So back again with more words of encouragement and tips on how to help your children with their mental health.
As I touched upon yesterday it is so important that we also practice coping mechanisms when it comes to mental health. We as parents and carers are the foundations of the family. Many of my clients begin their mental health journey by starting with a healthy morning routine. It becomes apparent all too often that we rush in the mornings to get everything done and so our days begin in chaos. Perhaps even before we get out of bed we have begun the day by punishing ourselves in some way, our inner voice begins. The alarm goes off we are still tired “why am I tired; I am lazy” You have a quick flick through social media!! “Oh, look at that perfect house/perfect figure/perfect job” We look at snapshots of people’s lives, and our inner voice immediately compares. So, you can begin to see how before you even get out of bed you are feeling quite negative.
So, here is a tip for all the adults. How could you start your day better? What could you do to help start your day in a positive way? A cup of coffee before the children wake-up? A shower? Breakfast? Whatever it is YOU choose, give yourself the time to begin your day calmly.
For our mental health sleep is so important and is also a good indicator when we are not coping so well. Sleep patterns can alter and leave us feeling exhausted and irritable. The same goes for our children and a healthy night-time routine is amazing. One exercise that works particularly well is before they lay down to go to sleep ask them “what has been good today” maybe narrow it down to three things or they may keep you all night. This exercise helps to place them in their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for rationale thought and is incredibly positive. Going to sleep in the positive part of the brain really helps for a good night’s sleep free of monsters under the bed.
When working with children in the practice I always hand over a copy of “my Hidden Chimp” by Professor Steve Peters. It is an amazing book that helps them to understand the brain and how emotions are created and felt. There are exercises and it is a really fun book to work through together.
Currently on offer from amazon but google you may find it cheaper.