It’s not easy being a kid in schools these days. Things like high pressure testing, a fast-paced work curriculum, trying to “fit in”, and bullying are stressful issues that kids have to deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, kids need to learn how to be able to calm themselves down in a healthy way when they are feeling stressed.
These “10 Ways to Calm Down without Anyone Knowing” are perfect to do at school because they are effective, don’t requirement equipment, and can be done discretely, even while sitting at their desk. Plus, your child won’t have to worry about feeling “different” because no one will have to know that their subtle actions are actually helping them to calm down.
10 Ways to Calm Down Without Anyone Knowing
1. Dots on Hands- Apply gentle but firm pressure to the palm of one hand with the thumb of the other. Repeat 10 times on each side
2. Arm Squeezes- Starting at the shoulder, give yourself firm but gentle slow squeezes all the way down your arm. After you reach the hand, switch to the opposite arm and repeat. Make sure you are doing them slowly. Repeat cycle 1-5 times on both arms.
3. Arm Pretzels– Start with arms stretched outright, turn thumbs down, cross arms, interlock fingers, and curl arms up to make this “pretzel” shape. Hold position while taking 5 deep breaths.
4. Chewing– Chewing on something can be very calming. Try chewing gum or the top of a water bottle (preferably one that can shifts up and down), or these pencil topper chewys.
5. Belly Breathing- Put both hands on your belly and feel it expand when you inhale and shrink when you exhale. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.
6. Fidget with something- Having an item to fidget with in your hands can help to calm your nerves. Pick “everyday” items that are easily accessible and discrete such as bracelets, pencil toppers, or pencils/pens for doodling.
7. Rub Ears- Gently massage both ear lobes to help decrease stress for 30-60 seconds.
8. Hand Presses- Firmly press hands together for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 3-5 times.
9. Take a Walk- Even within the confines of a classroom, you can still take a short walk to do things like sharpen a pencil, get a tissue from the tissue box, throw a scrap away in the trashcan, or walk to the teacher’s desk to ask a question. Even if you don’t really need to do any of these tasks, try them out because walking can help to decrease stress.
10. Drink Water- Drinking water helps to decrease stress. Many schools permit water bottles in class, but if not, try asking to go to the water fountain if you need to calm yourself down.
Make sure you talk about these strategies with your child and practice them at home before doing them at school. As always, its best to let your child’s teacher know if your child is feeling overwhelmed at school and discuss the possibility of using these calming techniques.
If these strategies aren’t helping to calm your child and you suspect anxiety or stress may be the culprit, you may want to seek professional psychology services. Fortunately, there are convenient online counseling sessions available from Better Help’s Online Psychologists.