Just like anyone, kids can easily become stressed out. Maybe they’re having a hard time at school; maybe a parent is on a long work trip; maybe they’re dealing with troubles with friends or bullies or maybe they’re just under the weather. These issues can add up, leading to anxiety and depression – just as in anyone else.
If your kids are beginning to show signs of stress, there are some tips and tricks you can try to help them tackle it and return to level footing.
The first part of dealing with stress is realizing you have stress to begin with, so teaching your kids to watch out for things they do as they begin to get stressed is a good first step. Everyone exhibits stress in different ways – some clench their fists, others get tight in the shoulders and back. Getting your kids to think about and recognize those signs in themselves is a good first step; you can’t solve a problem until you realize it’s there!
One of the best ways my kids get rid of stress is with a helpful stress ball. For many, stress exhibits itself as this great physical buildup of tension, and getting a physical release for it can be a great way to let that tension out. Stress balls are fantastic for that purpose – they can be used at any time, day or night, as opposed to, say, running around outside for a bit. They’re also quieter than jumping around and things of that nature. Just being able to take out your frustrations on something designed to take punishment can really help.
Remembering to take a break and relax are also key parts of any stress-relief regime. This can be as simple as taking time out to stare at some clouds, looking for shapes and images in the sky – that’s a great game for young kids that can help take their mind off of their worries. Daydreams and guided imagination also are useful techniques. Ask your child to imagine a place that makes him or her feel happy and calm, and have them describe that place for you – what colors are there, what objects are there, what they can hear and smell. That sort of relaxing, guided imagery can help relieve stress, and practicing that with your child can teach them to do the same on their own later.