The other day, my son mentioned his stomach felt funny. Instantly, I thought,”oh,no, stomach flu!”. I am glad that I took the time to ask him some questions before I doused him with echinacea. It turns out he was feeling stressed about an upcoming test. I explained that stress or worry can make his body feel sick, like with a stomach ache or headache and that it can also make him feel angry, frustrated, cranky, scared, or unable to focus. He revealed he had not been sleeping and that he didn’t feel like eating, which were also signs of his stress.
This event really brought home for me that just like adults must release stress to stay healthy, so must children. My son and I came up with three ideas to tackle his stress afterschool to keep him happy and healthy:
– Make sure to have some fun afterschool activities planned to take your mind off of whatever is stressing you. Fun is a great way to beat worry.
– Make sure to do some relaxation exercises to get rid of stress. A simple option is breathing exercises -breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and then breathe out slowly through your mouth up to four times anytime you feel stress creeping up. Another relaxation exercise is to lie down and slowly tense and relax your muscles one by one. Start with your toes, then your ankles, then your calves and so on, until you get to the top of your head.
-Make sure you have taken care of all your basic needs before attempting to tackle homework or any activity. For example, make sure to drink, eat and sleep enough to tackle any stress in your day.
For more stress busting ideas, read this great article.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By NDNG