Brain-Breaks for Study Time
Lockdown 3.0 combined with the January blues was incredibly tough on all our young people, but be encouraged to take responsibility for your health and wellbeing by learning a series of 'brain-breaks' that you can take with you back into school. The acceptance breath: sit up tall, relax shoulders, soften your face muscles by releasing your jaw and lower your gaze or close your eyes:
On the videos below, Joshua demonstrates 'how to' relax, re-set or revitalise in body-mind using the empowerment of breath. Practice as often as you need to during intense exam revision or even in school break-times.
Coping with Uncertainty
'Fear of the unknown' is a contributory factor to feelings of anxiety in children/teens. With the global pandemic now in its 2nd year, and COVID-19 being a constantly moving target, it's easy for young people to be drawn into a vicious cycle of uncertainty, negative thoughts, images, emotions, behavioural patterns and physical sensations.
There are some really useful strategies you can try, with memorable acronyms:
STOPP - Stop > Take a breath > Observe with kindness > Pull back (gain perspective) > Practice what works
APPLE - Acknowledge > Pause > Pull back > Let go > Explore (reframe your attention)
When we practice mindfulness in Joyful Hearts classes, students are encouraged to focus on the breath so they remain fixed 'in the present moment'. Guided visualisations invite students to release and let go of their worries, fears, stress in calm and healthy ways. Recordings will be available soon.
When your child/teen experiences 'anxiety' ask them to communicate how they are feeling on a scale from 1-10, using the descriptions on the thermometer below. Observe what triggers their anxiety over-time (journal it as and when it happens) to help them gain a better perspective on how anxiety levels can change throughout the day. Knowing what triggers anxiety allows you to talk openly about it. Please listen to Joyful Hearts calming body scan meditation too.
Rising to the Challenges
I invite all younger children to click this YouTube link and have fun making a plastic lung to learn more about how your body breathes. Explore the science of YOGA and rise to the challenges of growing up by becoming more aware of your awesome anatomy. For teens and tween, try a 3-part yogic breathing technique to help ease your anxious thoughts in the moment.
A Love for Learning
Click on the pdf link below and print out the Multiple Intelligence Quiz to discover your most dominant learning style. Remember the more ways your brain can absorb new information the easier it is to retain and retrieve it when you need it most - knowing this can really support your best revision style.
My dominant learning styles are picture and body smart - I am observant and prefer to draw images, charts and maps to learn new informaton. I also like to learn how things work by using practical skills, tapping into my kinesthetic intelligence :-)
Appreciating All of You
Being more aware of your character strengths and appreciating all of you, has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels and boost your overall health and wellbeing. Click the link below to take the free online survey (there's also one for adults)!
Playing to your key strengths is an important life-skill and remember there is no-one else exactly like you!
Building Emotional Resilience
Younger children can download the resilience shield activity and try to remember their 'helper words', lions-breath and empowering yoga poses to "be strong when things go wrong!"