April is Stress Awareness Month. With many of us feeling a little frayed around the edges, it’s a good time to think about ways we can reduce stress in the family.
The theme for this year's Stress Awareness Month is ‘Regain connection, certainty and control’.
The bods at The Stress Management Society and Huawei AppGallery recently carried out a study on the impact of COVID-19 on the British public. With 65% of participants saying they felt more stressed since the restrictions put in place last March and 57% missing friends and family, it’s clear that we could all do with some tips on how to reduce stress within our families.
You can see more results of the study in this infographic.
The Mental Health Foundation has found that 74% of adults have been so stressed in the last year that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. But stress isn’t just the domain of grown ups. Children have faced extraordinary circumstances during the pandemic and could also be suffering with stress related issues.
Here are some top tips on how to help your child feel calmer and create a more peaceful family environment:
Get a good nights sleep
This can be a particular challenge in the school holiday, but even if bedtime is pushed back if you have a relaxed schedule for the following day, it’s important for them to get the right amount of sleep. Try and keep to a 30 - 45 minute bed time routine to help them wind down from the day and switch off. Keep screens out of reach and enjoy some reading together, or older children can settle down with their favourite book for some ‘me time’.
It’s good to talk
Encourage open conversations with your child on how they’re feeling. Feelings will no doubt be running particularly high right now. Don’t dismiss or try to contradict any concerns. It won’t be helpful if you simply say ‘You’re fine’. Try to explore these feelings with them further and see if you can find a way to manage any issues together. Try and ask them if they think certain actions might help and work out a solution between you.
Keep calm and carry on
It can be tough to keep it together sometimes, but remaining calm will really help your child. Kids of all ages pick up on their parents emotions and this can really resonate with them. Whilst we all have our moments (we’re not expected to be perfect!), try to keep yourself on an even keel. Take some deep breaths, slow down your speech and keep a calm expression.
Mindful exercises are beneficial for us all. Why not get the whole family involved and practice some exercises together? There are some great things you can do including going on a ‘listening walk’, taking a stroll together without talking but paying attention to all the sounds around you. Here are some more great Mindfulness ideas for kids.
There’s no doubt that being active is a great thing for both mind and body. Whilst this might have been more challenging recently, restrictions and easing now and the weather’s improving too! Blow the cobwebs off and head out for a family bike ride, or play some ball games in your garden or local park. As childrens sports groups are now opening up again, encourage them to re join their club or sign them up for a new team.
We're thrilled to be operating this year. The kids are having an amazing time at Easter camp. We love to see how much they're enjoying building social connections, being active and learning new things. All great ways to de stress!