There’s no doubt the prolonged political crisis has taken a toll on Bangkok residents. This includes young children, who readily pick up on and react to the stress felt by adults. If your kids are showing symptoms of stress, such as frequent crying, moodiness, withdrawal from activities and changes in sleeping or eating patterns, try one of the following exercises to get them (and yourselves) out of the funk!
1. Turn to mindfulness. The practice of learning to pay attention, allowing us to better understand who we are and handle what’s going on inside in a clear, healthy way. For kids, mindfulness can help alleviate stress, boost attention span and fosters empathy, among other qualities. In Bangkok, seek out Mindfulness for Children for classes suitable for parents and children, as well as other resources, including private instruction.
2. Practice yoga. Quieter, contemplative activities, such as yoga, can be an excellent way to promote mindfulness and emotional stability. In Bangkok, there are children’s classes offered on Saturdays at the Iyengar Yoga Studio. Other resources for children’s yoga include Incy Wincy Yoga and the Om Room.
3. Foster creativity. Finding a creative outlet is an easy and effective way to reduce tension and stress. For example, gather some old magazines, stickers, markers and glitter glue and let your kids get busy making their own collages. Alternately, if you don’t fancy cleaning up the residual mess, take a class at Attic Studios, Studio Miu Art, or other arts and crafts venues around town.
4. Get active. For children, higher levels of physical activity result in lower stress reactivity. Visit one of Bangkok’s many parks and playgrounds; take up a physically challenging (but fun!) sport; or bring the little members of your family to a structured playgroup or indoor play centre.
5. Go to the beach. Bangkok affords easy access to the beaches of Bangsaen, Pattaya, Cha-am, Huahin and Pranburi. Take a couple days off, unplug from the stress and recharge, enjoying the sand, sun and sea.