By: Shannon Reese

What with stay-home orders, listening to the news, and not being able to hang with friends … it’s enough to make anyone a bit anxious. Kids – whether they’re toddlers or teens – can be a little stressed, too. The Ohio State University’s wellness experts recommend staying calm when talking with children, and answering questions simply and honestly. Here are a few tips, and the full article is here:

· Encourage kids to talk. Younger children may find it easier to tell you how their stuffed animals are feeling. Older children and teenagers might find it helpful to write in a journal or diary.
· Tell kids what they’re feeling is normal, and other people feel that way, too.
· Reassure them that we’ll all get through this time together.
· Continue to provide some structure to your child’s day.
· Help your kids (and you) release tension by getting physical exercise and fresh air every day. Run around the backyard or turn on some music and dance!
· Ask your kids to find ways to stay in touch with friends – through emails, phone calls, notes or video conferencing.

This is a great time to help children learn some healthy relaxation techniques, too. The CALM blog has short, guided meditations for different ages in its “Calm Kids” section, from a “blowing candles” breathing exercise for 3-4 year olds to a meditation for falling asleep for teens.

Stay tuned for more tips next week.