That horrible stressed-out feeling we get when we are under too much pressure is a result of our bodies producing adrenaline, in an attempt to deal with an immediate threat or bad situation. The adrenaline released in stressful situations makes our hearts beat faster, our breathing shallower, and our blood pressure rise.
Our hectic modern lives often mean that this pressure can be ongoing or prolonged, rather than as response to one particular situation. A certain amount of stress is good for our performance, but as a rule we’re just not adapted to cope with this constant flow of adrenaline.
Being stressed for long periods of time can negatively impact our health and happiness at any age, and our busy modern families certainly need all the stressbusting tips we can get!
Our Little Ones Know Best
Young children are true naturals when it comes to stressbusting activities. By their very nature they seek out calming activities such as exploring textures, colours and sounds. Children also race around expelling excess nervous energy and releasing natural endorphins, which aid restful sleep at night.
When it comes to stressbusting activities there are many things we can do together as a family by combining our own tips & tricks with the natural relaxation techniques our little ones already seem to know and enjoy!
Stressbusting Activities for the Family
Exercise releases natural endorphins which help with sleep and relaxation, it also improves physical strength and heart health. Any sort of activity that gets you all moving will do; a simple game of catch in the garden, walking the dog, dancing to your favourite tunes, bike rides, swimming sessions at the local pool… The list goes on!
Nature and time outdoors has long been known for its ability to relax us in the hustle and bustle of modern life. After a hectic day it is a wonderful way to centre ourselves and relax. Simply sit for a moment in the fresh air to appreciate colours, textures, sounds, scents, the birds in the sky and time with one another.
Activities with simple materials are sometimes the best. Watch how much fun your little one can have with water, sand, paints, modelling clay and bubbles just to name a few. Play together and you can benefit from the stress relief these activities provide, while improving your little learner’s fine motor skills, and having oodles of learning fun.
Breathing & Yoga
You can sit together and demonstrate to your child slowly breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. You will find many helpful guides on breathing exercises you can try, like this one from PBS Parents. Repeat some relaxing breathing whenever you need to chill out. Yoga is also something you can try in short sessions with focus on breathing, flexibility, strength, gross motor skills and relaxation.
There are many other things you and your family can do to relax, sometimes it’s a personal choice about what works for you and your children, but making time in your schedule for relaxing is just as important as all of the other commitments. Don’t forget you can also combine your relaxation time with other calming activities, like story time or bath time.
At Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning & Childcare many of these stressbusting activities are included in our daily curriculum. Our fun hands-on activities and state-of-the-art play spaces also allow children to safely engage in their own relaxing learning processes.