For children and adults, this is a stressful time to live through! While you may already be working on healthy habits together, you may not have thought about putting stress management habits on that list. Here are a few healthy habits for stress management you can teach your child!
Deep breathing exercises
The phrase “take a deep breath” is popular for a reason! Try going beyond one deep breath, and teach your child deep breathing exercises. Breathing in for 4 counts and out for 8 is an easy one you can teach your child! You may also want to use online resources to help your child visualize their deep breathing, like a deep breathing gif or YouTube video. This is perfect for moments when you can tell stress is mounting, and need something to help calm things down right away!
Stretch or do yoga
Yoga is a great way to practice deep breathing with a child who doesn’t want to sit still! Some fun poses to try with your child include puppy pose, forward fold, and cat-cow pose. Cat cow is especially helpful because of the way it involves deep breathing, taking a deep breath as you drop the belly low to the ground like a cow and then breathing out as you arch the back up like a cat. Stretching, in general, is a great way to help you and your child physically relax! Some great stretches for little kids include reaching for the stars and touching their toes. This is great for reducing stress in the middle of the day or practicing at specific times to help keep everyone feeling relaxed.
Take a break from screens and do a fun activity together
Chances are, between working from home, homeschooling, and trying to keep everyone entertained, you’re all spending a lot more time on screens than normal. Take a break from the screens and do a fun activity together, like coloring or making a favorite snack. Some other fun off-screen activities you can do with your child while social distancing are:
- Reading a book together
- Playing a card game
- Trying a fun craft
- Going for a walk around your house or neighborhood
- Playing hide and seek
- Making a fort
- Teaching your pet a new trick
- Playing a board game
- Practicing an instrument
- Having a dance party
Just because stress is high right now, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it! Try these things with your child to help reduce stress and stay calm while you weather this storm as a family.