Most parents have awoken to the sound of their child having a bad dream, or gently soothed a little one who was having trouble settling down at bedtime. It’s not uncommon and for some families, it’s a regular occurrence. This makes for exhausted kids — and very tired parents!
Nobody likes to see their kids struggle with feelings of stress or anxiety, especially when it disrupts their sleep or impacts their well-being in other ways. About 3% of children have an anxiety disorder that may benefit from the support of a cognitive behavioural therapist or other professional. However, if your child is dealing with more commonplace nightmares or occasional stress, there are things parents can do at home to help ease their worries.
EAT RIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT
The Canadian Mental Health Association recommends that kids eat right, sleep right and move their bodies to curb common symptoms of anxiety, including those that cause sleep disruptions. “Each of these healthy activities can help reduce anxiety and make a positive difference to your whole body/mind system,” the organization shares. They also recommend getting plenty of fresh air and spending time in nature, which promotes mental wellness.
Healthy sleep habits are a critical part of managing anxiety in kids and adults alike, and there are several ways to help kids get a good night’s rest. Start with a consistent routine that promotes calm and relaxation. This may involve a warm bath, storytime or songs, a sound machine or the use of essential oils — whatever helps your child unwind and ease into bedtime.
WELLBEING HEROES COMES TO THE RESCUE
This routine may also involve a favourite blanket or even special pyjamas. We love Wellbeing Heroes Magic Pyjamas for kids with anxiety because they turn something scary into something fun. The gender-neutral pyjamas feature glow-in-the-dark patches, a worry pocket, a wishing patch and even an invisibility button! They even come with a special children’s book that tells the story of a child who banishes nightmares. What an empowering message for kids!
RELAX TAKES PRACTICE
“This may sound simple but learning how to relax deeply can take time and practice,” the Canadian Mental Health Association advises. Kids may benefit from practicing deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation or yoga. You can even work these elements into your bedtime routine. “Each of these activities can help calm both body and mind.”
We love the idea of helping your child get into some magic pyjamas after a warm bath, turning on a soothing sound machine and practicing mindful, deep breaths. What a way to send them off to dreamland feeling safe, secure and loved. These jammies are available exclusively through Toys R Us locations in Canada. Sweet dreams!