Keep Calm, Craft and Carry on
Like Kirsty from ‘Keep crafting and Carry on’ we have a few ideas to support your child or young person with anxiety. Like the programme, you may need to adapt these ideas and make some substitutes but we think you are likely to have most things at home. Please see attached sheets for;
- Breathing Buddies
- Enchanted Bubble Wands
- Glitter Jars
We have also included some breathing techniques as below. Young children can be taught to do this if they can see/ visualise first. Therefore having a picture of a rainbow: which we are sure you have been making for your windows will really help.
Rainbow breath – draw rainbows with your arms to match your movement to your breathing. Stand tall and still. Let your arms hang by your sides. Breathe in and raise your arms wide. Then reach high and let your palms turn to face each other. Let your arms float down as you breathe out and imagine you are drawing a rainbow about you. Close your eyes and visualize the colours.
High five breath – Use your hand. Practice slow deep breathing, starting at the outside edge of your thumb. Breathe in and use your index finger to trace up to the top. When you breathe out, slowly trace down the other side. Keep breathing in and out, tracing up and down for a total of 5 breaths until you reach the other side of your hand.
Yawn to reset – Try standing up, making fists and stretching your arms up. Breathe in and out through your mouth. After you yawn, gently relax your arms down and take a moment to notice how you are feeling.
The effects of anxiety on the body
Anxiety is a normal part of life. In the short term, anxiety increases our breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to the brain where it is needed, preparing us for stressful situations.
Everyone has anxiety at times, but chronic anxiety can interfere with physical and mental health and ultimately our quality of life. When feeling anxious and stressed, the nervous system is flooded with hormones such as Adrenaline and Cortisol which help you respond to a threat. Long-term anxiety can cause the brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment rather than worrying or thinking about the past. It involves training your attention so that your mind is focused on one thing at a time without being distracted by other thoughts. It helps you unhook from unhelpful thought patterns, and with developing a positive attitude. We already have all the tools we need to practice mindfulness. Use the activities above to practice mindfulness throughout the day with your child/ young person.