Self-Care Methods for Kids – A Guide

self-care methods for kids

This article is one of many informative pieces on wellness that you can find on Balanced Care’s website. Balanced Care is a naturopathic clinic with located in the Twin cities in Edina, Minnesota.

By: Anya Willis of FitKids.info

 

Self-care methods for kids are often a little different than what adults are accustomed to, but it’s still important to make sure your little one has access to the tools and resources that will help them recharge and manage feelings of stress or anxiety. Often, young people have trouble pinpointing the causes of those feelings, but you can help by teaching your child how to identify feelings and become more mindful so they can assess their emotions and cope with negative feelings when they come. Some self-care methods for kids are more about prevention, which is also beneficial. Here are a few tips on how to help your child practice self-care and keep stress at bay.

 

Be a role model

Children are pretty intuitive, and their environment has a direct impact on how they feel and act. If you’re stressed at work, chances are you’ll be feeling those effects when you get home, and your child will sense it. You can model the behavior you want your child to learn, however, by practicing self-care and reducing your own stress each day while you’re at work. Learn some breathing techniques, keep healthy snacks at your desk to remain energized, and make organization a priority so you won’t become bogged down during the day. You can also utilize these methods at home to show your child how you handle stress.

 

Spend some time outside

When you’re not at work, how do you and your child spend time together? Studies have shown that heading outdoors with kids can help you both sleep better and even improve your moods, and there are several fun outdoor activities you can do together that don’t require a big financial investment. 

 

Find a hobby you both enjoy

Getting outside is a great way to release negative energy and boost your child’s mood, but on days when the weather isn’t cooperating, you may need to find an alternative. Depending on your child’s age, there are several hobbies you might try together that will help you both relax, find joy, and forget about the stressors of the day. Consider learning to play an instrument, or download a music-making app for the iPad that allows you to easily try several instruments without making a commitment to just one. Try cooking or baking together, which has other benefits for kids. Having a fun, relaxing hobby is important for young people who need an escape from the pressures of school.

 

Talk about physical self-care

While teaching mental and emotional self-care methods for kids is essential for all ages, it’s just as crucial to teach your child how to take care of their body. Talk about the importance of drinking enough water and eating healthy foods, how consent works, and how things like too much screen time can be harmful. Look for guidelines by age group that will help you and your child create healthy routines together. 

Teaching your child about self-care is a great bonding opportunity for the two of you, and it will give you peace of mind that they’re able to handle stressors when they appear. By joining your child in some of these activities, you can become a wonderful role model as well. 

 

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4 Tools For Your Adolescent Child With Anxiety

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

Do you worry that your child may be silently suffering from anxiety? It’s certainly possible. One out of every eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder and of those kids, 80% are not receiving treatment.

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

#1 – Take Time For Self-Care

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America ( ADAA ) recommends yoga, exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol to combat stress and anxiety – and they may be onto something. Researchers found that those who get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next five years. The good news is that to relieve depression or anxiety, a ten minute walk may be just as effective as a 45 minute workout.

#2 – Make Your Fear Boring

If a thought is making you anxious, take its power by repeating it slowly and clearly over and over to yourself for at least twenty minutes. This works much in the same way as it does for those facing a physical fear. For instance, if you had a fear of elevators but rode in one a thousand times in a row, at first you would be anxious but eventually you’d become used to it and ultimately, bored of riding it altogether. You can do the same thing with anxious or fearful thoughts by riding them as well and eventually they’ll just become boring.

#3 – Recognize Anxiety Attacks As Temporary

Anxiety attacks are commonly described as a sudden and inexplicable feeling of intense panic, which can be unnerving and downright frightening to experience. But that rapid heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack – it’s simply your natural physical reaction to fear. Instead of focusing on this physical cue, treat it the way you would a defined thought in meditation: thank it for its message, then let it pass by.

#4 – Schedule Time To Worry

Instead of stopping to address each and every one of your worries during the day, schedule some time at the end of your day – 4:30 or so, especially if you work office hours – to dedicate to worrying about your daytime troubles. As worry pops up throughout the day, jot it down for your later appointment and move on with your current tasks. Once your dedicated worry time rolls around, you may find that the items on your list no longer have any bearing on your anxiety level and you’re able to let them go. If you find yourself creating new worries during your appointment, jot them down along with any possible solutions, and schedule them for the next day.

While trying to control your anxiety usually backfires and leaves you feeling worse, there are a number of ways for you to take its power away, which empowers you. And sharing these coping strategies with your child can help them manage their anxiety whether they’re facing a school presentation, a new extracurricular activity, or a new home and new school, which can be especially stressful for those dealing with anxiety.

Family Meals: A Family that Eats Together, Stays Healthy Together

Family, stress, anxiety, COVID, Cornovirus, immune, natural treatment, Edina, Minneapolis, Woodbury, minnesota

Family

The Importance of Family Meals

Studies have shown that there are significant benefits of sitting down for dinner as a family. Family meals lead to better communication with children, less adolescent problem behavior, less disordered eating problems, and less problems with obesity. A Minnesota study showed that cooking dinner at home vs ordering take-out or eating out, also results in lower body fat, cholesterol, and insulin levels. The odds of being obese or overweight were greatly increased when families consumed even just one restaurant meal per week for dinner.

There is a clear association between better family relationships and those who eat dinner together. Dr. Katie can help you make sure the right foods are on your family’s plate!