It's children's mental health week, something that is very close to my heart and I'm keen to promote awareness of... helping children understand their emotions is exactly why I created my guided meditations for kids.
“Stress and social media fuel mental health crisis”
Sadly it's becoming more and more important in our stressed out, time poor and image obsessed society to find things to counteract anxiety and stress in children.
‘70 per cent of mental health problems arise during childhood and adolescence, which proves how crucial it is for adults to step in and offer support as early as possible’.
It's true that children's mental health issues are on the rise, and unfortunately at the same time, support and care is on the decrease.
“Soaring numbers of children seeing psychiatrists amid anxiety epidemic”
Meditation isn't the only way to counteract stress, there's lots of other simple things you can do together at home which have a calming effect on the nervous system.
I've been sharing some of my favourite mindful children's activities on my Instagram and Facebook this week, you are welcome to have a look at those, but for those of you staying off social media, here are 10 of my favourite relaxing activities and quick calming body and mind activities for parents and children...
Top 5 Children's Activities to Counteract Stress & Anxiety
Have a cuddle! It's amazing what a simple hug can do. Doctors are quoted listing hugging benefits such as lowering heart rate, deepening breathing and lowering blood pressure. When panic strikes I say, hug it out!
Sensory Bottles. This is one I shared on Instagram earlier; making pretty bottles full of liquid and little objects is a fun and grounding creative activity in itself, you then have a lovely 'calm bottle' for those moments when things get a bit too much. Children can watch the swirling patterns and re-ground themselves when they need a bit of time out.
Yoga. This is a lovely relaxing thing to do as an adult, and it's just as much for children too. It's also a great bonding time!
Play dough or clay play; remember those stress balls? There was a reason people had them on their desks. Squashing and squeezing play dough or clay has a really lovely calming effect, and gives you time to talk about emotions too. You could make shapes for different emotions, or create a sculpture of how you feel right now.
Painting (with hands) Just like with play dough, getting your hands covered in paint and feeling the textures helps you to reconnect with your body which is instantly calming, and again this offers a great way to express emotions that are difficult for little ones to put into words.
What are your favourite 'calm down' activities or mindful play with your little ones?
If meditation is on your list, have a listen to my meditation guide to get you started. If you like it you can buy my children's guided meditation album on CD baby here, and get started tonight at bedtime!
The theme of this mental health week is 'Being ourselves' which I love... Here are some other great strategies for kids:
I'd love to hear how you are celebrating Children's Mental Health Week, and what strategies you use to promote healthy minds all year round!
I'll be going live on Instagram and Facebook this evening at around 6pm GMT, if you have any questions or tips for me, tune in and get involved.
See you later.
Love Laura Lemon Tree x