Mindfulness is a super-power we have inside of us at every age! Teaching children this early on can help them cope with difficult emotions and help decrease stress. Engaging in the present moment by going on a walk in nature or city parks, using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique (identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste) and participating in guided meditations can help interrupt ruminating thoughts and calm the nervous system.
Small children can engage in mindfulness activities by blowing bubbles, by smelling flowers, or imagining they are blowing out a candle which aids in taking deep breaths, can calm the nervous system and aid in decreasing stress.
There are days when we all get overwhelmed by schoolwork, chores and diabetes-related responsibilities. Mindfulness can be helpful in these times. Set small goals and try tackling things one at a time; you might not feel so anxious. Consider writing down all you want to accomplish in the form of a to-do list. Don't forget to check off items from your list as you do them to get that satisfied feeling!
Children experience stress just as adults do, however they may not yet have the language to communicate it verbally. Art can be a developmentally appropriate way for children to communicate stress and to explore different ways to cope. The Berrie Center offers individual and group art therapy sessions to children and teens of all ages. Please contact Art Therapist Cara Lampron if your child could benefit or if you have any questions.