Managing anxiety in littles ones aged 3-10 can feel like a rollercoaster ride, am I right? A little anxiety is normal, but too much can totally overwhelm kids and us adults.
The good news? You can help them navigate big feelings by getting to know their new BFF - the vagus nerve!
Let me explain...
The vagus nerve is part of our nervous system and it actually helps us to reduce our fight/flight/freeze response.
So how do we wake up the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system? Through play!
Here are some fun ideas:
- Dragon breaths - take big deep breaths together. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel that relaxation!
- Mindful minutes - go on a listening walk or notice smells, sights, textures around you. It's like a mini-adventure that anchors their brain.
- Dance party - pump up the tunes and boogie down. Movement is one of the best vagus nerve boosters.
- Hug it out - we all need hugs, right? Physical affection helps the vagus nerve feel the love.
- Laughter time - tell jokes, read silly books, play games that crack you both up.
- Nature walks - even a stroll around the block can have calming effects.
Every child is different, so try out a few vagus nerve power-ups to see which ones help your child most. The goal is to create an environment where they can embrace their inner calm. Then they'll have the tools to tackle anxiety with confidence.
Remember you have a vagus nerve and anxiety too. So be sure to join in these activities with children so you can feel more refreshed as well.
There's so much more to explore around self-regulation if you're interested. Just let me know!