This post has been written at the request of Squiggle. She specifically asked for advice from other children, for dealing with stress and anxiety, and strategies to help her to relax. We do alot of work on this already and have lots of strategies in our toolkit. But sometimes you just need fresh ideas, or to hear them from someone else! So here are some tips for kids, by kids…
Keep a gratitude jar or list where you write positives, achievements and things you are grateful for to look at when you feel low. ~ Nomipalony
Kids self-help books can be really useful. As can therapy apps.
My nine year old said a spa day – I feel I’ve taught him well! ~ Twinderelmo
My 3.5 yo just said going outside makes him happy – so guess he’s right, everyone in our family loves to be outside, being close to nature. It’s also proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. No wonder all kids love to be outside! ~ Captainbobcat
Writing and drawing her own stories helps to alleviate anxiety.
My six year old daughter says spending time with loved ones and her animals makes her happy, relaxed and feel lucky and appreciated. Particularly dog walking and exploring new countryside areas. ~ Family Travel With Ellie
My twelve year-old suggests putting a nice film on and then fall asleep with a blanket. ~ Edinburgh With Kids
My son says to do some mindful deep breathing! ~ Pink Pear Bear
Music – whether it is singing, dancing, listening to it or playing it – is very therapeutic.
My children have both said reading, they like to read before bed and I have found them with books in their hands while fast asleep… they are 7 and 6. ~ Mummy Cat Notes
I write a reasons to be cheerful post everyday on my Facebook page ~ Monkey Footed Mummy
Yoga with the kids! I have 5 and 7 year old boys and even though their attention span on yoga is about ten minutes, it is ten minutes of calm and recentering before we’re onto the next crazy activity. Well worth giving it a shot. ~ Motherhood Diaries
My 5 year old said to eat lots of chocolate! ~ Five Little Doves
Treating yourself can really help, as long as the child understands the need for balance and to moderate.
My 8 year old suggests going to your room and finding your favourite music. Then dance until you feel better! ~ Household Money Saving
My nearly 7 year old has struggled with anxiety over the last few months. We’ve introduced a ‘worry bag’. Every day, she takes a few minutes to write down any of her anxieties on pieces of paper. The paper goes into the worry bag at bedtime and we put the worry bag away. Then once every few days (can be more or less frequent depending on how she’s feeling) we open up the worry bag, and go through all the worries, and work out how to manage each worry. We throw each worry away once we’ve tackled it.
She’s found this really helpful, and is sleeping better and is happier at school as a result. I think the symbolism of writing the worries down, putting them away / throwing them away once we’ve tackled them really seems to help. ~ The Mum Conundrum
Incase anyone else relates to this or finds this information useful, my daughter finds writing down her problems distinctly unhelpful. She described it as making them even more concrete and real. I included the advice anyway because I think it is generally a great strategy for the majority of children and her reaction/ way of looking at it is very rare!
Our 8 year old says, “music, reading and being with her pets” helps her to relax and chill out. ~ Virtually Allsorts
My daughter (10) likes to read her favourite books and escape into imaginary worlds through them. ~ Starlight and Stories
My son likes to draw and paint so he takes the pen or paint brush whenever he feels stressed. It let him pour out his emotions through art expression. ~ My Parenting Journey
Getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy mind.
Playing outside or going for a walk. Great for kids and grown ups alike. In my teens I always put on headphones and laid in bed listening to music to relax. Always slept with my headphones on. Also, hugging someone you love. ~ Mum of 2 point 5
My son gets very anxious alot due to his autism. When he is like that, he loves to organise his train collection! Anything to feel he is in control and it relaxes him. Also, we read books about different feelings to help him understand why he is feeling how he is. Lastly, he says playing football in the park helps him alot! ~ Mother Gets Lippy
When you feel like it’s bubbling up inside, try and stop yourself, close your eyes, take a very deep breath (or two) and see if that changes your immediate response to a situation. If you manage to do it often in the day, you find yourself being more positive or receptive to life’s everyday situations. Hard to do at first, but it can become a (good) habit! ~ Mind Your Mamma
Self-care, including healthy eating and plenty of exercise, really helps.
I just asked my five year old and he suggested Netflix and a duvet with chocolate fingers! From Mammys perspective I find his interest in sports is which causes him to be less stressed, that coupled with minimal screen time; I find it drives them wild! ~ The Mamma Fairy
My 7 year old daughter says bubble bath and quiet time. She loves being by herself to block out noise and just chill out! ~ Country Heart and Home
Totally immerse yourself into a hobby. It can be absolutely anything, from crafts to music, to baking or sports. Getting better at something and seeing the results of your efforts help gain perspective and a more positive outlook on life overall. ~ How To Rock At Parenting
Thank you to all the children who contributed to this post!
Note for parents: I have also found it useful to research and learn therapeutic techniques myself in order to support her.
*This is a collaborative post.