YOGA Try one of the many yoga inversion poses
which have a restorative effect on the nervous system, and have been practised by yogis for
centuries. Bringing the head below the heart can be very calming. Poses include the ‘child
pose’, downward facing dog, headstand or a simple forward bend.
VISUALISE A QUIET PLACE – research has shown that
visualisation can reduce stress levels. Ask the child to close the eyes and picture a
peaceful place, then gently guide them to build a picture of how it looks, feels and smells.
DRINK WATER – hydrating the body can have a
calming effect on the nervous system. Pour a long glass of water for you and the child and
sip slowly. See if you feel the calming effect.
SING OUT LOUD – this releases the ‘feel good’ endorphins in the brain.
JUMP ROPE OR HOPSCOTCH – play some music and have
the child jump to the beat, either skipping with a rope or hopscotch. brain.
JUMP HIGH OR LONG – challenge children to see who
can jump the highest or longest. Also great exercise and a way of letting off steam.
BLOW BUBBLES – this is a great way to have a child
breathe deeply and expel the breath to reduce stress. Also, chasing and popping bubbles
provides a fun activity that also reduces stress.
A RELAXING HOT BATH – before bed is a great way
for a child to unwind. Encourage them to enjoy it for as long as possible by introducing
TAKE A COLD SHOWER – although opposite to a hot
bath, regular plunges into cold water has been found to have a restorative effect on the
body and stress levels, helping with negative moods.
GIVE YOUR CHILD A COSY WARM DRINK – on a cool day. This has the same effect as a hug.