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5 Mindfulness Tips to Help Your Child (And You) Beat Stress

Posted in Community, Featured, Tips & Advice

5 Mindfulness Tips to Help Your Child (And You) Beat Stress

With world events, the lockdown and school exams, we are hearing about how much stress students and families are dealing with.  With that in mind, Teachers on Call has put together these mindfulness tips to help you and your child beat stress.

More and more we’re hearing about how much stress students and families are dealing with. It’s quite the time, with world events, the lockdown and school exams.

We here at Teachers on Call know that it can be tough to remember to carve out a few minutes for yourself. However, if you make it a family habit, you can use these mindfulness tips to help beat the stress.

1 – Move (and exercise) your body

Movement is a great way to burn nervous energy, but there are health benefits too, especially when it comes to stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which helps make you feel good and improves your mood. It also helps protect your body from the harmful effects of stress.

Try to give your body a good 15 minutes every day, or a half hour a few times a week, of real exercise. Go walking, biking, or if you’re stuck indoors, check out our 4 Full-Body Physical Activities Kids and Parents Can Do Together at Home (Without Equipment).

2 – Make a list

You might be surprised: sometimes the very act of committing the things that we have to do to a piece of paper can really take a load off of your mind. It might actually be quite literal, if you’re no longer carrying the mental workload of trying to remember all the things you have to do. Even if you don’t think you need to make a list, try it.

But beyond that, making a list helps you prioritize the tasks better, even if you don’t put them in order on paper. Then you also have the reassurance of accomplishment when items get crossed off. Even if you aren’t able to get to EVERYTHING, you know you’ve accomplished what’s most important, and that the rest will be a priority tomorrow.

3 – Doing one thing at a time (prioritize)

Related to list-making, when you’ve committed to checking actions off a list, you’re generally forced to do one thing at a time. By choosing a path of mindfulness in the way we approach tasks one by one, this reduces multitasking, which in itself adds a lot of stress.

4 – Disconnect

At home, it’s harder to dedicate time to being screen-free, especially if your family is using screen-time to both work and play. Take time to make supper together as a family, get your exercise, or have family reading time.

5 – Perform acts of mindfulness to “exercise” your mind in a healthy way and calm down

This may be as simple as going outside and looking at the green, budding trees and flowers, and thinking about what you will do this summer. Or you may prefer to mediate for a few minutes, concentrate on your breathing, or perhaps think of things you are grateful for. There are many ways to practice mindfulness in your head, and it’s just a matter of picking one that is the best for you, helping relieve your stress.

Even very young children can learn these mental exercises! HarperCollins has two great books on the subject:

Puppy in My Head by Elise Gravel

My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner

Remember, to keep stress under control, it helps to try to get a little mindfulness in every day. Namaste!

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