Helping kids through Christmas anxiety + The gift giving machine!
When you think of the holidays as a child you think of magic, excitement and fun spent with your friends and family. However, with changes to routines, general upheaval and hectic schedules, it can also be a distressing, worry-filled time for some young people.
Children who have experienced the death of a loved one during the course of the year may also face additional challenges, as the first big holiday since their loss approaches. They may feel guilty for their happiness whilst enjoying the holiday and anxious that they might forget their loved one if they enjoy themselves or even angry that others are. This may result in them ‘acting out’ or seeming ‘unsettled’ which can be frustrating for everyone involved.
If you notice your child is feeling stress by the changes and upheaval around them, there are things that can help. Between holiday homework, family obligations, and general upheaval, it's easy to see how this can happen - we’ve all been there right?
Something as simple as Mindful Colouring is a straightforward way to get children of all ages to practise a few moments of mindfulness whilst keeping them focused on the moment and helping them to calm down. Meditation is also just as effective for children as it is to us! Giving kids the tools to help them fend off negative thoughts and behaviours, build self-confidence, focus, and treat others and themselves with respect and appreciation is a gift they will have for the rest of their lives.
Last but not least, encourage your child to express their anxiety! If they tell you that they are worried or scared, validate your child's experience by saying things like, "Yes, you seem scared. What are you worried about?" Then have a discussion about your child's emotions and fears.
This is a great way to build up trust and have a stress free holiday!
Calling all Game of Thrones fans!
Actor Bella Ramsey has become YoungMinds latest ambassador, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.
Best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, Bella Ramsey opens up about her own mental health struggles and wants to encourage other young people to do the same. She first shared her story on World Mental Health Day in 2018 - which for a 15-year-old is extremely brave.
You can read the full story here and share to inspire others!
Mindful Moment: 'Giving Vending Machines'
This “Giving Machine” allows users to donate essential items to local and international charities with just a swipe of their card. Instead of dispensing candy bars, the machine has a variety of charitable options, such as donating a dozen meals to a local homeless shelter; supplying an underprivileged school with textbooks; and even gifting a pair of chickens to a family on the other side of the world.
There are only ten of these machines currently functioning in the world. This one, in particular, was unveiled in Denver, Colorado last week. The machines were launched by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a part of their #LightTheWorld campaign to encourage people to give during the holiday season. Their other machines have been stationed everywhere from Hawaii and Salt Lake City to London and the Philippines.
They raised over $2.3 million in 2018 for local and global charities. Total donations for 2019 will be continuously updated throughout the season and will be available on the Light the World website.
What a beautiful world we live in.