Help reduce your child’s anxiety with these tools

Children’s Mental Health issues affect 1 in 5 kids worldwide

 

Childhood anxiety is a very common mental health issue

 

Children as young as 13 suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues

 


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Did you know any of the above listed facts? I did not clearly know how many children suffered from mental health issues, and many of them suffer from anxiety and have anxiety attacks. This is something that with the proper support and awareness, can be researched more and effective treatment for children can be better implemented.

 

October 10th is World Mental Health Day.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

 

 

The #OnOurSleeves Movement

The On Our Sleeves movement was launched by Nationwide Children’s Hospital to build a community of support for children living with mental illness through advocacy, education and fundraising for some much needed research.  The On Our Sleeves movement and hashtag came from the notion that, because children do not wear their thoughts on their sleeves, we as adults may not always know what they are going through.

 

 

The meaning of On Our Sleeves

There are illustrated graphics that are placed on the arms or sleeves of children and teens to symbolize thoughts and feelings that can be associated with mental health. The messages and graphics are used to symbolize various ways to show support of and bring awareness to children’s mental health.  Each of the icons used can be expressed to define different experiences to different children. You can learn more about each individual graphic and this movement by visiting OnOurSleeves.org.

 

 

 

 

Why #OnOurSleeves is important to me

The On Our Sleeves movement is very dear to my heart and so very important to me. Both of my daughters suffer from anxiety.  My oldest daughter started experiencing anxiety attacks once she moved away and started college. I think that a lot of the anxious feelings came from her wanting to prove to us that she made the right decision going over 600 miles away to school, along with the pressure of juggling a balance of work and school.

My youngest daughter experienced anxiety attacks earlier on; around the age of 13.  Her anxiety attacks started with trying to follow in the footsteps of my oldest daughter. Finding that she could not fill the shoes of her older sister who for her, school came easy.  Since then, they both have found and used different tactics to help them manage their anxiety over the years.

 

 

One thing that was a huge help was being open and honest about their illness and sharing it with me.  Doing so made them feel comfortable about trying and receiving different treatment ideas and options.  They have both found ways and tips to manage their anxiety attacks and reduce the anxious feelings that may arise in certain situations.

 

 

Tools, ideas and resources to help reduce your child’s anxiety

 

Luckily, my daughters were open to using a combination of options in helping them manage their anxiety, and have used one or more of the suggestions listed for managing their anxiety. **Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information and products described are for information purposes only. Not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.**

1. The use of Essential Oils

Using specific essential oils that can possibly help to reduce feelings of anxiety can be very helpful to a child. Simply apply them at certain times of the day, or allow your older child to apply the oils when they start to feel anxious.

Here are some Simply Earth Essential Oils that can be used in reducing anxious feelings or anxiety

Tranquility Essential Oil Blend is a calming blend that promotes feelings of contentment, composure, and reassurance, helping you feel more at ease and bringing about a sense of well being when anxious feelings try to overwhelm your emotions.

 

Peace and Quiet Essential Oil Blend is perfect for bringing a sense of peace and calm to your day. This synergy is uplifting while also relaxing.

 

Lavender has been know to have calming and relaxing properties that ease feelings of tension, among many other uses.

 

 

2. Practice simple yoga poses

 

 

Yoga can be very beneficial to adults and children. Children can use these poses to prevent anxious feelings from taking over or during an anxiety attack. Once these poses are introduced to the child, they can freely practice the poses when they feel it is necessary.

These children’s yoga poses could help with anxiety

  • Child’s pose

 

  • Tree pose

 

 

  • Downward dog pose

 

  • Mountain pose

For more of these kids yoga poses and free resources on yoga for kids visit, Kids Yoga Poses.

 

 

3. Engage in mindfulness

 

 

Mindfulness is a great way for children to learn to manage their anxiety. With simple mindfulness exercises, they can learn to control their breathing, acknowledge their anxious feelings, and recognize the underlying circumstances in their environment that is causing the anxiety attack.

Some great mindfulness exercises that children can practice are

  • Practice mindful breathing

Children can take slow, steady breaths and focus on the actual breathing process. Focusing their attention on their breathing will help calm them down.

  • Recognize your emotions and how they feel

Bringing awareness to how they feel, and what made them feel anxious or have an anxiety attack will help children become more aware of what triggers their anxiety, as well as the feelings associated with it.

  • Play The Silent Game

Popular in a Montessori classroom, The Silent Game is when children keep not only their voices quiet, but also practice in keeping their bodies still. The Silent Game can last from one to two minutes, with the purpose of relaxing their minds and bodies.

 

 

4. Take a break

 

 

Sometimes anxious feelings or an anxiety attack can be subsided simply by taking a break from the situation or environment that is causing such feelings. It is similar to when adults take a break or “need a minute” when they are feeling various emotions. Something as simple as taking a break could be just what a child needs to gather themselves.

Some ideas for taking a break could include

  • Allowing the child to go outside

A short break away from a group or situation that is causing anxious feelings can be a very helpful for children. Let them go outside for two to five minutes may be just what they need.

  • Allowing the child to be alone if appropriate

If appropriate, letting a child be alone while they get their bearings after an anxiety attack can be an effective way for them to gain back control of their feelings.

 

Your next steps…things you can do now

Now that you have some ideas and tips on helping children reduce anxiety, there are some steps that you can take now with what the information you have. Every child is different, and not all the tips listed work with each child. Remember to take into consideration each individual child’s needs when choosing tips to help reduce their anxiety.  Would you like to get involved in the On Our Sleeves movement? Getting involved can be as simple as being an advocate and sharing your support with others. Join the On Our Sleeves movement!

 

 

 

Does your child or a child you know suffer from anxiety? How is it managed? Share your tips or ideas in the comments!

Anitra J.

32 Comments

  1. This is super useful info for me. One of my daughters is experiencing bad anxiety and she is only 6. I feel for her. Getting outside, yoga, and talking about her emotions really helps. Thanks for this post!

  2. Very useful information. Childhood anxiety is definitely something I want to try to avoid or reduce for my kids. Both mine love yoga and we practice here and there and I always have calming essential oils diffusing in my home. I have not yet tried mindful exercise but I think I will give that a try soon! Thanks for the tips.

  3. I’m glad that you hit on the point that some kids just want to be left alone for a little while. Sometimes being surrounded by negative energy can just frustrate a child even more (it still does for me even as an adult).

  4. I came across this post in a good time! My son deals with anxiety/mental health issues… He has PTSD at a very young age (10). His dad was abusive towards him… We’re working through it with professional help (of course) but also I just started using essential oils, esp before bedtime to get him relaxed to fall asleep!
    I’ll have to check into ‘on our sleeves’ thanks!

  5. These are some great ideas! We are really big on essential oils in our house, and I recently just got back into yoga. I should try getting my son to do it and see if that helps with his behavior. Thank you for the tips!

  6. Useful tips. As a single mum, I try every day to show my daughter that she can always talk to me and that I am always with her.

  7. I think essential oils are good. Taking a break is also good. Using them both together seems like a way to relax and try not to let anxiety consume you.

  8. jalisa harris says:

    These tips are so great. My son has ADHD so anxiety also comes with the condition. Some people just don’t know how easy it is for kids to have anxiety.

  9. I love this post Anitra! These are the exact things that I do myself to deal with anxiety. Beneficial for all ages. Pinned this post as well 🙂

  10. Great tips for dealing with anxiety. And thank you for sharing the #onyoursleeve. I never knew about that and it seems like an amazing thing.

  11. zoe says:

    useful and EASY! love it. Good tips for adults with anxiety too

  12. Audrey says:

    These are great! My oldest loves to do yoga with me even if its just a few poses. We also love diffusing lavender essential oils. I’ll try some of the other tips too.

  13. Wonderful tips! Those are all great. Supplementing with a quality fish oil to provide the brain with the much needed Omega 3s or eating fatty fish, nuts, grass-fed eggs on a regular basis can help a ton too!

  14. These are great ways to help reduce a child’s anxiety. I especially love yoga & the use of essential oils!

  15. abby says:

    Yes, i use essential oils with my toddler in different ways and have since a few months after she was born. I can tell they calm her.

  16. Helpful things not just for our children, but for us. I love the last one – if they want alone time, let them have that. Thanks for your post.

  17. Jennifer Van Haitsma says:

    Great tips! My oldest has a bit of anxiety and it’s heartbreaking. Thanks for spreading awareness.

  18. I’ve order some of the adult version of these. I didn’t know it was great for kids too.

  19. I wish I know about these tips when I was younger. I have suffered from anxiety from a younger age. At the moment, I love using lavender oil and going for a walk. Thank you for spreading the words of anxiety within young child

  20. Thank you for sharing this! Anxiety seems to run in my family and I’m a big fan of the essential oils you mentioned. I also love using Serenity. Sometimes I have to remind my kid to take a break when schoolwork causes anxiety to spike. It can be hard not to just try to power through whatever’s getting to you, but a break gives such a fresh perspective and can do so much.

  21. Mindfulness is something I use with my kids all the time to reduce anxiety!

  22. Hayle says:

    Great info… Especially for 2020. Mindfullness is something that we work on with our kids. Taking a few moments, to meditate helps too.

  23. Monica says:

    Love all the tools you shared to help kids deal with anxiety. I feel like more than ever kids are dealing with these kinds of feeling and the tools you shared are great for adults and kids alike

    1. Anitra says:

      Monica, yes so true!

  24. I love my essential oils. They are wonderful for so many health issues.

  25. Audrey says:

    We love using essential oils and yoga at our house!

  26. I love this post. I’s so important to focus on children’s wellbeing, especially during the times we live in now. My son had a tough time when he started in first grade, and he was anxious about going to school. We use a lot of essential oils in our home. I use doTerra too! Oils helps a lot.
    I also find it very helpful to have quality time in our bedtime routine. We always spend time talking, connecting and snuggling before my son goes to sleep.

  27. Kimmy says:

    I will definitely be using this with not only my oldest but also for myself

  28. These are all great tips! Thanks for all this great information to help kids battle their anxiety.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    GREAT tips! My oldest struggles with anxiety sometimes (one of the reasons we started homeschooling!) and letting him play outside more often certainly helped!

  30. Tiffany Rains says:

    I LOVE the use of essential oils!! This read is worth it’s weight in gold! Definitely using to help my children…and myself!! Thank you!!

  31. I love all these tips to help reduce child anxiety! Yoga is actually a fun way to get them engaged and have fun at the same time.

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