Blue's Blog May 2020
May 1, 2020 - pdf version
May is here and did you know that May is Mental Health Month and Physical Activity Month. With all that is going in our world, we need to really think about our mental health and the mental health of our children and in my opinion, these two go hand and hand.
A lot of you may not know what mental health is, but it can be described as the ability to cope with one’s feeling of stress, sadness, worry or sleep problems. The Center for Disease Control states that in children it is when there is a serious change in the way a child learns, behaves, handles their emotions, and has distress and problems getting through the day. When this goes on for an extended period of time and feelings like these are constant and interfere with sleep, relationships, daily lives, then they may have a mental illness. Just like having a cold or a rash, a mental illness requires treatment either talking to someone, going to the hospital, or taking medicine.
In today’s world it is estimated that over 17 million children are affected by some form of mental illness such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and/or behavior problems. Mental, behavioral and developmental problems begin in early childhood. 1 in 6 children between the ages of 2 and 8 are diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. Additionally, some of these conditions occur together resulting in children battling multiple mental illnesses like anxiety, depression and behavior problems.
Knowing all of this and the fact that we are all “sheltering in place” we reached out to our good friend Heather Dennis Murphy, a licensed clinical social worker and counselor with Live Oak Counseling. Heather knows the toll social distancing it taking on children. Sometimes all of us experience a high degree of stress and need to bring ourselves back down. This is true in kids as well and it is called grounding. To get “unstuck” children can try to focus on things they can see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. Heather also encourages children to de-stress through progressive muscle relaxation. If you see that your children are experiencing a high degree of stress or anxiety, we encourage you to try these “grounding” techniques.
(Check out this great video that teaches progressive muscle relaxation for children.)
My friend and I, as well as the Be Active Kids team are hoping for less stressful times in the near future! We know that together we will all make it through. Share your active pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using #beactiveblue, #caughtbeingactive, and @beactivekids.
Stay active and healthy! See you in June.
Blue the Caring Cub