How holiday camps can help support your children’s mental wellbeing
As we all know anxiety is a normal emotion in all of us, and as a parent there are many many times anxiety can present itself (first day at school, the classic parent guilt over pretty much anything to name a couple of big ones) at which point we try to find a way to manage it and cope with the emotions without it taking over. Sometimes this is a lot harder to do.
As a child the events or situations that may cause anxiety are different, but can feel huge to them, and they are still learning to deal with all these emotions, figuring out what they are and why they make you feel a certain way. Teaching them about these emotions and giving them tools and coping strategies is the best way we can support our children to grow and develop whilst they experience these feelings.
How can holiday camps help support your children’s mental wellbeing?
We all know that getting active can really help our moods and leave us feeling great. But forget the gruelling run, or the sweaty spin class us adults put ourselves through – we’re here to make it fun for your children. Engaging in physical activities during holiday camps can have a positive impact on children's moods (those wonderful happy hormones) and overall well-being.
It boosts your child’s self-esteem, giving them more confidence and allowing them to feel stronger in their bodies and adopt a much more positive mindset.
Here at camp, we all about making memories, and one of the best ways to do this is with a new friend or two. Holiday camps provide a safe and inclusive environment for children to make new friends. Being outside of their usual social circles, children have an opportunity to connect with others through play, shared activities, and mealtimes.
Building friendships at camp allows children to develop social skills, emotional intelligence, and learn how to navigate new relationships, fostering their ability to manage big emotions and adapt to unfamiliar situations.
Trying new activities
We are not a ‘one size fits all’ camp, so your children can have the freedom to choose which activity they want to take part in on a day-to-day basis.
Holiday camps offer a diverse range of activities for children to explore and Barracudas gives them the chance to choose their favourite for every session! Encouraging children to try new activities can help boost their confidence, provide opportunities for skill development, and enable self-discovery.
Participating in various activities within a supportive camp environment allows children to feel safe while challenging themselves, which can be instrumental in managing and overcoming anxiety.
Here are some great tips to help cope with anxiety (whatever age you are 😉)
A wonderfully simple and effective way of bringing calm the situation. By focussing on your breathing, it can help take your mind of any other intrusive thoughts, that might be causing the anxiety.
Try the 4 – 7- 8 approach. Breath in through your nose for 4 counts, hold it and count to 7, and breathe out slowly through your mouth for 8. Repeat a few times until you feel your body start to relax, and your mind start to slow down.
Engaging in any form of physical activity, whether structured or unstructured, can help reduce anxiety. Encourage movement, raise the heart rate, and find activities that are enjoyable. Dancing, playing, or simply moving the body can release endorphins and help alleviate stress. Get those kitchen discos going!
Keep a diary
It doesn’t need to be ‘Dear Diary ….’ Situation, but just putting pen to paper and extracting busy thoughts can really help clear your mind. It’s a great activity to do with your children at the end of the day. Keeping a diary is a lovely way to talk through the day with your children too, giving them a chance to process the day and discuss in a safe space anything they are worried or unsure about.
Friendships and positive relationships
Having good friends and support networks is so important to children (and parents alike!) Encouraging them to go out and forge new friendships help their confidence. Good friends and support networks can provide emotional support, boost confidence and create a safe space for children to share their worries and concerns.
Remember, anxiety is a normal part of life, and helping children develop healthy coping mechanisms early on can set them up for better emotional well-being in the long run. Get more advice from Mental Health Awareness Week and check out Children in Need for lots of tools and information to help you and your children.