In today’s world, children are increasingly showing signs of suffering from stress. School tests, falling out with friends, arguments between parents, homework and being bullied all contribute. Christmas can be particularly stressful.
Stress can affect sleep, make a child irritable, weepy, anxious and emotional, as well as cause headaches and muscle aches.
Consider introducing simple relaxation exercises into their routine. It’s a great way to spend quality time together, and you’ll be sowing seeds for the future: your child will learn how alleviate their own stress symptoms. Try not to over-extend your child with activities – allow time for daydreaming and doodling.
Consider limiting TV and video games, which can stimulate rather than relax. Plan at least one healthy meal a day, so that children don’t miss out on vital nutrients, while still enjoying Christmas treats. Try to stick to family routines, where children can spend quality time decorating the tree, baking cakes or writing cards. This helps them feel safe and secure. Often when routines are broken, stress results. Check your own stress levels and plan ahead, so you don't run around doing everything last minute. Laughter is a great way to beat stress, so find some joke books and play games that encourage plenty of family laughter.
Here’s a relaxation exercise for the whole family:
Beautiful Balloon - Close your eyes, be very still and imagine that you are holding a big balloon. It is very light. It feels very smooth. The balloon is in your favourite colour. Now hold the bottom of your balloon, and feel the balloon gently rising into the sky. Each time you breathe in and out, you gently glide further and further into the warm summer sky. The deeper your breath is, the further you can travel. Enjoy this feeling of weightlessness. Enjoy the feeling of being completely free. Your body feels weightless and free and your mind feels totally free. Repeat to yourself quietly, I am light, I am light.
Dont forget to try out our free advent calendar - there are free games and activities each day.
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