There’s no doubt the prolonged periods of time at home that we are all experiencing from the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on Bangkok residents. This especially 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) back on track.
Turn To Mindfulness
The practice of Mindfulness focuses on learning to pay attention to both our feelings and our surroundings, allowing us to better understand who we are and how to handle what’s going on inside ourselves 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.
Quieter, contemplative activities, such as yoga, can be an excellent way to promote mindfulness and emotional stability. Yoga can play an important part in a world of endless distraction and kids can learn to sharpen their focus in a way that also has potential benefits that can impact many areas in life, including better concentration on their studies. It’s also highly beneficial when at the moment emotions are running high. Yoga can be a useful tool in helping them deal with these tough situations and calming their nerves and frustrations. During this particular period of such uncertainty you could encourage family yoga sessions so that everyone can benefit from some quiet, calm time each day.
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. Let them use their iPads or your phones to take a collection of photos and show them how to make collages or comics. Allow them to design and help with the cooking of their own lunches or ask them to create a fun menu card for dinner each night. Coloring worksheets are also a great idea at this time and many websites offer free, printable images so you can let your kids choose which ones they prefer and try different themes according to the days, seasons or any upcoming special occasions. With Bangkok still being in partial lockdown at this stage, it looks like families will be celebrating Easter at home and this offers lots of opportunities to get creative.
For children, higher levels of physical activity result in lower stress reactivity. While at the moment movements are restricted and parks and pools are out of bounds, it’s important to teach the importance of some kind of physical activity each day to relieve their stress. There are many online live classes where kids can jump, stretch and even dance at the same time as other kids all over the world. At this time popular television stars are offering daily regular PE classes and one such star has risen to keep nations moving is Joe Wicks. He is keeping thousands of kids moving with his live PE sessions which are available every day on Youtube and what started out as primarily a UK based incentive has now reached kids all over the globe. His aim to keep kids engaged in some kind of daily activity and creates many fun ways of achieving this, which include dressing up as spider man or jumping to the sounds of Disney classics. These are not your regular PE lessons as his wifi often fails, he knocks objects over and blunders his way through the live classes which only makes the entire experience much more fun!
Whichever activity you choose, try to build in at least one of these each day to help your kids deal with the stress and subsequent anxiety during these uncertain times
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