Family Newsletter, May 2023
How you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health. For starters, emotional wellness doesn’t mean being happy all the time.
Emotional wellness refers to a person’s ability to cope with day to day life. It includes the way they feel about themselves and how they respond to whatever happens around them.
Good mental and emotional wellness allows your child to develop the flexibility to cope with whatever life brings throws at them. People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience.
Learning healthy ways to cope and how to draw from resources in your community can help you and your children build resilience.
Resilience is an essential component of emotional wellbeing
To build resilience:
- Develop healthy physical habits. Healthy eating, physical activity, and regular sleep can improve your physical and mental health.
- Take time for yourself each day. Notice the good moments. Do something you enjoy.
- Look at problems from different angles. Think of challenging situations as growth opportunities. Learn from your mistakes. Try to see the positive side of things.
- Practice gratitude. Take time to note things to be thankful for each day.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life. Think about how to guide your life by the principles important to you.
- Tap into social connections and community. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people. Ask for help when you need it.
Everyone feels stressed from time to time...
Whether it is the constant connection to technology, a busier schedule than ever before or other factors, today's children are facing higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than previous generations. With children feeling higher levels of stress, it's more important than ever to teach self-care and stress management skills to nurture mental health.
Stress can show up in many different ways depending on the child. It is important to be aware of your child's behaviors and emotions and to better identify when they are experiencing stress.
Signs of stress in a child may include:
- Lack of energy
- Increased complaints of pain (e.g., stomach ache, headache)
- Difficulty paying attention or concentrating at school or at home
- Change in eating habits
- Change in sleeping habits
- Avoiding activities they enjoy or withdrawing from social interaction
Use healthy ways to cope with stress!
Belly breathing can be utilized if your child needs to relax or if they are in pain. Like any other skill, the more they practice belly breathing, the better they will become. You can practice belly breathing with the whole family, no matter the age! See the Belly Breathing Worksheet for more information and tips!
A journal can be their own private book, or they can share it with others. It’s nice to start with 10 minutes of journaling. Then, the more often they journal, the more they will learn about themselves and the better they will feel! See the Journaling Worksheet for more information and tips!
Pay It Forward
Paying it forward is acting in kind or helpful ways toward another person or animal. Oftentimes, when someone is helpful to others, they may find that they feel happier themselves! Paying it forward should be used in situations when your child feels sad, lonely or angry or when someone else needs cheering up. See the Pay it Forward Worksheet for more information and tips!
Giving thanks activities help us to remember the good things that have happened. Telling others that you appreciate them or are thankful for something they have done can help you to feel good. When you focus on the good things instead of the bad things, you feel better. When you feel thankful, you feel happier. See the Giving Thanks Worksheet for more information and tips!
What about Mindfulness?
When we teach mindfulness to kids, we equip them with tools to build self-esteem, manage stress, and skillfully approach challenges. Practicing mindfulness is incredibly empowering for children. It can help them better manage stress and anxiety when it does occur. It helps with self-regulation, promotes positive emotions and self-compassion.
Explore these resources for introducing mindfulness and meditation to your children—at any age.
Newsletter Sources: National Institutes of Health, (2022)., Children's Health, (n.d.).,
Resources for Further Learning!
Emotional Wellness Resources
Resources to learn more about managing stress and building resilience
- Feeling Stressed? Ways to Improve Your Well-Being
- Dealing with Trauma: Recovering From Frightening Events
- 7 Steps to Manage Stress and Build Resilience
Resources to learn more about mindfulness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. We fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Mental Health Awareness Month provides a perfect opportunity for people to take action.
NAMI is launching the “more than enough” campaign to affirm the idea that people are inherently worthy of life, love and healing — no matter what they look like, no matter where they are in their journeys, no matter what they are or aren’t able to do, they are deserving of support, resources, fulfillment and a community that cares.
To find out ways you can support Mental Health Awareness Month, Visit the NAMI Minnesota website at https://namimn.org/