Take a deep breath and count to 10. Exhale. Now, pick a part of your body to try to relax. Breathe in as slowly as you can, while focusing on relaxing that piece of yourself. Exhale through your mouth, again as slowly as you can. Pick another part of your body. Repeat until you are completely relaxed.
As holistic pediatricians, we recognize that anxiety can affect our quality of life and general health, especially during prolonged stressful events. We want to encourage you to be especially kind to yourself during this season. Here are some ways you can help naturally manage stress in difficult times:
- Pick one or two defined times a day to check the news. Set boundaries so that you won’t be tempted to obsessively check up on events that may be distressing to you.
- Start journaling. The act of putting your thoughts on paper can be cathartic.
- Do you have a friend with a great attitude that you admire? Ask them about their favorite book. Read it. Now you have something in common to talk about with someone who is pleasant to be around. Great books bring people together.
- Teach one of your childhood games to your children. Do you have an old Croquet set in the garage or attic? What about Badminton? Half the fun of teaching your kids will be trying to remember the rules, Googling the rules, and finding out you were never playing it correctly in the first place.
- Stretch. Stretch while doing yoga. Stretch when you get up. Stretch before you go to bed. Make a game of stretching with your children. How does a dog stretch? How does a cat stretch? What about the dinosaurs? Do you think they stretched?
- Bookmark this post and come back to it and practice the breathing.
Our children will take their cues from us. If we set an intention to make modeling calmness a priority during difficult times, we may give them coping mechanisms that they can use for the rest of their lives. If you need a little more support for your anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your primary care physician. If your child needs a little more support for theirs, give us a call. We’d love to help.