Kids have been experiencing the challenges of this pandemic right alongside the adults in their lives. We’re learning more about how our children are uniquely impacted by the ever changing realities of COVID and how we can adapt to help them meet these challenges. Whether they are anxious or confused by current events, lonely from missing face-to-face interactions with their friends and family, or just restless from being cooped up at home during the school year, all kids can benefit from establishing healthy habits for their minds.
Just like adults, when children feel stressed their bodies will enter flight or fight mode, which can cause mood swings and high blood pressure. By spending a few moments focusing their minds on their breathing and thoughts, they can increase their serotonin levels and ease stress, self-regulate, and reduce depression symptoms. Studies have shown children who practice meditation and mindfulness regularly will have improved sleep quality, better retention of memory, higher levels of creativity, and improvement in their overall well being.
Get started with these 3 simple steps:
- Introduce meditation. Children may not be receptive to meditation if they feel like it’s a chore. Try to encourage them by inviting them to sit with you during your meditation, but be sure to start them off with a shorter duration than you may be currently practicing. Explain to your child what meditation is and why we meditate.
- Be Creative. There are numerous meditation apps and websites available online. You may have to try out a few before you find one that resonates with your child. You can find several resources here.
- Be Consistent. Mindfulness takes practice. Start small and build them into your child’s daily routine, maybe in the morning or before bedtime. Help them identify a comfortable space in your home where they feel comfortable and calm to practice their meditation. Eventually you will be able to encourage your child to use their meditations independently and consistently without your guidance.