A Story of Persistence: Teaching Mindfulness Through a Quarantine
Krista Gordon was a mother just like many of us… watching her young children struggle with anxiety and regulation issues, wondering what to do. One of her frustrated children had aged out of Early Intervention, and the other had just received an official anxiety diagnosis.
Right around the same time, her insurance would no longer cover occupational therapy and other options seemed expensive and limited. On a mother’s quest to help her child, Krista developed a repertoire of calming and mindfulness techniques including breathing, reiki, and yoga poses and flows specific for young children. After becoming a certified teacher, her Tranquil Little One practice was born.
Prior to coronavirus, Krista was teaching yoga classes in studios and in schools for kids, developing workshops, and even providing one-on-one consultation help with families in their homes.
Her Baby & Caregiver classes and popular “Storytime Yoga” for toddlers were not only soothing and calming to the children, but were learning tools for the caregivers to use these techniques at home. It was an opportunity to both slow down and energize the body, and learn some coping skills.
A New Way to Help Families
When social distancing became critical this spring, Krista knew she needed remote ways to continue to help the families that struggled. Since conducting classes in person was no longer an option, Tranquil Little One began offering some options online.
Knowing that not every parent could attend her full online yoga classes due to work or other scheduling constraints, Krista also committed to posting bite-sized tips throughout the week so that busy and frazzled parents could learn something new without feeling overwhelmed.
Remote Yoga Really Can Work
The response to the Tranquil Little One online options during “quarantine” has been tremendous. "Thank you for spending your time reminding us how to slow down in this craziness!” wrote one appreciative customer.
“Loved the activities from this morning and did some of them a second time before bed when the kids needed to settle down a bit. Thank you for teaching me!” wrote another grateful parent.
A side benefit of bringing her classes and tips online? Krista can reach anyone who is struggling to find coping mechanisms during times of uncertainty - even if they don’t have kids. One observer took the time to thank Kirsta for all she has done. “I have been watching, following these posts everyday, even though I don't have kiddos. I am enjoying the connection and peace you are bringing to the parents and their kiddos during such a difficult time.”
The Best Tip for Getting Through the Day
I asked Krista for her #1 tip for both parents and kids to get through the workday, now that we are at home together for the near future. Parents are juggling their current job (or stress of a lost job), the difficulty of getting groceries & essentials while still staying safe, and caring for their children (and even other relatives) all at the same time. Without the occasional break of a babysitter or school hours, we could all use an easy tip to release the inevitable underlying tension throughout the day.
Krista’s tip? The “5 Senses Breathing Technique.” It’s a technique she originally started using for her oldest child who struggled with anxiety, but Krista found that this method can work for anyone.
Simply take a quiet moment to do the following steps while breathing in an even inhale/exhale tempo.
Name 5 things you can see right now
Name 4 things you can touch and feel right now
Name 3 things you can hear right now
Name 2 things you can smell right now (Krista uses calming essential oils with her children)
Take a deep breath and name anything you can taste?
The best part? It’s simple, free, and can be done anywhere. You can even do it without anyone knowing. It’s an excellent way to calm down the anxious brain and bring your child back to the present moment..
Bonus Tip: Move!
If things are frustrating, tedious, or just not going well, Krista advises to just get up move or stretch. If you can, stretch up to the sky, bend down and touch your toes, and stimulate the blood flow to your whole body. At the very least, get up and move around to give your mind and body a break,
For younger children, try using animal themed movements to spark their imagination and get their bodies moving. For older kids or adults, try doing big marches with your arms swinging back and forth, to promote full body and mind and thinking.
Where to Find Tranquil Little One
If you’d like to work with Kritsa at Tranquil Little One, you can find her at https://www.tranquillittleone.com/. If you sign up for her mailing list, you’ll get up to date information about all of her virtual offerings, and be alerted when Tranquil Little One can transition to in-person classes and private consultations in the home. If your child (or you!) need help calming the body and quieting the mind during this unusual and somewhat stressful time, contact Krista at Krista@TranquilLittleOne.com.
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