Manage back-to-school exhaustion and pandemic anxiety with grace.
Here are simple techniques to help us all get back on track using meditation from our friends at LoveHero.
Is it possible that we’ve all forgotten how tiring the first week of school or just visiting the office after being away for so long, really is? The 18-month long new normal’s transition back to the old and connecting with classmates and co-workers in real life has been much harder than expected for some of us. You are not alone.
1. Start with movement
For most young kids, attempting to sit in meditation without any exercise first will be a challenge. Kids understand energy. And, energy can be used as a vehicle to meditate. Start with 5-10 minutes of energetic exercises such as jumping jacks, scissor jumps or running in-place.
2. Use positive language
While exercising, maintain a positive attitude that will get kids thinking about their ability to monitor their emotions and tune into positive feelings. Affirmations such as “I am positive!” work great for this.
3. Use breathing to channel the energy
The next step is to start slowing down the intensity of the exercises and to start replacing them with breathing. Breathe with your belly holding the breath longer and making the inhales and exhales deeper each time.
4. Sit down, breathe and focus on the heart
The other thing that kids understand well is positive emotions. In a sitting position do a few more rounds of breathing, but this time, with the hands on the heart, imagine this energy you’ve built up turning into rays of green light that are shooting from the heart.
5. Become a hero
What good is love if you don’t share it? Kids love being heroes. Use the light shooting from your heart to send love to someone or something that might need it. It can be a group of people (frontline healthcare workers), a person you love, a pet or a plant. Become a hero using your heart to uplift others.
6. Sit in stillness
Finally, sit in silence and stillness for 30 seconds or longer if you can. It helps to play soothing music at this point. Each child is different, so start small and build your way up.
After a year of school shutdowns, schedule disruptions, and social isolation, many families may be looking forward to a fresh start. Here are some ideas for kids to take on 2021 the right way with health, education, and mindfulness.
2020 was a challenge for many families, and for many kids that can come with increased stress and anxiousness. Helping children manage physical and mental health is especially important this year. Look for ways to make 2021 their best year yet!
2021 Goals for Kids and Teens
Here are 5 steps towards a year full of growth and joy.
1) Physical Exercise
Exercising every day can help kids manage their sleep schedule, improve their mood, and decrease stress. This can be a healthy habit for the whole family in 2021 – hiking, biking, going for walks, or other recreational activities are all great ideas to enjoy together.
Other exercise and fitness classes for your child include:
Dance: Kids of any age can participate in a dance class or have a dance party in a fun, safe environment. Many classes are for beginners and explore many different styles of dance, like hip hop, ballet, and jazz.
Martial Arts: Martial arts classes help build confidence, leadership skills, and resilience while providing a fun space to stay active.
Yoga: Online yoga and exercise classes are a relaxing activity for all ages. In yoga classes for kids as young as 4, students learn basic yoga movements and body awareness.
Nutrition and healthy eating is important for all ages. Establishing a good relationship with food is knowledge that kids can use for their whole life.
Getting started with cooking at a young age is a great way for kids to start learning about nutrition. Being in the kitchen can also help with independence, help picky eaters, and spark creativity.
Cooking Classes: Instructional classes with expert teachers bring kids through recipes while teaching kitchen safety, cleanliness, and art.
DIY Recipes: Have fun with recipes on your own time, with video tutorials to help you out!
3) Schedule Relaxing Activities
Along with exercise and nutrition, making time for enjoyable and relaxing hobbies has many benefits as well. A new year is the perfect time to explore something new, whether it be art, music, writing, or gaming.
Art Classes for Kids: Art can be a constructive outlet for children of all abilities to express emotions and relieve anxiety. Drawing, painting, clay modeling, and crafts are all great activities.
Music Classes for Kids: Music is a great activity that anyone can pick up for fun, whether it’s learning an instrument, singing, or dancing.
In addition, any relaxing hobby your child enjoys can help them socialize and unwind. Cooking, theatre & drama, music, LEGO or even making slime could be good options!
Look forward to a year of emotional health and reduced stress. Yoga, exercises to reduce stress, and meditation can all help to prepare for the ups and downs of 2021. Even five minutes of breathing or mindful exercises a day can help to develop healthy emotions and resilience.
Many kids had to learn to navigate technology this year to attend school and socialize with friends. Live online classes or calls are a great time for kids to safely interact with each other and work together on fun activities. After feeling isolated this year, it is important to make time to keep connections this year.