Anxiety - yours and theirs
Updated: Apr 22
I have written these as suggestions for your child, but you can do alot of these activities on your own too!
The Cuddle Hormone (AKA Oxytocin)
If your child is happy to have a cuddle then cuddle, rock and sooth away! Physical touch releases the wonderfully calming cuddle hormone into your body and will enable a child to relax. Be aware that not all child like to be cuddled, some may much prefer a hand to hold, a hand on the shoulder or just to gently touch fingers.
Get your child to cross their arms in front of them and put their hands on their shoulders, then squeeze their right shoulder and then their left. This will stimulate the left side of their brain followed by the right and help your child to think rationally. Keep squeezing one shoulder then the other. This works best if you child also imagines their safe place.
Tense and Relax
If your child is able to concentrate for a couple of minutes get them to lie down and squeeze their toes as tightly as they can, then relax them. Do this three times and then move on to the feet, legs, tummy, chest, jaw, nose.. all the way up the body.
Draw your fear
Grab pens and paper and get your child to draw their fear (or an older child might want to write about it). This quite simply gets the thoughts out of their heads!
Human Climbing Wall
Stand face to face with your child, grab their hands and let them "walk up" your body, they might get high enough for a cuddle or end flipping over or up upside down! Whatever way, they will feel great!
Invisible Force Field
Stand face to face with your child, put your hands out in front of you and bring them very close to your child's - but not quite touching. Then "push"! But make sure you don't touch! Let your child "push" you across the room if they need to, this should get a big laugh :)
Sausages and Mash
Laughter can really help release tension, Sausages and Mash is a simple game where you answer every question with the same answer "Sausages and Mash".. they challenge is not to laugh! Of course, this only makes you laugh all the more!!
- Jump on a trampoline
- Rip paper up
- Yawn (a nice big one with arms and everything)
- Have a pillow fight (make sure they win)
With thanks to:
Larry Cohen (author of The Opposite of Worry)
Play Therapy UK
Jessica McBeth (author of Moon Over Water)