If it is one thing we learned from a global pandemic it is the simple fact that it was very difficult for the kids – older kids especially. It was constantly on the news about how many people were infected and how many were dying. Everyone was worried about it. They had a hard time with the loss of “normal” activities, and even 1/3 of the kids in the US failed at distance learning.
The stress of the disease spread all over the world since it wasn’t just only one country that was affected by this disaster, although most countries were hit pretty hard.
20 Ways to Help Calm Down Your Child
When added to the fact that we are all in quarantine, that constant barrage of rising numbers can become overwhelming. It was even worse for those who lost a loved one due to the pandemic or a related cause.
This tough time led to a lot of anxiety and stress.
If you noticed even your young children dealing with big emotions, having angry outbursts, and in general bad behavior? That might simply be from anxious temperaments as they try to navigate the new normal.
How can stressful situations lead to anxiety and stress?
Being in a state of high stress is very hard. When we are stressed, our body produces chemicals known as “cortisol.” These chemicals react negatively to our bodies, causing us to feel sick. We may start to vomit or feel pain all over the place.
We might even feel like we want to hurt ourselves or others. This is why it is important for us to somehow calm down when we are stressed.
Kids simply don’t have the life experience to handle all of this and need our good example as a way to help get through all the little things that seem to just mount up. I know, in the heat of the moment it can really suck and even your own blood pressure will climb.
We didn’t have things like team sports to help with physical activity to let them burn off those negative feelings. We just had to make the best of the difficult situations as it was almost impossible to get in to see child therapists or even a clinical psychologist.
I think we will be seeing the negative effects for a few years to come as school-age kids are still dealing with emotional distress.
What causes these feelings? Can there be anything that makes these feelings go away? What can we do in order to prevent this distress from happening?
That is what I am going to talk about today – I have a list of 20 different things that help calm down but kids and adults. There are a ton of different techniques out there and with a little bit of research, it is amazing what you can find!
It is almost as simple as a calm down jar. Now, I know this isn’t the only way but it worked in our home – with a 14-year-old who was leery about being in crowds, even with a mask on. It simply was the best strategy for us and we think it might be helpful to other anxious kids.
That is why you ought not put them in a situation where they will feel a lot of pressure on them. You cannot expect kids to respond well when it comes to stressful situations. You have to help your kids stay calm.
So let’s talk about a few of the calming activities we have for kids- they should work for young kids and older children:
How does yoga help calm people? According to the American psychologist Herbert Benson, MD, relaxation techniques such as yoga can help you relax and reduce stress.
Preparation: What do you need? A mat or unrolled sleeping bag.
How does it work? Try doing different postures one at a time with guidance from an instructor – you can even hit Youtube for lessons! Once you are more familiar with the steps, you can try them on your own.
Why do we like yoga? The best part of doing yoga is that it helps to make us feel calm by improving our breath and also helping us focus. In addition, yoga can help with other problems such as headaches, back pains, insomnia, and much more! Start with the child’s pose!
How often should I do yoga? It is good to do yoga every day.
How does drawing help calm people? As kids, we all enjoyed drawing as it is very easy to do. Children like to draw objects that they see in their surroundings or even just simple lines on a sheet of paper.
Drawing can help you unleash your emotions slowly and calmly – because art requires your concentration on the subject that you are drawing. It will not only keep you focused but also help you to focus your feeling and express them through drawing. Besides, drawing can be a great way to relieve stress if you are a talented artist.
How does it work? You will need: pencils, erasers, and paper. Start by thinking about what is bothering you or anything that is on your mind at the moment – then try to make a picture of it.
Drawing can be a very good activity because it helps to let out emotions and not only provides inspiration for the future but also help with your problem-solving.
How does meditation help calm people? Meditation can help to relax the body as well as your mind.
How does it work? You will need: a quiet, calm space and a comfortable position – preferably sitting down with your back straight against the chair or wall. All you have to do is to close your eyes and breathe slowly through your nose.
When it comes to your breathing, you can start by taking a few long and deep breaths, then slowly bringing your breath to a normal pace.
Why do we like meditation? It helps us relax! In addition, many believe that it increases focus and concentration – which is great for kids who are having trouble studying or focusing because they cannot think clearly. \Meditation also helps with your memory, decision-making skills, and IQ – which can be very beneficial for students.
How often should I meditate? You should meditate every day but it is okay to take a break from time to time as well. That makes this one of the best calming activities you can do.
How does positive self-talk help calm people? When we talk to ourselves in a positive manner, it is not only easier to control our thoughts but also helps us achieve our goals more effectively.
How does it work? You will need: a notebook and a pen or pencil. The first thing you should do is start by writing down everything that comes into your mind about the topic of things that bother you or things that have happened – don’t think of how you will write them down, just write anything you feel like writing.
Now, when your notebook is filled with all the thoughts in your mind, start going back to each thought and decide whether it’s a positive way of thinking or not. If it is a negative thought that makes you feel unhappy, write down a positive way of thinking about the same topic that will make you feel happier.
How can I tell whether my thoughts are positive or negative emotions? It is simple – if your thought makes you feel good, it is a positive one and if it makes you upset or sad, it is considered negative.
Why do we like positive self-talk? This can help you achieve all your goals and also will improve your mind. The best thing is that it is very easy to try out!
How often should I do positive self-talk? You can do this every day but take a break from time to time as well.
Positive Vibes/ Happy thoughts
How do positive vibes help calm down people? They make us feel happy! How do they work? You can try it out to find out – think of the things that make you happy – make a list if you have to! It is amazing what simply putting on a happy face can do.
How often should I think about positive vibes? You can do this every day but don’t take a break too often.
How does planting something help calm down people? Planting something can help people focus their minds and become calmer.
How does it work? You will need: seeds, a pot, soil, water, fertilizer – any kind of plant or herb – your favorite! Plan out what you want to plant according to the size of your pot. Then take a nice spot at home where you can put your new plant. Take a shovel and dig the hole where you will plant it – remember that the bigger, the better!
Put some soil into your pot (if you are using one) then start planting your seeds in the right direction. Water them often but be careful not to over-water them as well. Finally, when they have grown and bloomed, you have your very own plant!
How do these help you calm down? This is a great way to focus your mind and relax!
How does it work? Begin by sitting on the ground or on a chair, in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your stomach and another hand on your chest – you will feel your heart beating. Now, place your hands flat against each other without moving the lower one- make sure that you can feel your heartbeat while doing this.
How long should it take to calm down with deep breathing exercises? It will vary from person to person – the most important thing is that you are comfortable and relaxed!
Why do we like breathing exercises? They can help us relax as well as improve our health- the more oxygen we breathe, the healthier we are.
How does reading help calm people? Reading can help you calm down by focusing your mind.
How does this work? You will need: a book of any kind – preferably something that you enjoy reading! Sit down in a comfortable position and read the words slowly but make sure to understand them well. If you are having trouble getting into it, take a small break or change to a different book.
This makes for a great addition to your list of calming activities because a book can take you to a different world or place, letting you escape for a little while.
Why do we like reading? It is an easy way to learn something new and have fun at the same time!
How does watching movies calm you down? These can help you relax and re-focus your mind.
How does it work? Find a comfortable spot where you can lie down or sit comfortably – you will need: A positive movie that makes you feel happy! Keep a small list of uplifting movies in your streaming queue or stock up on a couple of DVDs.
How does painting help calm you down? This can help you clear your mind as well as focus on something positive.
How does this work? You will need: a nice spot that is comfortable and has plenty of light – any artistic tools such as brushes, pencils, paper etc. Take a sheet of paper and make sure that you have enough room to draw or paint the picture. Premake a checklist of your favorites!
How often should I paint? You can do this whenever you feel like it. Just don’t take too many breaks at once – try to focus on one painting for a while without stopping and coming back to it after some time has passed. This way, you will be able to finish your artwork more easily.
Talk to a friend
How does talking to a friend help calm people? Talking to a friend can help you de-stress and focus your mind better.
How does this work? You will need: a positive person who is willing and able to listen – try asking them for advice or just tell them what is on your mind! It’s best if it is someone that you are close with.
Why do we like talking to a friend? Talking to a friend can help you stay positive and improve your relationships!
How does exercise help calm people? Exercising helps you relax and focus your mind.
How does this work? You will need: a positive environment where you can exercise – preferably outdoors such as in your garden or park! If it is too cold outside, take a long walk around the block on a nice day or find a fun game to play indoors.
How often should I exercise? We recommend you exercise as often as you feel comfortable. Aiming for one day a week is a good start, but try to work out more than that if you have time!
How does taking a nature walk help calm people down? This is another way to focus your mind and relax.
How does this work? You will need: A positive environment where you can take a walk and just look at nature. This has to be one of my favorite calming activities.
Why do we like taking a nature walk? It’s fun and interesting!
How does coloring help people calm down? This is a fun, relaxing, and creative way to focus your mind!
How does it work? You will need: an environment where you can color – preferably outdoors! If it’s too cold outside, find a nice spot indoors. It should be away from any distractions, but not so far that you have to travel for hours to get there. Find a fun coloring page that you want to color!
How often should I color? You can do this whenever you feel like it. Just don’t take too many breaks at once – try to focus on one page for a while without stopping and coming back to it after some time has passed. This way, you will be able to finish your artwork more easily.
Get a Massage
How does getting a massage help calm people? Getting a massage can help you relax your body and focus on something positive.
How does this work? You will need: A positive person who is willing to give you a
Why do we like getting a massage? It feels nice and it’s fun!
How does this work? It helps release toxins in your body, stretch muscles, and get your blood pumping.
Play With Pets
How does playing with pets help calm people? Playing with your pet is a fun and simple way to relax and focus.
How do you play with your pet? Try tickling them, giving them treats, or just snuggling up next to them. Make sure that they are safe around kids if you have any!
How does sleep help calm people? Going to sleep helps you relax and focus your mind.
How does it work? Try going to bed at a decent time so that you feel fully recharged for the next day! Don’t forget to set an alarm clock, snooze is NOT allowed! If you get enough sleep, it can help you maintain a calm state.
How does Tea time help calm people? Tea helps you relax, keep your mind focused, and enjoy something sweet. It really is amazing how a warm drink can make a difference.
What do I need for tea time? A positive place where you can sit down with some nice hot tea – preferably outdoors in the summer or inside if it’s too cold! If it’s going to be a full meal, serving it with tea is a good idea.
How often should I do tea time? We recommend that you do this at least once every day – especially if you are having trouble focusing on the positive. Take some time out to relax and focus your mind!
(psst – if you hate tea, have a glass of water)
Yes, we have a free printable with all of these ideas for you – but at the end of the day? It is all about watching the sensory input to help prevent anxious children. We can help them with their mental health and big feelings with the simplest of tasks. Sometimes, we just need to take a break from the world to help our child’s mind.