5 Tools for Reducing Anxiety in Children (and for you!)

mother and daughter doing a tapping exercise - stress relievers for kids
My 8-year-old daughter and I are tapping together

Schools are open (yikes!) and whether you are choosing a remote, hybrid, or any other model, we are all stressed. As we’ve shared before, managing anxiety during CoVID-19 is not the easiest, but I’m hear to help.

Here are some tools for reducing anxiety in children (and for you):

  • EFT Tapping: This one of my favorite mind-body tools. EFT Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique is an acupressure tapping method that has been proven to reduce cortisol and calm down the nervous system. I teach it to my clients as a first-aid stress management tool but it’s actually one of the best stress relievers for kids. You can learn the tapping points in this video and teach them to your kids to tap together. For younger children (under 8), I usually have them focus on one tapping area at a time (like the collar bone points or the side of the hand). The technique involves acknowledging all that you are sensing, noticing, and feeling while tapping to calm down your body. Here is a tapping meditation you can try together with your kids (best for kids aged 9 and older). Another wonderful tapping resource is The Tapping Solution App, which offers free anxiety-reducing meditations for adults, teens, and kids.
  • Synchronized Breathing: This is one of my favorite techniques to connect with my daughter and help calm down both of our nervous systems. Sit with your child. As you sit, you can hug or simply place a hand on their back. As you are sitting together begin to bring your breath to the same rhythm as him or her. This silently lets your child know that you are accepting them as they are and everything is OK. You may find that synchronized breathing gives you a meditative focus and relaxes you as well.
  • Mirroring: Sometimes all you can do is acknowledge how hard things are. Sit with your child and listen to them. Then summarize what you have heard them say and say it back to them. It is amazing how powerful a simple acknowledgment and validation can be. It lets them know that you understand them, and you trust and know that they’ll get through it. 
  • Grounding: Grounding or earthing is another one of my favorite stress relievers for kids. Placing your bare hands and feet on the ground allows you to connect with nature electrically and recharge your batteries. It is a great activity to do with your kids. As you touch the Earth together, imagine that you are releasing all the stress and anxiety to this big beautiful planet, who can handle and transform it. 
  • Salt Baths: This is my favorite way to let go of stress! Pour 1-2 lbs of Epsom salt and a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a warm bath and let go of all your worries. I have found that a salt bath also works wonders for my daughter especially after a long day or an emotionally taxing experience. Her body is able to relax deeply and she is able to fall asleep much easier after a salt bath. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still get the same benefits by soaking your feet in a container filled with warm water and Epsom salt. 

What are your favorite tools for reducing anxiety in children (and for you!)?