By Tammi Kirkness
With the huge amount of change flowing through the lives of our children right now, it makes sense that many of our smallest people will be feeling unsettled and wired. When chronic stressors continue to lurk, it can impact their adrenal function and nervous systems. To activate the rest and digest function to calm kids from the inside out, let’s take a look at three things you can help them with:
Practice Grounding Their Energy
‘Earthing’ or ‘grounding’ is an important component of our wellbeing and can help kids (and adults) to reconnect with themselves. To ground your child’s energy, have them spend as much time as possible outside in nature. This could include playing in parks, walking along the beach or just having bare feet in your backyard. For those needing to spend most of their time indoors, you can have your child picture long tree roots coming out of their feet down into the earth and imagine how peaceful it is down there. The bonus move is then to see if they can imagine breathing up some of that calm feeling into their body.
To ground your child’s energy, have them spend as much time as possible outside in nature
Increase Vagal Tone
The vagus nerve is the largest cranial nerve in the body which sends information from the gut to the brain and back again. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it creates vagal tone and switches on the parasympathetic nervous system. It is this process that helps keep the body calm and can be activated by laughing, gargling and singing. You might like to have a gargling competition with your little one to see who can gargle the longest! You could also see if they can hum the alphabet song while they gargle water or sing along to a song together. Because it might feel a bit silly, there’s a chance some laughs might bubble up too.
Have them tap on the side of their hand
To lower stress hormones in your child, having them tap on the side of their hand can significantly reduce cortisol levels (surprising I know!). To do this, you want to prompt them to tap on the ‘karate chop’ point under their pinky finger on the edge of their hand. To boost the results, have them repeat after you something to capture what might have been playing on their mind. Something like “Even though it’s been weird doing school at home, I feel okay” or “Even though I’m worried about COVID, I am safe at home” would work nicely.
Interested in more ways to calm worried little minds? Check out Tammi’s book The Panic Button Book for Kids.
Tammi Kirkness is a Sydney-based Life Coach who specialises in holistic wellness and anxiety management. She’s studied under monks in the south of India, has a background in psychology and coaches 1:1 clients around the globe. Tammi’s newest book, ‘The Panic Button Book for Kids’ is now available.