Keep Calm! A School Counselor Can Help!

Establishing healthy routines at a young age will set your child on a course toward a healthy lifestyle as an adult.  But being healthy involves more than just eating nutritious food and exercising.  It also involves getting enough sleep, knowing how to relieve stress, and being able to cope with anxiety.  Here are some suggestions on how you can help your child stay happy and healthy.
Coping with Stress:
There is no magic solution when it comes to stress and anxiety in children.  It is best to try different approaches until you and your child find one that helps.  Here are a few suggestions:
  • Empathize- Dealing with stress and anxiety is scary.  Listen to your child, and let them know that you understand and are here to help.  Tell you child it is normal to feel this way and that you too have had these same feelings.  Be sure that your child understands that nothing is "wrong" with the way they are feeling.
  •  Take Deep Breathes-  Tell your child that deep breaths can help a great deal when they are feeling stressed or anxious.  Have your child sit or lie down on the floor.  Tell them to breathe deeply in through their nose so that they fill their stomach with air.  Then, have them breathe out through their lips as if they are blowing a whistle.  Slowly repeat about three to five times. 
  • Peaceful Place- Visualization is a powerful tool when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety.  Have your child lie down in a quiet, comfortable place.  Follow a script, and use a calming voice to help them to focus and relax.  For example, ask them to imagine they are someplace warm.  The sun's warm rays are hitting their toes.  In a calm and reassuring voice, explain that the sun's rays are slowly moving up their ankles, legs, stomach, arms, chest, neck, and head (one at a time), warming their body and helping them to feel relaxed.