Boo to you from the MEandMine crew! Welcome to the most fang-tastic event of the season! Trick or treating, eccentric costumes, yummy treats, partying with friends, and embracing everything spooky! What’s not to love about halloween?! But with so much excitement leading up to the main event, it can also be stressful and overwhelming for parents and kids alike. But of course, it doesn’t have to be. We compiled our favorite breathing techniques to help you and your family feel calm and mindful during this ghostly holiday. Check out these breathing tips from our favorite animal pals! We witch you a safe and Happy Halloween!
Try it out for yourself!
“Breathe in 1….2….3….4…. breathe out 1.…2….3….4…. let all the troubles of your day go and remember you are safe and loved.”
Calming skills are essential for stress relief and help us stay well. Stress suppresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to viruses and other illnesses. Deep breathing is a calming skill that puts us in a state of tranquility, relaxes our muscles and helps relieve tension. Like adults, children go through the same emotional roller coaster ride, we call life.
While your children are calm, try practicing deep breathing together. It can be a fun, useful, and safe way to bond. Explain that when they are feeling big emotions this will help them return to a balanced and centered place. You may soon observe your kids go from angry to calm within several deep breaths. When they master these skills, they’ll be able to better regulate their emotions, and even show others how to calmly soothe themselves. Are you ready to try these three breathing techniques with your mini me? Let’s walk through one simple process together. First, engage your children in breathing techniques with fun and easy to visualize names. Some of our favorites are The Lemon Squeeze, Lemonade Bubbles, or Big Belly Breathing. Imagine you’re saying this to your child, we’re going to try a lemony squeezy breathy calming skill. Next, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Then, take a normal breath. Now, try taking a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Finally, breathe out slowly through your mouth or nose. Below, we’ve adapted breathing techniques into child friendly names and easy to use descriptions.
The Lemon Squeeze - Sit in a comfortable position and imagine you have a giant imaginary lemon in your hands. Take a deep breath through your nose. Squeeze the lemon with all your might, hold your breath for a few seconds. Then as you slowly exhale, relax your fists. Notice how relaxed your arm and hand muscles feel.
Lemonade Bubbles - Sit at a comfortable position and pretend you have a fresh cup of lemonade. Bring the cup up to your nose and take a deep breath in and imagine the citrusy scent of a lemon. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Next, breathe out slowly with your mouth. Visualize several tiny bubbles forming in your cup.
Big Belly Breathing - Lay down on your back and place your hand on your belly. Imagine you have a giant lemon gently sitting on top of your stomach. Breathe in and watch your belly lift the lemon. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Breathe out and watch the lemon drop down as air leaves your belly.
We all go through life, experiencing challenges and struggles that are sometimes out of our control, which puts our emotions in overdrive. However, we do have control over our breathing and can use it as a superpower for calming. Depending on how we respond to a situation, our children will develop their behaviors. When kids notice how we react, they tend to act in the same manner. Tantrums do not discriminate, everyone experiences this no matter what age. Be kind to yourself and take a deep breath with your little ones.
Remember, practice is essential for these skills to become part of a daily practice. Performing each skill once a day may be a terrific start. One round of deep breathing may not alleviate the stress immediately, so you may do three or more rounds. Keep in mind that we are not seeking perfection, rather a progression that will get us to the level we want to be. Please take a deep breath with me, Inhale, Exhale. You've got this!
For more playful calming techniques, check out our newest product, iCalm Galaxy. Learn all sorts of fun ways to regulate our emotions through building and playing your very own board game. Now available on Amazon and Shopify.
For additional suggestions from a licensed psychologist, check out Dr. Peggy Chang's Resources:
Additional breathing exercises:
Learn practical ways to help kids cop with their emotions:
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