Body Clues Activity: Emotional Expression and Identification for Anxious Kids

Body Clues Activity: Emotional Expression and Identification for Anxious Kids

Internal emotions and external expression:

We all experience emotions internally and express them in slightly different ways from one another. We all have our inside emotional experiences and our outside displays of frustration, anger, and sadness.

When we experience a spike in emotions, it helps us know we may need to take the time to Stop and Think, using our Wizard Brain. Otherwise, our Lizard Brain might take over, leading to an explosive reaction.

Our Lizard Brain wants to react right away (it is in charge of fight, flight, and freeze, of course) – so if you notice yourself feeling heated, your Lizard Brain may tell you that you should explode and yell. However, if you take the time to stop and think “will I get in trouble if I explode?” you can make a wise decision, even when you start feeling upset.

How to help kids clue into their emotions:

Draw an outline of a body. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Try to get a head and arms and legs in there, and call it good.

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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalized anxiety disorder is the diagnostic name for kids, teens, and adults who meet the criteria. Oftentimes people will say they have anxiety, or general anxiety, without quite meaning that they meet all of the criteria. You can find a screening tool* for kids and for adults put together by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (*which gives you information, but you will want to meet with a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist for a true screening). 

What makes anxiety a disorder?

Generally speaking, an anxiety disorder gets in the way of your everyday life, and is harder to manage. It comes up in multiple environments, so home and school, or work and home. 

Physical symptoms of anxiety - your body clues:

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12 Tips for Winter Break: Build Family Traditions

12 Tips for Winter Break: Build Family Traditions

This week!

We’re looking at cooking together, family traditions, and gratitude.

Tip 10: Cook Together

When you cook with your kids, you teach them fundamental skills - and you get this great opportunity to teach yourself patience as well. Make something fun, and take deep breaths when they spill the flour everywhere.

When you cook together, you provide this possibility of your child having a positive memory forever. I still remember my dad letting me cut up the apples for a Thanksgiving pie when I was 8. Or my grandma letting me bake cakes with friends in her kitchen during highschool. Small things have a big impact.

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12 Tips for Winter Break: Having Fun and Letting It Go

12 Tips for Winter Break: Having Fun and Letting It Go

Tip 7: Read Together

Some of my fondest memories of my grandmother are when we’d sit down together on the couch, teacups in hand (lots of milk and sugar in mine), and she’d read to me. Brothers Grimm or Roald Dahl or something she’d heard about from her work as a librarian. I’m 30 and I still remember the smell of her clean shirt and how safe and comfortable I felt.

Reading is a simple way to build connection with your kid. We’re not in charge of what memories really stick with them. So why not provide as many opportunities for positive, peaceful memories as you can?

Tip 8: Arts and Crafts

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12 Tips for Winter Break: Relax - and Have Fun!

12 Tips for Winter Break: Relax - and Have Fun!

We’re continuing our 12 Tips for Winter Break! This week: How to actually enjoy everything.

Tip 4: Be Chill

Relaxing is kind of hard to do as a parent - you need to be on top of everything. But over winter break, there are so many great opportunities to just take it down a notch and chill out. And when you take the time to relax (and take care of yourself), you’ll feel so much more ready to be calm for your kids.

As a parent you have a million things on your to do list already, so I hate to add one more… But maybe it helps to view this more as an opportunity instead of a demand! When we’re calm, our kids are easier to calm. Which is why tip four leads directly to:

Tip 5: Relaxation Plan

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