Tips and Resources to Keep Kids and Families Active and Calm During the Coronavirus Outbreak (and always!)
Are your kids going crazy in the house? At the Sycamore School, our physical education program is called Movement & Mindfulness. While families begin to adjust to virtual schooling, our school counselor and Director of Student Services, Yvette Mitchell, compiled the following list of ideas to help kids stay active and peaceful (we think this will work for the grown-ups, too!)
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Baseball (with family)
- Yoga poses
- Tossing a ball
- Walking a dog
- Dancing (anywhere, anytime)
- Martial arts
- Stationary bicycle
- Hiking and/or nature walk
- Wii sports
- Calm (meditation)
- Stop, Breathe, Think (meditation app)
- Insight Timer (meditation)
TEEN WELLNESS WEBSITE
Change to Chill, Change to Chill is a free, award-winning, mental well-being resource offered by a subdivision of Allina Health. Our interactive website is tailored to both teens and the adults who work with them. Change to Chill helps teens become more aware of the things that stress them out and equips them with relevant tools and resources to better manage stress and anxiety, so they can live happier, more resilient lives.
MINDFULNESS & STRESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Take 10 breaths
Practicing mindful breathing is a simple and effective way to help children calm their bodies and be present.
Try taking 10 deep breaths together. Close your eyes or look down at the floor and put your hand on your belly. Breathe in so deeply that the air fills your belly. Breathe out slowly. If 10 breaths are too many, start with five and work your way up together with practice.
Choose a Mindful Word
- Think of a word that seems calm or soothing. This could be a word like “peace” or “love” or “peaceful” or “snowflake” or “sunlight” or “hum” or “calm.”
- Think the word to yourself. Say it silently and slowly in your mind. Say your word to yourself with each breath you take, in and out. Keep your attention gently focused on your word.
- When your mind wanders, guide your attention back to your word, and keep saying it gently and slowly while you relax and breathe.
- Can you do this for a whole minute? Can you do it for 5 minutes?
Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. Try this exercise while doing an activity like washing dishes, listening to music, or going for a walk.
- What are 5 things you can see? Look around you and notice 5 things you hadn’t noticed before. Maybe a pattern on a wall, light reflecting from a surface, or a knick-knack in the corner of a room.
- What are 4 things you can feel? Maybe you can feel the pressure of your feet on the floor, your shirt resting on your shoulders or the temperature on your skin. Pick up an object and notice its texture.
- What are 3 things you can hear? Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as air-conditioning, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street.
- What are 2 things you can smell? Maybe you can smell flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass. It doesn’t have to be a nice smell either: maybe there’s an overflowing trash can or sewer.
- What is 1 thing you can taste? Pop a piece of gum in your mouth, sip a drink, eat a snack if you have one, or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue. The numbers for each sense are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each.
Mindful Music & Listening
Pick a song, close your eyes, and listen closely to the music. Follow the lyrics, notice the different instruments, or take in the song as a whole experience. If you have heard the song before, did you notice anything new? Alternatively, pick a song that has a repetitive lyric, phrase, or melody line. Count how many times you hear the reoccurring detail.
Rigid Body/Relaxed Body
Stand and tighten your body, assuming a rigid and stiff stance. Hold that pose for 10 seconds or more. Then, relax your body and assume a loose, flexible, and comfortable stance. Identify the different emotions and sensations that came up with each pose.
Make a gratitude list with everything you can think of on it, both big and small. Meditate on the list for several minutes. Note any changes in your emotions. Alternatively, write a thank-you letter to someone, being specific about what the person did to receive your gratitude.
TEEN WELLNESS VIDEOS