Energy Strategies for Children to Stay Balanced and Resilient
By Tanya Levy, MSW, RSW, CCC
Children are perceptive to the things going on in their world. They can experience stress in their families, in their friendships, because of the current pandemic, from illness or physical challenges, in their learning or from what they read in social media. Stress can show up as an imbalance in the energy field and bring symptoms of fatigue, irritability, anger, sadness and so on. This article will look at strategies to help children remain resilient and keep boundaries that support balance, calm and peace. Children often need support and validation of their feelings and thoughts as they find their place and voice in the world.
Children may know a stressful experience is coming up such as a trip to the dentist, taking a test or giving a speech. The joy bubble is a way to protect their energy field. Have the child think of their favorite color. Then have them imagine a bubble or ball around themselves in their favorite color. If they have a hard time picking a favorite color, blue, pink, or turquoise tend to be easy to visualize. Have them imagine a bubble around them in that color. Next, tell them to call this a joy bubble. When they are inside this bubble, only joy gets in and out. You can experiment with different types of bubbles or filters. For example, you may choose a love bubble so only love gets in or out of the bubble.
Blowing energy bubbles
Following the theme of color and bubbles, sometimes children have a hard time sleeping when they are stressed. One strategy I find helpful at bedtime is to pretend to blow bubbles and attach a color to each one. You can take turns. So, the child pretends to blow a bubble and says, “orange”. Then you pretend to blow a bubble and say, “magenta” and so on. The act of pretending to blow a bubble and choosing a color helps empty the mind.
Think for a moment of how much children love colors. For example, green like a frog, or grass, or a stop light that is green for go. The color meditation is about pulling the colors through your body. It is a way to clear the energy field and a great strategy to remove stress or help a child sleep. The easiest way to do a color meditation is to go through all the colors of the rainbow. Start with red. Imagine pulling the color red up through your toes, your legs, your torso, your arms, your neck and your head. Let the color red rest in your mind and that let it flow back down your body and down through your toes. Continue with all the other colors of the rainbow: orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. You can also use gold and silver as they are cleansing colors and imagine the whole rainbow. For the final color ask the child which color stood out or felt the best and redo that color. This is a way to remove stress and build resiliency.
Feet on Ground
One of the easiest ways to remind children to feel strong in their bodies and their lives is to feel their feet on the ground. They can pretend to be a tree and feel their arms and legs strong and connected to the earth. If they feel any stress, they can send it down through their feet to the earth. Mother Earth is the great recycler and will take anything negative and make it into flowers, new trees, and plants.
Teaching children to check in with and “scan” their bodies can help them figure out where they are holding stress or feelings and then release or let the stress go into the joy bubble or down into the earth as above. Have children begin at their toes and see how their toes and feet are feeling. Then their ankles, legs, belly area, torso, chest, fingers, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, face, eyes, and ears. It is just a gentle check in and scan. Checking in with our bodies can give us important information. Children can notice they are thirsty and take a drink of water, or their hand is sore from writing and this exercise gives their hand a break. This exercise is about being curious about what is happening inside their bodies.
One way to take your mind off stress is to notice your external environment. An easy way to do that is 54321. You can notice 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. You could also add different things to notice to make it more fun. For example, notice 2 things you see to the left, 2 things you see to the right, or 2 things you hear in front of you, and 2 things you hear behind you. When you look up what are 2 things you see or hear, when you look down what are 2 things you see or hear. The whole point of the exercise is to help a child get out of their head away from stressful thoughts.
A creative way to get feelings out or blocked energy is to doodle or draw what you are feeling. If a child doesn’t know where to start, simply print off a picture to color in. Another fun way to doodle out feelings is to put on a favorite song or show and have them draw while they watch or listen. Or pick a feeling like sadness or anger and ask them what color is that feeling? How would you draw it?
Nature photo walk
A final strategy is to have a child go for a walk in nature and bring back a stone or item that gives them joy or take a photo.
Tanya Levy is a Counsellor in a Community College in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and is a member of the Atlantic Therapeutic Touch Network – one of our partner organizations. Trained in Touch for Health, Raising BioEnergetic Awareness, as well as Therapeutic Touch, she provides personal counseling for adult learners, and is known for her optimism, wisdom, and sense of humour. A writer, poet and an inspirational photographer she creates digital healing art from the photos she takes of nature, sky and light where hearts are known to appear spontaneously. You can see her digital art at https://www.facebook.com/heartladyinspiration Her writing has appeared in the “365 series” created by Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck. She can be reached at email@example.com.