There are many causes for stress and anxiety in our changing world. The following ideas, for children and caregivers, can help reduce the stress we are all experiencing these days.
Prioritize time outside.
We cannot say enough about the benefits of spending time outside. There is proven data that a walk in the woods supports a calming state, lowers blood pressure, and enhances endorphins. Creating a daily or weekly time for a family nature walk will benefit the whole family.
If possible, utilize essential oils.
If you have a diffuser, use the essential oils known to promote relaxation below. (If you do not have a diffuser, simply add the oils or herbs to a pot of boiling water.)
- Bergamot orange
- Clary sage
Practice deep breathing together.
Breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four, hold for four. Repeat. This helps expand the lungs, promoting respiratory health. Invite yourself and your children to take time to breathe; we all need it! For young children, add some picture thinking. Imagine that the flowers of spring are beginning to blossom and you are taking each flower in with a deep breath. You can choose a new flower each time and use your four fingers to illustrate the timing as you do the exercise together.
Remember the advice about swaddling babies to calm their nervous system?! The Cocoon Wrap has a similar effect; we have attached the instructions below. Little ones especially love a “burrito wrap.” Once they are rolled in a blanket, you can add “guacamole,” “salsa,” etc.
Yes, believe it or not this can be calming. The Latin name for the common oat is Avena sativa and oats are used as a homeopathic sedative. (Which begs the question, why do we eat oats in the morning?!) Simply place oats in a cheesecloth bag and insert into the tub.
Above all, take care of yourselves. As grown-ups we are all adapting to new circumstances and carrying a lot of concerns right now. At CLWS, we are dedicated to supporting you and your children throughout this time and to exploring new ways of connecting, learning, and growing together.