By Elena Barker
The holiday season — merrily memorialized in song as “the most wonderful time of year”— brings friends and families together over delicious food. However, the holidays can be stressful for some, including many of your students. This year, you can help your students (and yourself) with the following four coping tactics for a stress-free holiday season:
Mindfulness meditation is having a moment right now, and with good reason. Research has shown that practicing meditation can help manage anxiety, depression, and pain. In fact, with so many positive benefits, some schools and businesses are now offering meditation classes. You can easily introduce a meditation routine into your classroom. Just make sure your students are ready to give it a try — it might not work well if the group wants to play or feels restless.
If your students are feeling restless, then you can suggest doing a few fun yoga poses with them. Your kids will probably leap at the chance to move around and be silly! And like its cousin meditation, yoga can help everyone stay in the moment and be more aware of their bodies.
Reading out loud to your students can be calming and relaxing. Whether you choose a classic or a new favorite, stories have the power to unlock a child’s imagination and, in the process, help them to forget their worries for a bit. If you’re looking for some new books, we’ve got a few suggestions right here.
Ignoring stress or pushing it down doesn’t help anyone. You can teach your students how to deal with stress by simply talking to them about it. Ask each student to share one “happy” and one “crappy” thing about their day. For younger students, you can replace “happy” with “roses” and “crappy” with “thorns.” Based on their responses, you can get a good sense of their stress levels and act accordingly.
What stress-coping tactics do you use in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below!