Imagine… You almost got into a car accident. You swerved out of the way just in time, phew! Your body tightened up (especially the jaw, shoulders, and face) and your mind started to race. After a couple of minutes, those feelings dissipated–you are back to baseline and you can go about your day as normal.
If you experience chronic stress/anxiety having the option of moving back to baseline sometimes is not a reality. People who have experienced trauma often times don’t have the opportunity to ‘shake it off’.
So how can we help everybody? The people who have experienced trauma, special needs, and neurotypical humans? How do we get everyone on the same page to then learn and connect socially? One tool is to get everyone from fight/flight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest and digest (parasympathetic nervous system). How?
Create a consistent time to practice together
Patience and practice- Consistency will help change the brain/behavior
Explain the importance of connecting mind, body, and breath: Why are we practicing relaxation techniques?
Lead by example. Do you need a moment to collect yourself? Perhaps letting others know that you need to take a few deep breaths to feel better.
Below is a video that is helping all bodies calm their nervous system. It is not specifically for youth, it’s for adults too! This video (1 of 30) was created with the adult in mind. Feel free to press play and participate alongside youth.
The 5-minute video below can be done in the comfort of a chair. There is no movement required.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to connect!
Julie Campilio, founder
Roots Up is an evidence-based video curriculum hosting 5-minute videos that soothe the nervous system and calm the body and mind. Using deep breathing techniques, mindfulness, and guided relaxation we help children and caregivers learn to access their inner resources and build their own unique toolkit for big emotions.