How to De-stress
- Learn what stress is and understand the effects of stress
- Learn how to manage stress
- Learn what to eat and what not to eat to help prevent stress
Materials: Flip-chart sheets (plan for the day, keywords, recipe, attendance sheet), whiteboard, dry erase markers and eraser, name tags, extension cords and extension strip, kitchen knives, cutting boards, blenders, tablecloth, 1 bowl and spoon per child, gloves, Medjool dates, date soaking water, avocados, coconut oil, carob powder, bananas
Plan for the Day
Exercise: Red Light, Green Light
Establish a starting line and finish line. Everyone begins along the starting line with one person calling out the lights. When you say “green light,” all players will move as quickly as they can towards the finish line. When you say “red light,” everyone must immediately stop moving. Players who keep moving when it is a red light are out. Start a new round when everyone gets across the finish line or when most players make it across the finish line.
Get ready to relax. You can sit in a chair or lie down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Now breathe out. Breathe in, and breathe out. Keep breathing slowly like this. Feel how it relaxes you to breathe deeply. One way to relax your body is by breathing deeply. Imagine that your body is like a balloon. When you breathe in, feel your chest and sides expanding, like a balloon filling with air. When you breathe out, imagine your body is like a balloon shrinking with the air being let out. Breathe in like a balloon being blown up. Now breathe out, like a balloon being emptied. Let the air out by blowing the air through your mouth. Keep breathing and simply relax. There is nothing you need to do right now except relax quietly. Be still for a moment, then open your eyes to look around the room. When you are ready, get up and return to your usual activities, feeling awake, but still feeling relaxed and calm.
Tell the children that visualization relaxation is a skill that can be learned; the more you practice, the more skilled you will become, and the more effectively you will be able to relax using visualization.
Ask the kids: What is stress?
- Act out an example of stress: One teacher will sit and pretend to do their homework at a table. Each teacher will then come up while teacher #1 is trying to concentrate. They will make noise, move around, ask him/her questions, try to clean the table teacher #1 is sitting at,
- Break kids into groups of 4 with a teacher in each group. Help them to brainstorm 5 stressful situations and write them on the whiteboard. Have each group choose a stressful scenario without telling the other
- Each group will then have 5 minutes to put together a quick skit to act their scenario out. One group acts out their stressful situation while the others sit as an audience and guess which scenario they are acting
Ask the kids: How do you de-stress? What helps you de-stress?
Go over the strategies to combat stress in children:
- Eat healthy, real foods
- Meditate (can use as an activity if time allows)
- Talk it out
- Sleep—how much sleep?
Reflection: Share what they learned without repeating what others say.
Our Free Sample Recipe
Carob Mousse and Banana
Equipment Blender Kitchen knife Measuring spoons
- 5 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water
- 2 avocados 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 2 bananas
- ¼-½ cup date soaking water as needed
- Blend avocados, dates, coconut oil, and carob powder in a blender
- Thin mixture with soaking water from dates to desired
- Serve with sliced banana or berries of your
- Enjoy right away or refrigerate.