Have you thought about how lockdown seems to be affecting everyone differently? Unlike most adults, it seems like children have been able to adapt more easily to this ‘new normal.’ However, changing routines and being stuck at home has led many children to become bored quickly, and get agitated and restless.
For many parents, this has also led to their child getting increasingly more anxious. If your children are experiencing symptoms of anxiety right now, you can help alleviate their stress with activities that will distract them momentarily. We’ve put together some ways which might be helpful for times like these, during this period of uncertainty.
As life slowly starts to return to normal, and your child begins to head back to school before the summer holidays, keeping to a daily routine can be extremely beneficial for alleviating anxiety.
Going back to school will bring many changes, but the return to this daily routine will be beneficial in the long run.
Try to create a structure to each day so that children know what to expect next; a day without a routine is more likely to drift into conflict and create stress and anxiety for both the child and their parents.
Regular breathing breaks throughout the day can help children calm their anxious thoughts and relieve overwhelming feelings.
By helping your child to focus their breathing, you can help them unwind and reset their worried mind.
As well as free apps like Headspace, which include breathing exercises, visualizations, and even some focus-based meditation, simple 10-minute breathing exercises can also help reduce anxiety and stress in children.
Fidget spinners and cubes aren’t just toys. In fact, there is some preliminary evidence that suggests these devices can be used as aids for anxiety, hyperactivity, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research tells us that children tend to fidget when they are under-stimulated or anxious; fidgeting is a common trait in anxious children since it helps them release nervous energy.
If you have noticed that your child has not been able to stop fidgeting in the last few months, toys like these can have significant mental health benefits. To read more about how these devices can alleviate anxiety in children, go to https://parentingpod.com/best-fidget-spinner-cube/.
Aside from saving you from preparing yet another family meal, cooking can significantly help children who are experiencing new high levels of stress right now. By focusing your child’s attention on tasks like stirring, weighing, and mixing, you can keep their minds in the present and distract them from any worries that they might have.
The repetitive actions and rhythms used in cooking and baking are similar to those used during guided meditation sessions, which will encourage your child to relax their mind. You could ask them to help you with cooking the big family evening meal, or equally, get them to make something on their own following a basic recipe.
If you’re worried that your child might be experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder, these coping mechanisms will help alleviate any stress in their mind.