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    Tune into emotional and behavioral cues for signs that your child is having difficulty managing stress. Practice strategies that create C.A.L.M

    • Communicate: If you notice that your children are looking worried or stressed, ask them what’s on their minds. Show empathy and validate their feelings. Having regular conversations can help a family work together to better understand and address any stressors children are experiencing.
    • Get Active: Support involvement in sports and other pro social activities. Studies have shown that exercise is an important protective factor in mitigating stress and depression, and recent studies have shown that , physical fitness derived from habitual participation in physical activity seems to provide long-lasting benefits to cognitive functioning.
    • Look and Listen: Monitor if stress is affecting your teens health, behavior, thoughts or feelings, and seek professional help if needed. Listen carefully to your teens and watch for overloading. Be mindful of your own reactions to ensure you are not escalating your children or the situation. Children may express feelings of stress using other words, such as:
      • worried,
      • confused,
      • annoyed
      • angry
    • Or complain about symptoms such as:
      • Stomach aches
      • Headaches
      • Chest Pain
    • Model stress management skills such as Mindfulness

    Research has found that simply being in a mindful state momentarily is associated with a greater sense of wellbeing.

    Basic Relaxation Breathing –
    This Breathing technique is helpful in deactivating the stress response, it consists of breathing in through the nose to the count of four and breathing out through the mouth to the count of 8. When you exhale, purse your lips and blow gently like you are blowing out a candle or blowing a bubble. This will help you slow down the exhale.

    • Inhale through your nose: 1-2-3-4
    • Exhale through your mouth like blowing a bubble: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
    • Repeat 3-4 times.