5 Activities that help calm anxiety


Anxiety is so common in our children. I still remember reading the word anxiety in ‘Dolly’ or ‘Girlfriend’ magazine when I was a tween, but never fully understanding what it meant. Then one day I decided to look it up… I couldn’t believe how well one word described me! I was terrified to go out with new people, worried what they would think of me, I was terrified in the classroom, thinking over and over in my head ‘this is too hard, this is too hard’. I would stress out about not having friends, I would stress out about what I had said to them. I had anxiety!

I see this in so many of my students, way to much worry for someone so small. Of course for them the worry doesn’t seem to last long… or does it?

So what can we do to help this situation? In my classroom there are 5 activities that I do to help anxious children stay calm.

1. Breathing

We do a breathing exercises that help them stay calm. We make ourselves a boat and we watch it rock on our bellies. We do this when have just come in from lunch or we have had a fairly heavy day. The kids enjoy watching the boat rock forwards and back and in order to move the boat they have to breath deeply.

2. Drawing

Drawing and colouring in can be very calming for children. We have fun loud art time, although when they need it I ask that all the children are quiet and they sit and enjoy the calm art time. It can be quite meditative.

3. Daily plan

Each day we go through exactly what we are learning. This way children can become more mentally prepared for the day and are less anxious about what’s coming next. I also have a visual timetable on the board to help with this. This can work at home too.

4. Journalling

Putting feelings down on paper can be very relaxing and therapeutic. It is away of expressing the feeling and letting go of any worry.

5. Movement

Think can be jumping jacks for a burst of 2-5 minutes. It can be a bit of yoga or a walk around the block. This movement can help children forget about what they’re worried about and shift there thinking into a more positive direction.

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  1. Chrissie says:

    Some great, and very easy to remember ideas. I work with a lot of ASD kids who really need their routine or daily events to be planned out the last minute…we encourage them to be more flexible and teach them ways of coping if things don’t go to plan xx

    • Alex says:

      Yes! Definitely agree, it is a must for students with special needs also students with ADHD and behavioural issues. Thanks for reading Chrisie x

  2. wendy says:

    I shared this on my FB page as I feel it would be very helpful to some of my readers. I love the simplicity of what you have shared. I appreciate simple but effective strategies (like breathing). Moms are busy enough as it is, implementing something simple like this is very realistic and manageable. thank you!

    • Alex says:

      Thank you so much Wendy, I’m happy you found it useful. I love doing simple activities like the ones mentioned in the article too, they are super quick and fun for the kids to do. xx

  3. Erin says:

    While in therapy they encouraged us to do colouring in a mindfulness way – of which I struggled with. These are all really helpful tips ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. When youโ€™re feeling anxious, you might feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. You might even do things that unwittingly fuel your anxiety . You might hyperfocus on the future, and get carried away by a slew of what-ifs.

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