GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Stress isn't just for adults, kids feel it, too. However, there are some easy, fun ways to help kids learn to manage their stress.
Dr. Lisa Herman, a Licensed Psychologist with Allina Health – St. Michael Clinic, joined KARE 11 News @ 4 with some great tips for kids.
The following tips are provided by Health Powered Kids and Allina Health's Online Resources:
Stress can have a powerful impact on your body. Here are some ways that stress can affect you physically:
3. Trouble breathing
5. Chest pains
The good news is that because our bodies and our minds are so connected we can also do things with our bodies that help our minds, our whole body, relax.
1. Ask students if they can think of others that they've either experienced or heard of.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation—Read the instructions aloud to students and ask them to follow along.
Get into a comfortable position. You can sit or lie down.Close your eyes, if you feel comfortable doing so. Focus on relaxing your entire body as much as possible.Start by tensing your toes; curl them up into your feet and hold them tight for 3 to 5 seconds. Release them. Take a deep breath and repeat for another 3 to 5 seconds.Next, tighten all your muscles from your feet up to your waist. Do a quick mental scan and make sure you have them all: your calves, your things, your bottom. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds Release and repeat.Now do the same thing with your stomach. Tighten it as much as you can. Hold it. Then release and repeat.Then do the same thing with your chest. Tighten, hold, release. Two times.
Now your whole torso, including your shoulders, which will probably lift slightly off the ground or away from your chair when you tense them.
Now move to your hands. Tighten them into fists, hold for a count of five and release. Repeat this two times.Then tighten your entire arms, bending your fists back at the wrist. Hold for five seconds and release. Then repeat.
Tighten your neck by turning your head as far to the right as you can without feeling any discomfort and holding it for 3 to 5 seconds. Then release. Repeat this one more time.Do the same thing on the left.
Now scrunch and tighten your whole face and hold it for five seconds. Do this one more time and then you are done.
Now that you've tensed and released every part of your body, do a quick scan. How do you feel? Are there are places you'd like to tense and release again for a little more relaxation? Go ahead and do that.
When you are ready, open your eyes and begin to slowly move around. Enjoy the calm feeling this activity is sure to bring!
3. Do a "whip share" reflection about this activity. A whip share is where everyone stands in a circle and one at time quickly makes one short statement. In this case ask them to share one thing that they do to help themselves de-stress such as go for a walk, talk to a friend, or listen to music.
Health Powered Kids is a free and easy online educational resource. It's designed so parents at home, teachers, youth group leaders and daycare providers and can use these fun, easy tools to guide kids to a sustainable, healthier lifestyle.