Many people place emphasis on healthy eating habits, staying active, and the overall child’s physical wellbeing. To many people, mental health affects only adults, but the truth is that mental health affects everyone’s feelings, thinking and actions. So, the kids aren’t left out. The rate of mental issues in kids is increasing at an alarming rate. And this article is aimed at enlightening and educating all n kids and their mental health in order to create proper awareness to address issues that may arise.
World Health Organization (WHO) defined mental health as,” a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’’. Child mental health refers to the complete well-being and optimal development of the emotional, cognitive, social and behavioural domains because of the unique developmental characteristics.
Mental health issues in kids include; bullying, worry or anxiety, feelings of anger, sadness, difficulty in coping with stressors, depression, physical or sexual or emotional abuse, difficulty in getting along with others or being involved in activities, self-harm, to mention but a few. Good mental health in kids concerns the creation and encouragement of healthy habits such as sharing and acknowledging their feelings, correcting unhelpful and negative thinking, showing empathy, resilience building and influencing daily relationships activities.
Activities for kids’ Mental Health
Having a good mental health is germane to all-round healthy development of children. One of the best medications for kids’ mental health is providing the right and necessary tools to navigate stressors in their daily lives in order to thrive in all areas. When kids have the proper support, they are able to go through mental health challenges that might occur in their developmental stage easily. Here are some mental health activities that can be incorporated at home, at school for kids to enable them to have a complete wellbeing.
Coloring Activities: Coloring is a relaxing activity for kids’ development; these pages are fun and can assist kids with creating essential abilities and deal easily with the stressors. These abilities include; eye-hand coordination, relating with the characters, coloring ideas and picture understanding, structure the establishment for early learning achievements. Kids, who engage in kids coloring pages and pictures, by and large obtain and use information all the more successfully. The demonstration of coloring can improve engine abilities in youngsters. The movements engaged with coloring like holding the apparatuses and jotting with colored pencil can aid in the advancement of the little muscles in the wrist, fingers and hands as well as their mental wellbeing.
Thought Testing: this activity involves teaching kids using their thoughts process. Kids can be taught how to think positively and be optimistic when faced with challenges or difficulties. This will enable them to boost their self-esteem, self-awareness and self-confidence in order to help them recover from failures, setbacks, and depressive state or emotional issues with the motivation to remain hardworking.
Play Method/Activities: to kids, play is a great fun time. Playtime and playing is important to their development just as food is essential to their physical wellbeing and care. Play helps them to be creative and innovative, improve their problem-solving skills, and learn discipline and self-control. Engaging in physical play activities such as running, acting, yelling, is a great way to have fun, be physically and mentally fit at all times.
Deep Breathing: stress is a common and a major contributor to mental health issues in kids which results into anxiety and depression. It can develop physical effects such as suppressing the immune system from fighting sicknesses on frequent basis. Kids can response to stress easily through is to practice deep breathing by inhaling the air through the lungs. This can help to slow the heart rate and stabilize the blood pressure. The regular supply of oxygen through the brain stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, promote the state of serenity and connection for the body, response to the sense of calmness during the moments of high-stress.
Regular Exercise: exercise is one of the best activities for kids’ mental health and aerobic exercise helps to boost one’s mood. Aerobic activities such as dancing, cycling, and swimming, walking and jogging reduce anxiety and depression or sadness. Engaging in exercises is a stress reliever that improve mood, ensure better sleep, reduction in cholesterol level. Improve the cardiovascular health, enhancement of mental alertness and increase stamina/energy.
Social Interaction: kids are gregarious in nature and social interaction could be face-to-face- get- togethers, virtual meetings. Social interaction is one of the best way to relief from stress and the instinct to seclude from others. Kids can interact with family, friends and other kids in their community to be happier. The feeling of connection through social interaction helps to keep check on the depression and anxiety level as a defensive mechanism as well as experience a boost in self-esteem, have a higher sense of empathy towards others, be more trusting and easily cooperate with others. Social interaction and maintenance of healthy relationships can enable complete wellbeing.
Reading: reading can be structured or voluntary book reading with the aim of dealing with mental health difficulties. This is one of the best ways to decrease depressive symptoms, calm the mind and relax the body. It also aids the decrease in blood pressure and slows the heart rate. Studies have found out that reading fictional books and characters can increase empathy, improve social skills and help the building of interpersonal relationships. Commitment to reading provides an escape route from the stressors and help to get back on track to ensure a sound mental health.
Gaming: games are not only for fun but can help to make kids happier and smarter. Engaging in games enhance personal, emotional and social wellbeing as well as strengthening the brain. Playing board games,learning games, video games, and other games stimulate kids mentally, physically and emotionally, enhance their memory, learning ability and attention span.