Apr 04.15

Inhale, Exhale: Easy Relaxation Techniques

LUSH Life

Our Inhale Exhale Bath Bomb is crafted to bring serenity and total relaxation to your bath time. But what do you do when you can’t just hop in the tub? We’ve asked our good friend, Johanna Peters, to give us some of her tips and tricks to help Mums, Dads, kids and caretakers chill out when tempers flare.

As a teacher and caregiver, I’ve had plenty of practice working with kids and dealing with constantly shifting emotions and energy levels – and sometimes staying grounded can be a challenge! For parents and caregivers, I’ve got a few simple techniques that can help everyone relax, especially in moments of high emotional intensity, that are particularly effective when incorporated into daily routines. Breathe, notice, connect. Go on and try them out!

Breathe 
Breathing is an extremely powerful tool for reconnecting and de-stressing. Taking time during the day to breathe with your child can help you stay grounded and teaches children a technique they can use on their own. Breathing together can be especially effective, while maintaining eye contact and syncing your breath. If you or your child are feeling anxious, take three conscious breaths, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the mouth with a sigh or a “HA” sound to help release stress. Structure it into your day by breathing together when you get home, wake up or before dinner - use moments of transition as opportunities for grounding and space.

Mom and child

Notice 
Opening your awareness to take in what’s around you (i.e. the sensation of breath in your body, the colors and sights around you, the sounds you hear) can diffuse the intensity of a high stress moment. Make it into a game you and your child can play together anywhere. Take turns noticing what there is to notice, kind of like ‘I spy’ using all your senses. Go through them one by one, or just take turns saying what you notice. For example: “I can feel the sun on my skin, I can feel the breeze on my cheek, I can hear the birds chirping, etc.” Kids LOVE games like this, and it makes everyone feel good.

At the park

Connect
Find ways to connect, and make time for exploratory activities. Go for a walk with no other intention but to explore and enjoy discoveries on the way, or find a spot to sit and watch the clouds float by. A fun activity I use with kids is to get them to draw a picture of how they’re feeling in that moment. Take an outline of a human body (either print one or draw a simple outline) and use pencil crayons or markers to illustrate how you’re feeling. Maybe there’s a yellow sunshine in your heart or red anger in your tummy. Then, talk about what you drew. Use it anytime or when one or both of you are upset. This is a great way for everyone to express feelings and provides insight into what’s going on for you and your child.

Play catch

When you’re with your children, ask: “Is there any playfulness and love present in our interaction right now?” If the answer is no, it’s time to do something different. And as often as possible, make time to breathe, notice and connect. You and your child will thank you for it.

Johanna works in Vancouver as a teacher and caregiver to kids of all ages! She is currently in the process of creating her own kids yoga business, which will include all of her favorite things - connection, expression and play.

Tasha Dennis

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