“3 X 3 Just Breathe” Challenge

breath

Take the “3 X 3 Just Breathe” Challenge– 3 deep breaths, 3 times a day. Once when you wake up, once at midday, and once just before going to sleep.

There are lots circumstances and situations that cause stress, particularly for parents. Starting the day off with deep breaths can head your day in the right direction. Taking them midday relaxes you when things are getting challenging at home or work. Ending the day on this note is a step towards a more peaceful sleep.

Some days, I feel such tension that it’s almost like I’ve been holding my breath without knowing it. Taking a big inhale followed by a big exhale is the thing I need to do for myself every day to release that tension and focus on something other than how bonkers my kids are driving me at that moment.

If breathing is great for grown-ups, you better believe it’s great for kids too, so make it a family thing! An important skill I want my children to learn before they go off on their own is how to manage their stress and calm down. It’s a skill that needs practice, like learning to read or write.

My own children, who are currently two and three, enjoy doing these deep breaths with me. While they’re learning all sorts new academic skills each day, providing them with social-emotional skills is just as important, if not more so. As they grow, the day-to-day details of what they learn in school might be forgotten, but having a skill that helps them de-stress and calm down can stick with them forever!

As a school psychologist, the use of breathing to de-stress and calm down was a technique I frequently used with individuals and classrooms of students. However, having them do this at school without them doing it at home too usually meant that the strategy wouldn’t become part of their routine. That’s why I’ve come up with the “3 X 3 Just Breathe” Challenge– families can work on this together, so everyone can reap the benefits.

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