Updated: Oct 31
An Article by By Delilah Sichmeller
Growing up volunteering, competing in pageants, and consistently working on academics, I understand how stress can build and impact our everyday lives. Along with everyday activities that can cause stress, Covid-19 has left a mark on mental health disorders in the youth of this current generation. That is why it is necessary to find ways to relax and reduce stress, especially when you are young, so you can implement these practices for the rest of your life. This is one of the biggest reasons I have for becoming a Childhood Matters ambassador; I want to ensure that as many children as possible know how to understand their feelings and handle stress. I thought that for my first article with Childhood Matters, I would share some ways I focus on and appreciate the greatness of mental health.
Breathing: Study after study has shown that breathing soothes anxiety and stress. Focused breathing works because it triggers your parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that calms you down) and makes you focus on breathing rather than thoughts. It is a simple way of calming down, and no one will even be able to tell you’re doing it. I suggest the 4-7-8 breathing method; inhale from your nose for four counts, hold for seven counts, and exhale from your mouth for eight counts.
Yoga: Yoga has proven to help both your physical and mental health at the same time. This practice uses poses and breathing exercises to challenge the mind and body. My favorite poses to calm down (and fun poses to try with little ones!) would be cat/cow, child's pose, and full sun salutations.
Journaling: What makes journaling unique is that it is easily accessible, there are various ways to do it, and it is a complete self-check-in. Before going to sleep, I like to sit down and reflect on my day (what I achieved, what I enjoyed/disliked, what worked/what didn’t), no matter how eventful or uneventful the day was. Looking back and seeing my growth helps me to remember that although things may feel enormously stressful at the moment, they are a small part of my story.