To help anxious children (and you!) that can be done in the home!
By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
These activities are great for children and adults to help them practice mindfulness, live in the here and now, and learn to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: What is progressive muscle relaxation?! The body responds to stress with muscle tension, which can cause pain or discomfort. In turn, tense muscles relay to the body that it’s stressed, which keeps the stress–muscle-tension cycle going. Progressive muscle relaxation helps break this cycle by reducing muscle tension and general mental anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation often helps people get to sleep.
- There are MANY videos on youtube/scripts with an internet search that allow you to practice this in the comfort of your own home. Great for the entire family!
- Cosmic Kids YOGA! An AMAZING, FREE YouTube series with many themed yoga routines/classes for kids ages 3 and up! It includes Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for kids. Interactive adventures which build strength, balance and confidence – and get kids into yoga and mindfulness early! Themes ranging from Frozen to Ninjago, there is sure to have something to appeal to your child.
- 54321 Technique! This technique will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present. This is a calming technique that can help you get through tough or stressful situations. Take a deep belly breath to begin.
- 5 – LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see and say them out loud. For example, you could say – ‘I see the computer’ , ‘I see the cup’, ‘I see the picture frame’.
- 4 – FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.
- 3 – LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.
- 2 – SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favorite smells.
- 1 – TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.
Take another deep belly breath to end.
About Kayla White:
Kayla is a graduate from the University of Virginia, with a B.S. degree in Psychology, and a recent graduate from Marymount University with a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Many individuals, children and adults, struggle with depression, anxiety, adjusting to change, or simply the desire to understand themselves more thoroughly. Whether to improve mood and functioning, or glean insight into personality, therapy can be reparative, strengthening, and play a role in maximizing enjoyment of life! Kayla’s expertise is working with children/adolescents, teens, young adults, and adults managing issues of: loneliness, depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, eating disorders, trauma, loss & grief, relationship issues, substance use issues and family conflict. To learn more about Kayla, visit HERE.