For children navigating the complexities of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), cultivating mindfulness can be a powerful tool to foster well-being, resilience, and a sense of calm.
Our mission is to empower children with MCAS to embrace the present moment, develop self-awareness, and build a toolkit of mindful practices to navigate the challenges they may encounter. Whether your child is newly diagnosed or has been living with MCAS, these activities are designed to foster a sense of connection, peace, and joy.
Research has proven that regularly practicing affirmations has many mental and physical benefits, including decreasing stress, boosting feelings of optimism, and strengthening resilience. Affirmations are positive statements or mantras that you repeat to yourself, either silently or out loud. When they are repeated consistently, positive affirmations can help “rewire” your brain to support the changes you are hoping to achieve by using them.
We have given some simple ideas below, to start you off:
I am smart, amazing, and powerful.
I don’t need to worry. I can try again.
My heart is full of kindness and courage.
I am deserving of happiness and love.
The Emotion Octopus
This can work with any animal, not just an Octopus.
It is a great craft activity for kids on a rainy day because they can really express themselves when making it. This octopus can have a whole array of silly faces or emotions and be all the colors of the rainbow. .
Once it has been made, it can then be used as a tool when it comes to talking about or coping with emotions.
You can find a list of what you will need and watch a step-by-step on how to make the Octopus here.
Build-a-Face Story Stones
Sometimes children can struggle to put their emotions into words or express them in effective ways.
Round up some rocks and give each one a facial feature, including eyes, noses, & mouths in different expressions.
You then need to draw a large oval 'face' on some paper for the stones to sit on.
Enourage children to create faces with the story stones and then talk about the emotions they created.
You can read more about how to create and use the stones here.
For those children that are OK with the outside elements, this is a great mindulness activity to move the body and rest the mind.
Take a walk, and look for something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Keep going through the colors, in order, until the end of your walk.
Here are some suggestions to make the walk more interesting:
Bring a sketchbook--even if you're not an artist, this will help you really focus on what you're looking at; or
Write in your journal about the things you noticed and how they made you feel.
If you are doing the walk with multiple people, you could encourage them all to do it in silence and then compare what they found when you get back home.
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