Peninsula Kids Summer 2021/22

Page 78

30 Health

Mindfulness 30 Activities for Kids &Teens

By Kim Norton

M

indfulness is simply the act of being in the moment and as such, practising mindfulness activities can be a fun, engaging way to help our kids and teens stay in the moment and, not worry about what is going to happen next.

Using these techniques will help our children to self-regulate and manage any problems and worries that will arise over the course of the day. Outbursts of anger, meltdowns, panic attacks, general anxiety, emotion control, self-restraint, poor sleep quality and focus and concentration can all be improved using mindfulness activities like those listed below. Please note that these activities are not designed to simply dismiss our children’s concerns but are designed to bring them back to a state of peace so as they can return to addressing their problems and worries in a calm rational way. Some popular examples include:

4. Grounding Activity Look around and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel (or touch), 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can taste and 1 thing you can smell.

5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation Take a deep breath in and then, breathe out. Repeat this several times if needed to centre and calm yourself. On your next breath in, squeeze your feet muscles as tight as you can and as you breathe out, release the muscles in your feet and release the tension. Breathe in and breathe out. With your next breath in, squeeze your calf muscles tight and as you breathe out, release the calf muscles, and release the tension. Breathe in and breathe out. Continue up the body finishing at the head, squeezing, and releasing as you go.

1. One Minute Meditation Just concentrate on your breath. Every time your mind wanders just bring it back to your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. One minute is all it takes to reset the mind and calm the body. You should get about 16 breaths in one minute for a healthy adult or about 25 breaths in a primary school aged child so just count your breaths. Breathe in, one, breathe out. Breathe in, two, breathe out and continue for one minute.

2. Journaling You can write, draw, use point form, doodle, or write in length, whatever suits you at the time. The idea is to get those thoughts out of your head and onto the paper. Once released to paper, our written thoughts take on a different energy and meaning, turning into actions and goals, selfawareness, insight, and inspiration. No longer swirling aimlessly in our heads creating stress, anxiety, and confusion.

3. Box Breathing Breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4. Repeat 3 more times. For our older teens and adults try 4-78 breathing: inhale in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7 and then exhale for the count of 8. 78 Peninsula Kids – Summer 2021/22

Other examples include: 6. Blow bubbles

19. Make a calm down bottle

7. Play “noughts & crosses”

20. L isten to a guided meditation

8. Chew gum 9. Listen to music 10. Blow up a balloon 11. Practise belly breathing 12. Play “hangman” 13. Suck on a lollipop

21. Five finger breathing 22. Play “Simon says” 23. Colouring in 24. Blindfold taste test 25. Yoga or exercise

14. Heartbeat exercise

26. N ame "5 things you are grateful for"

15. Blow on a party blower

27. Draw a mandala

16. Read a book

28. Draw your breath

17. Play “eye spy”

29. Play “who am I?”

18. Blow on a pinwheel

30. Go on a nature walk