Mental health is a complex and overwhelming concept for children and adults. Despite many campaigns and exposure, people still get caught up in hectic schedules neglecting mental and emotional well-being.
Despite this knowledge, many adults still live in trauma from past bad experiences, making it impossible to raise mentally healthy children. Recent studies suggest that about 20% of children in the US have a mental condition. According to experts, emotional or behavioural disorder inhibits children from reaching their full potential, and the numbers are increasing.
Medics have acknowledged the need to use technology to enhance mental health and improve the general well-being of their patients. Mobile apps such as mobile progress note generator are one of the ways technology has dramatically enhanced mental and available medical care today. They enable health workers and caregivers to create, sign, and submit notes electronically. Improved healthcare taking precautions for children’s well-being is an excellent way of preserving the next generation.
Due to the complexity of self-care for children, adults and caregivers must find seamless ways to boost children’s mental health. Here are practical ways to incorporate into the little ones’ routine to promote their well-being.
During sleep, children retain the information they have learned throughout the day. It is also the crucial time for restoration that the little bodies recharge. Sleep is critical to children’s performance, learning, and general well-being. One way to boost children’s mental health is by establishing a consistent and healthy sleep routine.
Ensure children go to bed and have enough uninterrupted sleep. Before midnight, they enjoy deep non-REM sleep, which benefits young children. An early bedtime routine between 7pm–8pm allows children to have good quality and deep sleep, which boosts concentration levels the next day.
Sleep deprivation is among the leading causes of mental health issues among children. Though other factors may force a change in the sleeping routine, always ensure that children, even teenagers, get a good whole night’s rest.
Establish an inclusive family routine
Many times kids resist routines; however, they crave structure. Family routines are crucial as they not only take care of the well-being of children but ensure every member’s needs are considered.
Unpredictable events increase anxiety. Routines help children develop a sense of security and limit power struggles. Children brought up in organized setups handle transitions better and report little pressure.
Simple daily routines emphasizing time to wake up, eat, do assignments, playtime, chores, and bedtime schedules help children develop the structures needed to cope with their world. Another essential yet underestimated element in family routine is building slow-down time. During the day, slow-down time helps children learn to make well-thought choices. Exercises like deep breathing and yoga wire children’s brains for success.
Introduce the healthy eating
Healthy food profoundly impacts kids’ brain development, mood, and attention. Find a way to encourage and get children excited about eating healthy. Involve them when picking foods at the store and encourage them to have a rainbow of fresh meals.
A healthy diet immensely contributes to the mental and physical well-being of the children and family. Keep healthy snacks like apples, nuts, raisins, and pretzels in the car to eat while on the go.
Try and have at least one meal together as a family every day. Having meals together as a family is a great way to improve your child’s mood and boost their self-esteem.
Help children express their emotions in writing
Many people struggle with identifying and healthily expressing emotions. This is a skill that one can learn from about three years old. To help children express themselves, teach them words to describe feelings and discuss the characters’ emotions in their favourite stories.
Learning to identify and express emotions benefits children in developing better social relationships. Children that can use emotion-related words are likeable and are likely to get the social support of others.
Journaling gives your child a private space to express their thoughts and work through them. From 6-7, children can slowly learn expressive writing, like journaling, which enables them to map out emotions and make sense of their experiences. A child who keeps a diary manages stress better and is better at creating solutions than their counterparts.
Help children creatively express themselves
Art therapy helps children reconnect with their emotions and help them understand them. The practice is physically and mentally beneficial to everyone, regardless of age. This form of therapy provides cognitive support, which leads to more robust mental health, and physical benefits.
Moulding clay, colouring, and painting are some art activities that motivate the little ones to work on their mental well-being.
Children who practice music creation, like playing an instrument, develop a high sense of self-awareness and help in cognitive development. When a child is connected with their emotions, they cope better with life situations, leading to good mental health and well-being.
Performing arts are expressive therapies that significantly impact your children’s mental health. Dancing is an influential art that helps express emotions constructively and healthily, motivating your child into a self-care routine. During a dance, endorphins are elevated, hence boosting their mood.
Enough play is critical and one of a child’s essential needs for healthy development. It provides opportunities for children to engage with others healthily, regulate impulses, and think creatively.
Incorporate play that involves regular physical activities and exercise. Play helps to tap into endorphins and boosts the participants’ moods. Outdoor physical activities are great stress relievers for everyone. Plan for a walk or hike around the neighbourhood. Where possible, encourage your child to join organized sports.
Little ones, like adults, thrive when they feel a sense of belonging. While some children only need a few close friends, others do well in more extensive group activities with regular engagements. Identify what works best for your child and facilitate the best option for them regarding their strengths, personality style, and vulnerabilities.
Introduce activities that will build your children’s social skills in your community. Ensure they are age-appropriate and foster soft skills like compassion and mindfulness, among other vital things.
Learning never stops; you will need to continually learn and explore the best ways to improve your children’s well-being. Find ways to introduce the self-care concept as early as the little ones can understand. It helps to create a routine that will get them excited and involved for full participation.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.