Parent & Child Mindfulness and Wellbeing


Practising Patience and Presence

Settle and Soothe with Hot Chocolate Breaths

Settling and Adjusting into the Autumn Term

Autumn Term brings transition time from summer holiday back into school routines.

It brings settling and adjusting time into new classes, new friendship groups, new classrooms, increased organisation, changes in the weather and adjusting to a full curriculum and increased workload for you and the pupils.

Which is why we need to practise settling and adjusting and being kind to ourselves. This starts with noticing. The video below shares some of the practices that your child may have done this week.

Settling Busy Minds with a Doodle Drawing

Often if we feel anxious it’s because our minds are wandering to the future. To be able to ‘see’ this happening we have to pay attention. This simple line drawing activity is fun, easy and can help children and parents to notice their mind taking them away into thought. Jigsaw puzzles are good for noticing this too.

Mindfulness for Transition and Change

Noticing thoughts and feelings that arise from changes and transitions to new schools or new school year groups

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: ANXIETY

Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotional visitor. It visits thoughts and feelings.

We can experience uncomfortable sensations in the body and unhelpful thoughts when anxiety visits. 

In the videos below you will find anxiety antidotes that aid settling, soothing and self-regulation.

Focused Breathing for Concentration and Calm

Your breath is the ultimate tool for activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

It can help you to feel calm and support your focus and concentration.

Give it a go before tests and exams or anything that makes you feel nervous.

Sun Breathing…

You can draw these on paper
OR…
You could draw them on each other’s backs and breath IN and OUT together…
OR
You can hold your other hand on your tummy as you feel the breath moving in and out FULLY to your belly …
OR
You can imagine you are breathing in bright yellow/white light into your body and exhaling a cooler colour on the exhale.

Your choice, enjoy!

Grounding Yourself: Feel the Ground Beneath Your Feet

Go and find some grass to stand on. (If you can’t access grass then you can do this on tarmac, wood floors, carpet.)

Remove your shoes and socks.

Feel the earth on the soles of your feet.

Wiggle your toes and rock your feet gently forwards, backwards, side to side.

Now if you wish, close your eyes and FEEL the grass on your feet. Notice the coolness, warmth and texture.

(If you want, you can imagine you are a tree with roots growing down into the earth, connecting you to the ground and drawing goodness from the earth.)

Reacting vs Choosing Your Response…

Anti-Bullying Week 2022: Reach Out

Introduction

Giving and receiving kindness

Friends

Advice for supporting your child’s mental health 

Exploring a Smile: How does smiling make you feel?

Wipe any trace of emotion from your face. Have a ‘blank canvas’.

Now gradually and very slowly introduce a smile. Pay attention to all the parts of your face that ‘feel’ it. The lips, cheeks, eyes, hairline – really notice how the sensations change.

Keep going until you have a broad ‘cheesy’ grin! Notice the tensions and tightness of certain areas now…jaw, cheeks, eyes.

Now, gently and slowly, start to relax and come back to your ‘blank’, ‘no-smile’ face.

Invite the questions:
“How do I feel when I’m not smiling?”

“How do I feel when I have slight smile”

It’s a great thing to get curious about how our facial expressions can alter our mood. By inviting a slight smile, you may feel that your mood lifts.

Why not get playful with this practice and repeat it a few times in your day. You can also play ‘Pass The Smile’ and see how many people you can get smiling back at you by simply smiling at them.

Little things, done daily can make a BIG difference to mental health and wellbeing.

I hope you enjoy this practice and share it with people close to you.

Support for Sleep: Out of busy mind, into body

The first time many of us stop is when we go to bed. When we get there, we can find that our mind is processing all the goings-on of the day and in your life. Our mind tries to help us make sense of situations and to keep us safe (it doesn’t always do a great job of this though), leaving us unable to switch off, tired and struggling to sleep. 

Practising body awareness at bedtime is an easy way to come out of your head and direct your attention elsewhere. It’s a super practice for children too. Have a watch and start practising at bedtime, take your time and notice.

Slow yourself down with a warm/cool pause

Small mindful pauses throughout your day can help to rejuvenate, relieve, calm and settle yourself. When we pause, we are providing space to help ourselves choose our responses rather than immediately and automatically react to situations and events.

This short practice shows you how to use the warmth of the summer sun to take a pause and place your attention on the heat you feel on your skin.

It’s a quick and simple way of coming out of your busy mind and into your body…super!

Making time for Self-Praise

It’s easy to automatically focus on things we still haven’t done, tasks we need to get better at and the constant urge to BE BETTER and DO BETTER in our lives.

Pointing ourselves to regularly notice what we CAN DO, HAVE DONE and where we ARE BEING GREAT is an important reflection time that should be embedded regularly in all of our days – whether we are child, parent or teacher.

A regular self-praise practice can increase motivation, strengthen positive neural pathways in the brain and invite ‘wanted emotional visitors’ such as happiness, contentment and pride. Without this important reflection time, we can easily find ourselves at the mercy of ‘unwanted emotional visitors’ such as shame, guilt or sadness.

Before you go, say out loud three things that you’re good at, proud of or happy that you’ve achieved right now.

Well done! Now go and share this tip with others and encourage them to regularly do the same.

Little things, done daily can make a BIG difference to mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Loneliness 

Loneliness is a feeling that is experienced.

It is what many of us would label as uncomfortable and/or unenjoyable.

We wouldn’t choose to experience it and we’d love for our children to avoid it too.

However, we don’t often to get to pick and choose our feelings, they visit us uninvited.

This video shares some some simple steps to help manage feelings of loneliness when they visit you or your family members.

Arguments and Events: Supporting you to respond rather than react

Choosing to respond rather than react

Advice and guidance video for parents

Breath Awareness Practice…

Blowing Out Candles

Pausing Practice…

Giving yourself space to choose your response

Mini E-Courses for Parents and Families

If your child goes to a Learnful School, you have free access to these mini e-courses.

Please request the discount code from your school or email hello@learnful.co.uk stating your child’s school name.

Describe What You See: Grounding Activity

Grounding is something you do to bring yourself into the present moment.

There are many ways to ground, I suggest practising lots of them so you have a choice of what works well for you when required.

Grounding can be useful for you and your child when experiencing anxiety, worry, fear, mental and/or physical overwhelm and any other emotional visitor.

In the now, without thoughts, there is simplicity.

Try this activity:

On the school run. No extra time needed. This time is already available to you.
With extra adjectives. Extend your child’s literacy development at the same time as practising mindfulness. E.g. White, streaky clouds instead of just ‘clouds’.
As a game. Take it in turns, look beyond the obvious and tune into finer details.

This simple activity can be practised anywhere, at anytime and is suitable for all ages.

It’s a way of getting out of your busy head and into the present moment.

Enjoy, Jo x

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