Self-Calming is an art that is taught. In our over-stimulating world, kids can get quite overloaded with the constant bombardment of sensory input. When in this state of over-arousal, the body goes into a state of stress called fight or flight. The fight or flight response keeps us ready and alert for possible dangers in our environment whether it’s real or imagined. If exposed repeatedly, kids use this as a baseline state and have difficulty paying attention and learning, completing tasks, and relaxing enough to fall asleep. So how do you recalibrate that thermostat?
Inside the Apps
Breathe In by Hi Mom S.A.S. is an app meant for the iPhone® but works well on the iPad® too. It was brought to my attention by Omazing Kids LLC, and for that, I am grateful. It consists of 5 breathing exercises that can be done with Bluebee. Bluebee will not only voice the directions but also gives children the calming input of deep pressure from a deep pressure squeeze to ensure listening. That is the same input as a hug, and it is also why hugs feel good. The five breathing exercises include:
- Equal Breathing to Reduce Stress
- Abdominal Breathing to Strengthen the Diaphragm
- An exercise to slow the breath to help fall asleep
- Pursed Lip Breathing to Control Shortness of Breath
- Calming Breath to Reduce Anxiety
There is lovely environmental music that can be toggled off, but it does extend the session’s exercise a bit. If this is on mobile, it can be used anywhere, anytime. And if practiced, the music will cue everyone to begin the techniques on their own. The app recommends initially trying the exercises lying down, to help support the body while learning the technique.
Windy ~ Sleep Relax Meditate & white noise sounds is one of my favorite “chill” listening soundscapes by Franz Bruckhoff. He has a series that will fit anyone’s most relaxing sounds. Some like a Windy day, others prefer Rainstorms, and still, others prefer the quiet of the woodlands. Ambient environmental sounds work by creating space and allowing time to relax and catch your breath. The thing that makes these soundscapes rock is that they can be tailored to individual tastes in the settings section. Does the sound of crickets drive you crazy? Well, turn them off! Do you like a babbling brook? Turn it up! The important thing is to respect the choice of a child, and not dictate what you prefer – which can be hard to do at times. There are surprises locked inside the app for listening and participating too. Windy is comprised of 4 “chapters” giving families a variety of soundscapes to choose from – or choose one of the others from the collection.
These are just a few of the apps used for learning to self-calm with Bluebee. Bluebee is always there as best friends tend to be – to lend comfort and a warm hug after a blustery day.