Lets face it, life is beautiful, but it's also stressful and the path is not always clear. Finding balance is something that often takes years, but why?
Adam believed in a world of balance, peace, love and respect. Although he didn't get a chance to continue his mission of spreading these virtues, we will continue to spread them for him.
Part of balance is maintaining emotional and mental strength through stressful and difficult times. As children we often don't understand how to manage the different challenges we may encounter.
While counselling, ultimately talking to people about our concerns can be helpful, tools like creative expression through painting, writing and building, cooking, yoga, meditation, hiking and more can allow children to open up and be open to finding balance in their lives.
This activity can provide kids with some comfort in their time of anxiousness or time spent away from you or their loved ones.
Buy oven bake clay at your local craft store and have the children choose up to three colours that make them feel calm or happy.
As they roll the colours into a ball and then gently push their thumb print into it, talk to the child about what this stone symbolizes for them; perhaps include a reminder to breathe, a positive thought, or a favourite mantra such as, “I can get through this”.
After it is baked for 30 mins at 250 degrees, it can be kept in their pocket and used in difficult moments as a reminder that they are safe an in control.
You can even involve yourself in this activity and make a worry stone as a transitional object for kiddies who are having trouble separating.
Another fun activity that kids love to do is make “calm down jars”.
Throw some warm water, glitter glue and glitter in a glass (or even better, plastic) jar and have your kiddies shake up it up to watch the glitter slowly float to the bottom.
It is incredibly soothing and relaxing to watch and kids can use it at home after a difficult or stressful moment.
Encourage them to do some deep breathing as they watch as well incorporate some mindfulness.
Smaller versions of the calm down jars can be made by using small plastic baby oil bottles and can be kept in the car or in Mom’s purse for a quick relaxation tool on the go.
Making positive mantra bracelets is a simple but fun way to get kids talking about positive thinking and, more specifically, which mantras best apply to them and their worries.
Start by opening up a discussion about the things they worry about most, and help them come up with three or four mantras they can repeat to themselves in an anxious moment, such as “I am safe”, “Mom will always come back,” or “My best is good enough”.
Assign each mantra to a different colour bead, and have them string them onto a pipe cleaner or lanyard to be worn on their wrist as a daily reminder to think positive thoughts and breathe.
The soft pipe cleaner and smooth, sliding beads also function as an awesome yet discreet fidget for our tactile seeking little ones. (This also works with diffuser or mala bracelets.)
Many kids have a hard time expressing themselves verbally or do not have a parent or loved one they want to talk to about their feelings.
It’s important to explain to kids that they do not have to talk about their worries or stress if these topics make them uncomfortable, but they do have to find a different outlet for expressing themselves.
Have kids decorate a journal that is personal to them using stickers, markers, or even magazine cut-outs of positive phrases, and encourage them to journal when feeling stressed, anxious, or like they need to talk about something but don't know how or too who.
Stress balls are a true fan favourite, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a child who does not enjoy this activity.
Fill a balloon with flour, rice, orbeez, or play dough using a small funnel, tie the end, and make sure to double wrap it into another balloon for extra security.
Stress balls make for a great fidget for our nervous kids and serve as a great distraction
Slime is all the rage lately and a quick google search will produce hundreds of recipe variations.
The cool part about making slime is that kids find the process super fun, but it is also an awesome therapeutic tool for our sensory seeking kids.
Add some lavender oil into the slime as an additional bonus to calm them as they play.
Just a few minutes of running the slime through their fingers can bring a child’s baseline level of anxiety down a few notches.
Kate Whitfield is a speaker, author, social entrepreneur, and the founder of FearlesslyGIRL.
Kate started her speaking and girls empowerment company while still in high school, and since then, has spoken to over 250,000 teens all across North America, shared her big-sister-style advice on radio and TV shows including CityTV, CTV, and regular appearances on Breakfast Television. Kate is the author of the teen girl handbook, FearlesslyGiRL: Tips, Strategies, Advice & Everything You Need To Know To FEARLESSLY Navigate Girl World!
Kate’s approachable style, sense of humor and passion for inspiring young women has earned her a reputation of being an honest, bold and exciting speaker, and a “real” role model and “big sister” to a whole generation of girls. Kate has quickly established herself as a “go-to” expert on girl world and anti-bullying, and has recently been selected by Instagram and the Prime Minister’s Office as an #EducationCan Ambassador, advising the Prime Minister on youth and education related issues, and named an “Exemplary Canadian” by Facebook Canada for her work empowering young women.
Changing the World, One Girl at a Time – New York Magazine, December 2nd, 2016
Madison Keys hits back with FearlesslyGiRL’s anti-cyberbullying campaign – ESPN, December 2nd, 2016
KEYS HOSTS FEARLESSLYGIRL SUMMIT IN HOMETOWN – WTA, November 22nd, 2016
Madison Keys Joins FearlesslyGIRL – Forbes, August 24th 2016
FearlesslyGiRL Goes To Parliament Hill – June 1st 2016
Measures Taken To Combat Girls Bullying Girls Online – Toronto Sun, January 3rd 2015
How Canada’s Youth Are Using Social Media To Put An End To Bullying – Global News, November 18th, 2014