The Christmas season is often portrayed as a time of joy, celebration, and excitement, especially for children eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa.
However, amidst the twinkling lights and festive decorations, it's essential to acknowledge that the countdown to Christmas can sometimes bring about unexpected feelings of anxiety in kids. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of mindfulness and how it can be a valuable tool in supporting children during this festive season.
Understanding the Countdown Excitement:
The anticipation of Christmas can be overwhelming for kids as they eagerly await the magical day. From the daily opening of advent calendar doors to the excitement of decorating the Christmas tree, each moment adds to the anticipation. While this enthusiasm is natural, it's crucial to recognise that it can also be accompanied by anxiety, especially when expectations run high.
The Role of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness, in its essence, is the practice of being fully present in the moment without judgment. For kids, this means embracing the excitement of the Christmas season while also acknowledging any anxious thoughts that may arise. Simple mindfulness exercises, like mindful breathing or mindful listening, can help children ground themselves in the present moment and manage the stress associated with the countdown.
Recognising Signs of Anxiety:
Anxiety in children may manifest in various ways, such as restlessness, irritability, or trouble sleeping. Paying attention to these signs allows parents and caregivers to address anxiety proactively. Mindfulness offers a gentle approach, helping kids develop resilience and emotional regulation skills.
Mindful Advent Activities:
Incorporating mindfulness into the daily activities of the Christmas countdown can be both fun and beneficial. Encourage children to savour each moment, whether it's opening an advent calendar door or participating in Christmas crafts. Mindful coloring, where kids focus on the colours and strokes of their drawings, can be a particularly soothing activity.
Creating a Mindful Space:
Amidst the hustle and bustle, carve out moments for quiet reflection. Establish a cosy corner with soft pillows and dim lighting where children can retreat when they feel overwhelmed. This designated space serves as a sanctuary for mindfulness activities, allowing kids to recharge and find peace amidst the excitement.
Encourage open conversations about emotions. Let kids know that it's okay to feel a mix of emotions during the Christmas countdown. By fostering a supportive environment, you create a space for children to express their feelings, reducing the impact of anxiety.
As we are firmly in the countdown to Christmas, let's not only focus on the external celebrations but also on nurturing the internal well-being of our children. Mindfulness becomes a guiding light, helping kids navigate the excitement and occasional anxiety that accompany the time ahead. By weaving mindfulness into the fabric of our festive traditions, we ensure that the countdown to Christmas is not just a race towards the day itself but a mindful journey filled with presence and peace.
💜Our kids book "My Anxiety Tool-box, a book for kids (& their grown ups!) by our very own Wellness for Kids expert Nicola Shannon is available on our website and makes a wonderful Christmas gift for kids and their families. It had a tool box of anxiety tools to use throughout their lifetimes and comes with a free guided meditation audio for everyone to enjoy!