The first Wednesday in November, each year, is National Stress Awareness Day. Today is the day to take a step back, and look at our children's stress levels – are they showing signs of stress? How can we help them manage stress in their lives? With the current pandemic, many children are experiencing stress at much higher levels.
Here are 6 signs that could suggest that your child is stressed:
Sleeplessness, and or a marked change in the bedtime routine which could also include sleeping more.
Being withdrawn, and or unable to focus and concentrate like normal.
Aches and pains that do not appear to be explainable – sometimes stress can appear to be physical.
Eating habit changes, including loss or increased appetite.
Irritability and inability to behave rationally, more so than usual for the child.
Talking about worries, or not. Some children will open and talk about things that are causing them to worry, whilst others will not. You can sometimes get a better understanding of your child’s stress levels by talking to them about feelings. However, some children who are experiencing stress will not talk about their feelings at all.
Here are 8 top tips on how to help manage stress levels in children:
Take a meditation challenge.
Get Creative – arts and crafts are fantastic; all children love mindful colouring.
Exercise and physical activity. A brisk walk, in the fresh air.
Being outside is known to have calming and restorative effects on children’s wellbeing. Spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors, especially experiencing firsts wonderment moments like watching the sunrise, or star gazing.
Relaxation, which could include a long calm soak in the bath, or a back rub and favourite story at bedtime.
Eating healthy food and ensuring a well-balanced diet, avoiding sugar and caffeine.
Being grateful! By thanking others and expressing gratitude you will ground your child, and teach them the importance of love, and kindness.
Random acts of kindness and volunteering – whilst teaching children the importance of being helpful and generous, this will also help them find their happy and foster a positive sense of self.
Written by Mrs Frankie Gray, Norland Diploma, OCN Maternity and Founder of Harmony at Home, a Nanny and Household Staff recruitment agency.
All rights reserved 2020.