A Special message from Ms. Bahgat our Speech and Language therapist.
In my work as a speech and language therapist and now a trainee
psychotherapist for children/ young people means my passion for mental health and well being is at an all time high during this crisis. If I can help anyway I can I will by sharing some practical tips and activities. Here is an activity parents can do that combines problem solving and promoting better mental health for our children.
Worry is the thief of joy:
I feel that worry is going to be something we all experience during this time, including myself. As a natural born worrier it can consume my thoughts all day.
Many children have had their routines turned upside down so the worrying feelings will be more than ever. As we know worry is the thief of all joy.
So how does it work?
An exercise I like to do, and all our children can do at home independently (older kids) or with help (younger kids) is my “worry not” exercise. It’s a worry dump tool and is a way of acknowledging and validating worries by confining them to specific times!
Next time you worry ask yourself is this a:
- Problem solving worry (A worry I can turn into a problem and solve) OR
- Might not worries (worries that may never happen but consume all our thoughts) and your day. These queries are less likely to have a solution and distract you from going about your day)
So what do I do?
In the morning take 10 minutes after breakfast to write down all your worries stuck in your mind on a piece of paper, can it be solved there and then, if no then fold those worries up and put them into a “worry not jar”. As you go about your day and a worry pops in to your head write it down fold it up and into the jar as you go along!
Postpone all worries to your ‘ worry curfew’ (a time to sit and go through your worries) usually around dinner time or before bed.
The worry curfew is a time you allocate to allow your self time to go through your worries, talk about them, say them out loud, acknowledging them and validating them. No worry is ever silly!!! As to a child that worry is very real. Talk about feelings, and thoughts around these worries.
Organise your worries from your jar, those that you are no longer worried about cross them out, then move into worries you can turn into a problem and solve, write the solutions down, then move on to the ‘might not’ worries, talk about these with your parent/ carer / siblings and then tear each of them up and throw it away. So you are throwing your worries away that may never happen clearing your mind, and you can go to bed with a worry free mind (it helps with sleep too)
Start a fresh each day, repeat the process each day, as new worries occur write them down, pop in the jar and wait until your worry curfew!!! Try and keep to the same times each day as the routine helps!
This way you don’t spend your entire day worrying!
Hope this helps some of you as it certainly helps me!