Self-Care Strategies for Kids That Reduce Stress and Anxiety

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Self-care activities for kids can help them learn to refocus, put a positive spin on a bad day, and banish feelings of stress or anxiety. How can we teach young people how to care for their mental and physical health?

It often starts at home. The more you can model these behaviors, the easier it will be for your child to pick them up and incorporate them into their own daily routines. Whether the activity is getting in some movement, putting down devices in favor of reading a book, heading outside, or simply doing a few stretches and breathing exercises in order to calm down, your entire family can benefit from working self-care tactics into your schedule.

Here are a few things you can try, either together or separately:

Talk to a professional

For children as well as adults, feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression can creep in when we least expect it and wreak havoc. Because kids often don’t understand the source of these feelings, they may begin to show behavior changes, such as wanting to stay home from school or sleeping more than usual. If you feel your child would benefit from speaking with a professional, look for an online counselor who can listen and help diagnose any issues. The costs of therapy can often be hard to manage when insurance doesn’t cover them, but online options are less expensive and give you access to a wider range of professionals. Not only that, many therapists offer a free consultation to ensure they’re a good fit for your needs. 

Get out and enjoy a treat

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Even for children who aren’t navigating challenging feelings, it can be a relief to get out of the house now and then to do something fun and out of the ordinary. Take a look online to find out more about activities and events near you, or consider going on a brief road trip over the weekend. You might visit an art museum, head to a lake for some fishing, or take in a sports game and cheer on your favorite team. You can find discounted sporting event tickets online and narrow down the options according to price, seat rating, and date; some ticket brokers even offer a 360-degree view of the stadium from the seats you choose so you can make sure they’re the ones you want.

Find the quiet

On the opposite end of that spectrum is the need for a few quiet moments. Many kids who attend school spend much of their day in a loud, busy classroom environment that overwhelms the senses, so it can be helpful to give them a quiet place to unwind at the end of the day. Set up a reading nook at home, or make sure they have time to decompress immediately after school before starting homework. Give your child their own desk or work area so they can focus without distractions. Better yet, spruce up your backyard for your kids to also get the benefit of spending time outdoors. Improving your landscaping will make your home’s outdoor space more compelling for the entire family. Look online for landscaping companies near me to find out much it costs, what’s included, and more. You’ll want to entrust this task to a well-reviewed professional.

Check out this small backyard playset below

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You can also implement “quiet time” for a half-hour before bed so that everyone can relax and prepare their minds and bodies for sleep without a device nearby. Consider learning meditation with your children and talk to them about how to utilize it when they feel overwhelmed. Certain breathing exercises are perfect for this activity, or you might incorporate yoga poses for even more benefits. You might start together in the morning as a way to wake up and start the day on the right foot, then teach your child how to do it on their own no matter where they are. Meditation and mindfulness have many advantages, including the ability to recognize gratitude or calm down a busy mind.

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Join in

Pre-bedtime is also a great time for you and your children to bond and work in quality moments together, especially during busy times. Prioritizing your little ones as a matter of routine will not only show them how much they’re loved and boost their self-esteem, it will take some of the pressure off your shoulders when it comes to carving time out of a busy schedule. Read together before they go to sleep, talk about upcoming events or plan some with each other, make it a point to cook or bake together once a week, and ask for their help with household chores. The latter will both give you and your kids more time together and help them build necessary skills that will stick with them for a lifetime.

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Get creative

Another fun activity you can do with your children or allow them the freedom to practice on their own is making art. Creativity is a wonderful outlet for young people and can help them express themselves, build confidence, and make social connections. Whether you and your child want to play music, paint, dance, or sing, getting involved in the arts on any level is a great way to nurture positive mental health. If your child is unsure of which activity to try, offer a few options and make sure the right tools are available. 

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Help them communicate effectively

While art can be a great way to help kids express themselves, it’s also important to make sure your child knows how to communicate effectively. It can be hard for some young people to get their ideas across or make themselves heard, so talk to them about how they can say “no” politely, how to be a good listener during the conversation, and how to speak up in order to have their needs met. Even very young children can benefit from learning these skills, especially in a school setting.

Teaching your child how to practice self-care isn’t something that can be done in one day, and it often takes a bit of planning so you can act as a guide. Keep communication open, and look for help from a professional in order to ensure that both you and your little one will have the necessary help in dealing with stress or anxiety.

We hope you liked our article on Self-care activities for kids and gained more knowledge to help you, and you child’s mental and physical health.

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