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Children’s Mental Health Week: May 1-7

May 1 – 7, 2022 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in Maryland. This week, the City will be talking about the importance of being healthy not just in our bodies, but also in our minds. This means doing things to help ourselves and others feel better when we are feeling scared, angry, sad, embarrassed, or stressed and doing things to take care of ourselves.

Brought to you by the City’s Department of Youth, Family, and Senior Services. The Department of Youth, Family and Senior Services serves families through quality culturally-responsive clinical services and community-based programs that strengthen children’s well-being and family relationships. For more information, please email families@collegeparkmd.gov or call 240.487.3550.

HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS AS A FAMILY

With busy family schedules between work, school, and family life, it is often difficult to take a break and check-in with ourselves. Mindfulness is a practice that encourages people to be as present as possible, taking steps to slow down and notice what happening around us. When practiced regularly, mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety. Below, we share a few tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your family’s everyday lives and even use information about the law of attraction or manifesting to improve our lives as well.

  • Get outside! Going out into nature is a great way to practice mindfulness. Ask your child to try and use as many senses as they can to experience what is around them. Ask them: what do you smell? What types of sounds do you hear? What kinds of trees, flowers, or animals do you see?
  • Become emotionally curious. Ask your child about the emotions they are feeling at any given moment. If your child is feeling angry, for example, ask what anger feels like in their body. What does anger feel like? Where do you feel it? Knowing words for emotions and identifying how those feelings are felt in the body are important components of mindfulness.
  • Give thanks. Practicing gratitude is another way to practice mindfulness. At a shared meal, have the members of your family each talk about what they are grateful for that day.
  • Just breathe. One quick and easy way to regulate the body is to breathe. The 3-4-5 Breath is one that the whole family can practice together: breathe in for three seconds, hold breath for four seconds, and breathe out for five seconds.

[City of College Park]

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