6 Tips to Reduce Stress and Encourage Wellness for Kids
As we have frequently discussed on this blog and via social media, we’re living in troubling times. Last week, we talked broadly about National Wellness Month. Today, let’s focus on the most innocent among us who may be finding themselves feeling lost, confused and alone during today’s challenging times. It’s time to discuss stress management and wellness for kids.
6 Tips to Manage Stress and Wellness for Kids
1: Keep Calm and Carry On
Above all, it is crucial for parents to be the voice of reason in a child’s life. Kids experience anxiety just as much as adults. Far too often, the emotional pain is ignored by their otherwise caring adults.
Kids listen and absorb everything. If you are feeling of lot of stress it’s quite likely that your child is experiencing anxiety as well. Parents who are working from home need to remember that openly discussing upsetting news can impact children. When it comes to wellness for kids, it pays to keep the adult stuff away from their ears. Treat the kids with respect, but remember to be their support system. Kids, especially younger kids, rely on adults to protect them. During these turbulent times, the little ones shouldn’t be the ones to shoulder the burden.
2: Keep a Schedule
Traditionally, five days of school a week provided some much needed structure to the lives of our children. As much as they may claim to rebel against this idea, kids crave this type of structure. During the pandemic, a reliable schedule is still a surefire way to reduce stress and encourage wellness for kids.
For many folks, their typical daily routine has been uprooted. This new change in our schedules may possibly last a very long time. While home with the kids, it’s a good idea to lay the framework for your own an at-home schedule for your family. Try to normalize that schedule by keeping things as orderly and routine as possible:
- Wake up early for breakfast and school.
- Take a lunch break.
- Stop working for walks or other breaks.
- Eat dinner together.
These are just a few sample ideas. The key is to make life seem as “normal” as possible, especially for the little ones. Consider keeping an active schedule on the refrigerator, if that helps.
3: Nutrition is Critical
As we mentioned last week, proper nutrition is absolutely essential to our overall wellness. That goes for adults as well as children of all ages. Take stock of the foods your family is eating, then strive to stay as healthy as possible. Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water. Since people are stuck inside all day, it can be easy for them to forget about staying rehydrated.
4: Stay Active
Speaking of rehydrating, don’t forget to sweat a little! Exercise can go a very long way. When it comes to wellness for kids, a simple walk can do wonders. A bike ride or fishing are other great activities that can still keep kids out of harm’s way. Give them a try!
5: Limit Social Media Time
Now comes the big question: what about screen time? Well, this one has obviously become a bit trickier in recent days. The simple fact is, too much screen time is never ideal. In particular, social media can be extremely stressful, so use it sparingly. That goes double for kids. Use social media to check in with your loved ones and to check on alerts from your school… but otherwise, try to keep the kids as far away as possible. Social media can really do a number on wellness for children. It should be used as little as possible. Set a schedule for social media use and keep your little ones away from it otherwise.
6: Social Distancing and Human Interaction
Of course, nowadays the Internet is often the only way we can contact our loved ones and friends. Human contact is deeply important to our overall wellness, even for little ones. If you’re contacting relatives via video-chat, be sure to do so as a family. First, it can help everyone to feel a little bit closer in an unsure world. That will help keep anxiety levels down. Second, it can do wonders for family unity. Just be sure to keep the conversations calm and free from “bad news.” Our human relationships are the most important resource we have during this current crisis. Keep them close. When it comes to wellness for kids and adults, our loved ones are a critical piece of the puzzle.
For more information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a wonderful guide for parents and children during COVID-19.