Do you have anxious kids? The spiritual/ personal growth activities in this piece are great for anxious parents or anxious kids. Check em out and add to your anxiety-busting repertoire.
I’ve got anxious kids. My son deals with anxiety daily. I blame myself. I know I shouldn’t but I do and I’m trying really hard to show him how I cope with mine in healthy ways and teach him how to do the same without having him feel like something is wrong with being anxious.
He’s also very active and high energy and as we go down the diagnosis track, no matter what happens with the professionals/medical team we end up with, I want to be very proactive about him having ways to help himself cope and feeling empowered in the options he has at school and at home to deal with his anxiety and his abundant energy.
Here are a few of the spiritual self growth practices that are great for adults or kids who deal with anxiety, stress, or just want to feel better and be in a better head space.
We have been doing yoga together since the kids were three and one year old. Sometimes I lead them in a short sequence of asanas and sometimes we will do an adult yoga video from YogaDownload.com but often Rohan and Kaya will do yoga on their own using their favorite yoga YouTube channel Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Yoga is great for helping anxious kids stretch out, calm down, focus on their bodies and breathing. It is great for promoting mindfulness and calming and soothing frayed nerves. It’s a great way to focus Rohan’s energy and help Kaya chill out as well. Totally my favorite way to redirect them.
If you’re thinking of introducing yoga to your children I would suggest starting with something like cosmic yoga that has stories attached to the moves and very short sequences. You can then move up to other videos or even online classes where the real names of poses will be used, proper alignment will be suggested and the sessions will be longer. You can check in your area for classes and yoga instructors who have been certified in children’s yoga as well.
EFT stands for the Emotional Freedom technique. You may have heard it called tapping. It’s a practice that may be a bit woowoo for you, but I love it and I feel an energetic release whenever I do it so I have started teaching the children to use it as well. In EFT you tap on specific body parts that coincide with your body’s energy meridians and you relieve stress blockages and tension by doing the tapping with an intentional dialogue at the same time.
That was a very long-winded way of saying you tap on your body and say what you’re trying to release and then you feel better.
You can find tapping videos for free on YouTube. Try searaching by just stating the problem you’re trying to release + tapping. Brad Yates is great tapping youtuber to check out. You can also get The Tapping Solution for Parents, Kids and Teenagers by the folks who brought you the Tapping Solution. I’m low-key obsessed with them and I love that they have this children’s book that explains tapping in a way that is so kid-friendly. I read this book to Ro and Kai at least weekly. The best part about tapping is the result that my children get when they do it.
Affirmations are a huge part of my life and I am ensuring that they are huge part of my children’s lives as well. We say them every morning in the car ride going to school and we say them at night before bed. In a perfect world we’ll work up to them saying them without my prompting and writing them out as well, when they are older.
If you’re not familiar, affirmations are positive statements that you repeat as often as you can that you use to help reprogram your mind, raise your vibes and change your beliefs.
Here are a few from the list that I say with the kids each morning:
- I am awesome.
- I love to learn.
- I am so loved.
- I love myself.
- I am healthy and strong.
Specifically for anxiety a few good affirmations are:
- I can handle anything
- I am smart and capable
- Solutions come easily to me
- I am calm and peaceful
- I am in control of my emotions
Note: It’s important that the affirmation is stated positively and it’s short enough for you to repeat with feeling over and over.
Ever since he was a baby we have had Rohan working on taking a deep breath when he was upset, but I have the Calm app to thank for working true breathwork into his anti-anxiety repertoire. The app has a circle that you follow with your breath and it guides you through your inhales and exhales.
I tried it on a whim with Rohan and he really seemed to enjoy it! After that I started doing different activities with him such as box breathing (where you breathe in, hold, breath out, hold to a count of four or five for each) and other breathwork techniques. This isn’t our main go to but I like having it as an option for him when he it’s freaking out but willing to listen to me. Try it with your anxious kids and watch their little shoulders relax and their mind slow down a bit.
Journaling is one of my favorite daily activities and I am encouraging (ok…brainwashing) my kids to embrace it as well. As the kids get older I know this will get more play but for now they do what they can for their age range. Kaya usually draws photos of her feelings in her journal and Rohan will either write things out or make a comic book about it.
I tell him to write out his worries and then he rips the paper to shreds to get rid of the worry. All I care about is that they’re getting in the habit of releasing their emotional energy in a healthy way. As they grow I’ll teach them more intentional journaling techniques.