Sadness is something we all experience, and this past year has been tough on everyone. We all work through our emotions in different ways, and it’s important to help kids find and develop their own coping skills.
The following five activities are all designed to help children find ways to feel better when they’re down. Whether through art, movement, cooking, or just taking deep breaths, these ideas all encourage kids to practice taking a few moments for themselves and their thoughts.
Cat, Cow, and Cobra
Here are a series of simple yoga poses appropriate for kids of all ages. These poses help relieve physical tension by stretching the back, neck, shoulders, and spine and encourage kids to examine how their feelings affect their body. By combining gentle movement with purposeful deep breaths, kids can practice uniting body and mind to find a place of inner calm.
Balm Against Disappointment
We love this activity, because it both acknowledges how hard disappointment can feel and gets kids active by making a recipe for an herbal oil that they can rub on their hands to soothe themselves. It can take a few weeks to brew for the full effect, but the results are a gentle, comforting salve. Magic!
Proud Moment Meditation
This simple meditation is all about pride: thinking about a moment when you know you did your best. Kids are encouraged to identify the feeling of pride and associate it with a color, then imagine the color spreading through their bodies. In the words of Mallika Chopra, “Let the pride seep into every fiber of your being!”
For older children going through a difficult time, it can be helpful to take a look at the bigger picture. This activity encourages kids to look at all the things they need in order to thrive and figure outwhere they are well supported, and where they might be struggling. Thinking about all the different factors that go into health and well-being (for example: getting enough sleep, having enough quiet time, or getting to study something interesting at school) helps kids understand where feelings come from and what can help them feel better.
It doesn’t work all the time, but occasionally a little treat takes care of a big, bad mood. This recipe from teen chef Amber Kelley is a healthy feel-good snack that older kids can make on their own, once they’re ready to practice “knife skills” with a butter knife. A pop of peanut butter, chocolate, and banana might be all it takes to turn the day around.
Fifteen-year-old Amber Kelley is inspiring a whole new generation of eaters to get in the kitchen and have fun. She is the first winner of Food Network Star Kids, a member of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube family, and the host of her own web series on Foodnetwork.com and YouTube. Now, Amber’s 80 most popular and delicious recipes have been hand-picked for her cookbook to empower teens to get in the kitchen. From nourishing breakfasts to start the day right, to school lunches to impress your friends, party ideas for every occasion, and even recipes for the best homemade facial scrubs to fight that dreaded teen acne, Amber shares her secrets for using the power of food to get the best out of her teen years.
For kids ages 8 to 12, this is an accessible and fun meditation and mindfulness how-to book filled with full-color illustrations, written by Mallika Chopra and with a foreword by Deepak Chopra.
The book includes practical advice on breathing techniques and guided meditations for a number of topics and scenarios, including:
- Dealing with stress
- Getting to sleep
- Building self-confidence
- Focusing on school/tests/other work
- Ridding oneself of anxiety
From the author of Just Breathe, Mallika Chopra, daughter of Deepak Chopra, comes a full-color guide empowering kids ages 8-12 to problem solve, harness inner strength, and gain grit and emotional awareness.
Just Feel is one of the very few books on social and emotional health that speaks directly to kids. Designed specifically with kids ages 8-12 in mind, the book clearly addresses important topics such as flexibility, responsibility, communication, creativity, and self-knowledge. Written by the respected writer and wellness expert Mallika Chopra, Just Feel will effectively teach kids how they can balance their emotions and make positive choices for themselves.
Teach your kids how to understand their emotions and communicate in a healthy and productive way with this full-color guide to growth from Mallika Chopra
Following in the footsteps of wellness author Mallika Chopra's successful Just Breathe and Just Feel, her third book, Just Be You, is an engaging, easy-to-read guide for young kids to learn tools that will help them live a good life. Just Be You will help kids become focused on growth mindset by self-reflection, setting intentions for their lives, and being of service to themselves, their families, and the global community.
Intended for children between the ages of eight and twelve, who are curious about the possibility of "something more" in their lives, this handbook focuses on three major areas of the witch's life: friendship, personal fulfillment, and family. Each section includes spells, rituals, potions, and other useful information, such as tables about crystals, chakras, and herbs.