Welcome to September’s blog,
Where has the year gone? I hope you have enjoyed the Summer and the good weather we have been having as well as relaxing with friends, family and loved ones.
I’m feeling lucky to have visiting hedgehogs! They are so cute and they are in such decline so I’m supporting them with fresh water and food each night, just kitten biscuits as these are suitable for them. I was able to recharge my batteries too as we went camping with Thorn and two other families and their children and a good time was had by all and we were very fortunate with the weather, not too hot or cold , just right.
There are lots of changes happening as we enter Autumn, the children and young people are back to school, many starting school for the first time or starting a new chapter at secondary school, for them and for their parents/carers this can have its challenges.
How can we help children (and their parents) who are feeling anxious?
When a child is feeling very anxious they may feel frightened, agitated or worried and have physical reactions to this such as sweaty palms, fast breathing , a tightness in their tummy to name just a few of the symptoms, every one is different. The important thing to do in the moment is to help them calm down and feel safe.
These strategies can help to calm these feelings down:
Breathe slowly and deeply together. Longer to breathe out than in! For example you can count slowly to four as you breathe in, and then six as you breathe out. If it works for them, gradually encourage your child to breathe out for one or two counts longer than they breathe in, as this can help their body relax.
- Sit with them and offer calm physical reassurance. Reassure them that it is ok ? Some anxiety is ok, and it will pass. Feeling you nearby, or holding your hand or having a cuddle if it’s possible, can be soothing. If you cant be with them perhaps draw a heart or a kiss X on the underside of the wrist that they can press when feeling anxious t remind them of you, this works well and is discrete.
- Try and use all their five senses. Ask them, What they can see, touch/feel, what can they hear, smell and taste to help reduce the intensity of their anxiety.
- Ask them to think of a safe and or relaxing place or person that makes them feel safe, relaxed or happy. It can be anywhere or anyone and sometimes a memento of this can help, perhaps a seashell, a pebble, a photo for example.
- Encourage them to do something that helps them to feel calmer. Maybe listening to music, drawing or colouring-in, reading a good book, writing in a journal, or watching a favourite film.
- Exercise can really help too, going for a walk or a run. At the moment there are lots of blackberries to pick whilst out on a walk. Maybe do some baking together to use those juicy blackberries or make a nice fresh smoothie !
Remember that everyone is different and over time your child and you will find the things that work.
For each and every one of us it’s important to keep our brains fit and healthy and here’s a few tips how-
- Get some sleep – at night, ideally 8 hours !
- Stay active with some form of exercise.
- Connect with other people, interaction is key.
- Eat well , a good balanced diet will help enormously.
- Learn and challenge yourself however small it may be.
For now I say goodbye, Enjoy the month, stay safe,
Best wishes, Louise