5 Strategies to Calm Stress at Home

We live busy lives and in a high stress culture. 
What can you do to help de-stress and calm your kids? 

1. Calm yourself first.
Kids are hitchhikers on their parents nervous system, so you can't expect them to be any calmer than you. Calming yourself first also models for them what to do and how to do it. Let them know you are taking a 5 minute time out to calm down before you can talk. (That will give them a chance to calm down too.) 

2. Listen without fixing.
  It's hard to see and hear about our children's stress, but that is exactly what they need.  Can you give them a regular 5 minutes of listening only. No fixing. No correcting. No lecturing. Just acceptance and being heard.  If they know they will get that, it also helps them be able to wait for your attention, (however you'll probably have to point it out). 

3. Have a family practice of naming things you're grateful for daily or weekly. Thinking about those things can help calm the nervous system, shift perspective and build empathy. Look for unique things to be grateful for while you're at it, expanding your child's awareness of good things around them or in the world.  

4. Limit screen time and eliminate it before bed
.  Screens can overstimulate and be agitating to the nervous system, increasing internal stress as well as making it much harder to relax and sleep.  

5. Pause for a few minutes before bed
to sit silently and let thoughts release and calm the brain allowing it be able to fall asleep better.  It's amazing how just a couple minutes of meditating silently makes it easier to sleep and can calm any part of the day.  

Many of my clients also use a variety of apps to help them do simple meditations.  Below is a list of some of them. I'm sure you'll find many more at your app store.