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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

National Stress Awareness Day

The importance of teaching children to manage stress

The world is becoming more and more stressful.  Time seems to be racing past as everything becomes quicker.

It is National Stress Awareness Day on 1st November. According to AXA UK and Centre for Business and Economic Research (Cebr), people reaching the point of struggling with burnout and work-related stress is a significant issue for the UK economy, with an estimated £28bn lost last year due to poor mental health at work. The majority of this cost is due to loss of working days because of stress, burnout and general poor mental health, with businesses losing 23.3m working days as a result of these issues.

Increasing financial pressures, fear of the future, family conflicts and work pressures all contribute to rising stress.

Stress is harmful to our bodies as it causes a surge of hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline to be released into the body. These stress hormones are released to boost our ability to deal with pressures or threats.

Once that pressure or threat has passed, the stress hormone levels should return to normal. But the problems occur when we are under constant stress. Long periods of stress can make us more susceptible to illness, panic attacks, migraines, high blood pressure, heart conditions and insomnia.

If you feel stressed, try to find time to enjoy a few moments of quiet time each day.  Experiencing a few moments of calm, will help your body return to balance.  Do encourage your child to sit with you.

1 Sit comfortably and close your eyes

2 Become aware of your breathing.  As you breath in, say ‘I’m calm, I’m calm’ and as you breath out repeat ‘I’m calm, I’m calm.

3 Your mind will probably wander, but try to focus on your breathing and become aware of being in the present.

4 Notice how your body feels.  If there are pockets of tension, gently allow the muscles to relax as you continue to breathe.

Continue this for 20 minutes if you have the time.

Regular relaxation will help restore any damage that stress has had on your body.