Whether you’ve been a school psychologist for years or are just starting out, there will always be times when a student feels overwhelmed and needs your help to relax. The next time one of your students is amped up or about to explode, try redirecting that energy to one of these positive activities.
Taking several deep breaths activates the parasympathetic system, causing the heart to slow down and lower blood pressure. See these breathing exercises for simple, quick ways to help your students calm down. Even just a few minutes of deep breathing can help students relax and get into a different mindset. Similarly, some great meditation apps to try with your students are Headspace, Calm, and Mind Yeti.
It’s simple, but sometimes students just need something to occupy their hands while they talk to you. Giving them a stress ball to play with and look at can help them open up about whatever’s on their mind.
Yoga turns destructive energy into a calm, productive activity. It’s also a great way for you to stay on top of your own self-care. Check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for some free videos with varying lengths, so you can choose a session that fits the time you have.
Kids naturally get chatty while they’re engaged in a fun game. Check out your local thrift store for games that you can take with you on your travels. Mancala, Jenga, and Uno all don’t take up much space, are simple to teach, and don’t take much time to play a round. And they’re fun for you to play, too!
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. What other stress-relieving activities have you used in the past with your students? Let us know in the comments below!