a difference. You can also encourage your children to spend some cuddle time with the family pet. Pets are known to bring comfort to the ones who care for them.
Less Stress, Healthier Kids
We all need effective stress management techniques, and it is never too early to teach your children some of their own. In fact, the earlier in life you teach them, the better!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Highlands Ranch, Colo.