One Minute S.T.O.P. Mindfulness Exercise
This is a super EASY and effective beginner tool for increasing mindfulness in kids as well as a tool to help lessen crummy feelings they don't know what to do with.
For a visual reminder to refer to, follow Next in Mind on Instagram here, and save the S.T.O.P. graphic.
This is what has worked for me. Over dinner or in the car, bring up this "One Minute Brain Break" you learned about today to your family/kids. When I introduce stuff like this to my kids, I always like to say that I tried it and it's pretty easy and made me feel so much better.
S-TOP - Stop whatever you're doing
T-AKE A BREATH - Take a big breath in a hold it then let it go
O-BSERVE - Notice how your body feels, your emotions feel, what's going on around you
P-ROCEED - Continue with your activity
When should kids (and adults) use S.T.O.P.?
Try to incorporate this at regular times every day. Ideally 3x a day, but starting with 1 is awesome. Examples- Before/during/after a snacktime or meal at home or school. When they get home from school/friends house. Before they start a sport/activity practice or homework. Anything they do regularly.
When they have a stressful moment! If they are fighting with a sibling, feeling frustrated with friends or parents, feeling mad or sad for whatever reason, feeling nervous or anxious.
This will create a habit of mindfulness and give them something they can do with their mind to combat hard moments. Over time this will become a powerful go-to strategy in their toolbox to tap into the power of their mind.