Tips for easing anxiety and practicing mindfulness with your children during the Coronavirus pandemic
Mon, Aug 03, 2020
By Jennifer Waldman
These last few months have been stressful enough to bring anxiety onto just about everyone, and children are no exception. Life has changed in so many ways and we don’t have the answers to questions our children may be asking us, such as when things will return to normal. So what can we do as parents to help ease our children’s anxiety and help them to practice mindfulness? Keep reading for some useful suggestions on how to do just that.
We all know yoga is a great way to stretch your body and activate your muscles, but it also has positive effects on your mental health. Practicing yoga regularly helps to relax the mind and helps children with concentration. It also helps to increase body awareness which can better help your child detect any physical problems that may need to be addressed. If you don't have a yoga mat, you can use your IVI 3D Play Carpet!
Some kid friendly yoga poses include:
- Downward facing dog
- Cat pose
- Bridge pose
- Happy baby pose
- Warrior pose
Breathing exercises are an easy way to release anxiety and bring your body back to a calm, centered state. When you practice deep breathing, your brain releases endorphins which cause your body to feel relaxed. Make it a morning and/or night time routine and your family will start feeling relaxed in no time. To practice deep breathing, sit or lay down with your child(ren) and breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. To start, you can count your inhales and exhales out loud. Once you've reached a relaxed state, you can continue silently. Take note of how your body feels on the inhale and how it feels on the exhale. Ask your children to explain these feelings to you.
Taking a short walk
It may be hard to find places to go during a pandemic, but even just a short walk around the neighborhood can help to ease anxiety and recenter your mind. Just like deep breathing, exercise also releases endorphins to lighten your mood. Even just a light walk can help lead to feelings of relaxation. It's also a great way to get some fresh air after being cooped up inside all day!
Noting your 5 senses
A great way to practice mindfulness with your children and bring them back to the present moment is to ask them to take note of some/all of their 5 senses. Ask your children what they see, hear, smell, taste, and/or feel. You might get a good laugh at some of the answers, but it also helps to redirect your child to the present moment by interrupting any thought cycles they may be stuck in. After your child is finished sharing their senses, you can go ahead and share yours.
Music is a great way to manage stress and get yourself in a relaxed state of mind. There are tons of free playlists comprised of calming music. Search one up, press play, and that's it. All you need to do now is just sit down and relax. If your child isn't in the mood to sit still, you can give them a relaxing activity to do while they listen such as playing with quiet toys on their IVI 3D Play Carpet, drawing pictures, or coloring in their coloring book.