Now with more kids staying home and parents struggling with the uncertainty of the future for their jobs, homes and families, it makes sense that this anxiety is also rubbing off on the kids.
So how can you keep your kids calm when you too are feeling overwhelmed?
Only weeks prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a shock report by the Australian Primary Principals Association was released showing that kids are more anxious than ever, with packed schedules, custody issues and social media being just some of the factors contributing to record anxiety levels in Australian children.
In response, a free online suite of kids yoga and mindfulness activities for parents to share with their kids has just launched.
It was created by Beth Borowsky, an Educator, Yoga Teacher, Mum and CEO of The Karma Class. The company trains teachers to bring yoga, breath and mindfulness into their classrooms to reduce stress and build resilience. Now parents can bring it home as you navigate the challenges of social distancing and homeschooling.
Here are Beth’s top tips for keeping kids calm:
Introducing kids, from a very young age to the ancient wisdoms of Yoga, Breath and Mindfulness gives them the tools that they need to help build resilience, reduce anxiety and better manage challenging emotions. These practices help to bring them back to a place of calm.
Yoga is a great way for kids to develop body awareness while cultivating strength and flexibility. It builds better posture, nourishes their self-esteem and nurtures confidence – both physically and emotionally. It makes kids feel great about themselves both inside and out by building strength and compassion through movement, breath and mindfulness. Yoga is also one of the few non-competitive activities which goes a long way in today’s highly competitive world.
Did you know that our breath is the only bodily system that we can consciously control? One of the fastest ways to alleviate stress and bring the body back to balance is through deep breathing. Oxygen influences all of our body’s functions, from our mind and creative thoughts, through to our digestion. All of this is influenced by how much oxygen we take in. When we cultivate conscious (and longer) inhale breaths, we increase the oxygen in our bloodstream, which helps to alleviate tired muscles and brains. When we extend our exhales, we immediately switch on the Relaxation Response which instantly helps us to feel calmer.
There are some deep breathing techniques on the Karma Class online platform (and we’ll be sharing more), but the next time your child is in a meltdown mood, invite them to lie quietly on their backs and take some long slow deep belly breaths as if they are blowing up a balloon.
Mindfulness – or learning how to be in the present moment – teaches us how to see and accept things as they are, without emotion or judgment, to simply be in the moment with a sense of equanimity and calm. Cultivating mindfulness teaches children how to be less reactive, more in touch with how they feel, compassionate and thoughtful. Mindfulness teaches tools to draw from when they feel stressed, anxious or upset. They become better skilled at managing stress and are better able to stay rational in both thought and behaviour.
Healthy and mindful distractions help to regulate heightened emotions and create a space for things to settle into a state of ease and flow. Providing kids with healthy distractions diffuses challenging situations and offers them an opportunity to detach from the chaos and find their calm. It’s also a great bonding opportunity.
As parents, we often try to distract our kids with activities to keep them entertained, however a beautiful gift you can give your child is to teach them the beauty of being quiet, both in body and mind.
The videos on our platform offer short mindful experiences to help kids relax and be comfortable in stillness through visualisations, mindfulness activities and calming music. Try taking a mindful walk together in silence – it’s a great way to help your kids appreciate nature. These are unprecedented and crazy times – we all need some calm and resilience. Help your children to better manage their emotions by offering them the gifts of Yoga, Breath and Mindfulness. It will encourage them to become more emotionally intelligent, more resilient, strong and healthy – gifts that last a lifetime.
Beth Borowsky, is an Educator, Yoga Teacher, Mum and CEO of The Karma Class. The company trains teachers to bring yoga, breath and mindfulness into their classrooms to reduce stress and build resilience. In response to the Covid 19 crisis, they have created a FREE + member-based online suite of kids yoga and mindfulness activities for parents to share with their kids.
How are you keeping yourself and the kids calm during this difficult time? Tell us in the comments below.