The current circumstances of the pandemic are stressful for adults and also for children. For young kids, anxiety levels are heightened as their daily activities have been halted, and there aren’t many answers available whenever they ask “why?”. Day to day living often relies on news announcements as they come so that anything can change at any moment. Teaching mindfulness to them at a young at can help them tremendously throughout their lives!
One of the more stressful activities for children involves virtual learning and increased screen time. That’s why it’s essential to guide children to adapt to pandemic life mentally. With mindfulness resources and practices, they can learn to breathe and be present in their activities.
Here are some helpful techniques for teaching mindfulness in children:
Introducing Brain Breaks
With screen time and virtual learning, children will be more prone to overstimulation. Their brains may be more overwhelmed, especially when needing to work harder to pay attention to their teachers, who are not present in the classroom with them. An overwhelmed mind could cause mental fog, overexertion, exhaustion, and stress.
The brain break will teach children to pause and clear their minds. During this time, a child can sit still, breathe, and become present at the moment. They can focus on themself and reset either when feeling anxious. They’ll feel more peaceful when endeavoring activities.
Take a Walk
A walk is a simple action for a child to do. By adding the element of noticing or paying attention to their surroundings, the youth can learn important mindful principles like gratitude and alert focus. You could also encourage listening walks, which involves silent walking and grasping surrounding sounds. The physical activity of walking outside will leave them refreshed, in a better mood, and with improved concentration over time.
Taking enough deep breaths can effectively reduce anxiety as it impacts physiology. As the brain and body react and tense up when feeling attacked during stressful moments, breathing exercises can cause it to relax. Some methods to help children learn breathing involves the breathing buddy method, where the child holds a pillow or stuffed animal while lying down. Or, conscious belly breathing will help them learn to take deep, impactful breaths. This will help them learn to cope and calm themselves when overwhelmed.
Teaching mindfulness to children could have long-term beneficial impacts as they learn mental discipline and resilience during difficult times. They can carry meditation and mindful practices into their future lives. With mindfulness, they can apply positive and grateful mindsets throughout their daily events and in the face of any potential societal shifts like the pandemic. With mindfulness, they will be mentally stronger and able to continue developing through adversity.