Submitted by Allison Allen
Maybe because of all the very complex and concerning discussions about how to handle school this year, I’ve been thinking more about kids, and I realize that I have not offered much for kids in these coping tips. What’s up with that? So I took a peek at some online info on kids and coping and very quickly I was struck by something – the fact that coping strategies which are great for kids, seem to me to be just as handy for us adults. Which I guess should not be so surprising. Aren’t we all pretty much kids at heart, sometimes in good ways, sometimes not so much? Anyway, I think the tips listed below would be great to keep in mind to suggest when your kids are stressed out, but just as handy when you, or your co-worker is just not feeling it. See if you agree:
- Imagine your favorite place – it’s like taking a mini vacation wherever you are
- Think of your favorite things
- Name animals alphabetically (alligator, bear, cow, dog, etc…)
- Squeeze Something (play dough, clay, silly putty, your fists, a stress ball)
- Get a Cold Drink of Water.
- Count down through your senses (five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you like to smell, and one taste.)
- Breath in like you’re smelling a flower, and out like your blowing out a candle.
I can see these as great things to suggest to your kid who is melting down in the back seat of the car, but I think they fit just as well for any of us stuck at a desk in the midst of a bad day. (Or feeling panicky trying to make the right decision about that whole school thing.)
Allison Allen is NorthLakes Chief Behavioral Health Officer