Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS) helps children & families prepare for the transition back to school with mindfulness tools to lessen anxiety and promote calm.
The transition back to school this year is a difficult one for many children and adolescents, whether it is in-person, virtual, or a hybrid schedule. JFS recognizes that families are anticipating so much change and uncertainty with the school year ahead. It is important, now more than ever, to teach and encourage mindfulness and calming techniques to children.
Thank you to HealthCare Foundation of New Jersey for providing the funding for back-school-transition packages for children, adolescents, and their families to use at home. Some of the items include journals, coloring books, fidget toys, art supplies, stress balls, aroma putty, and other mindfulness tools.
Mindfulness involves gaining a deeper sense of ourselves and our emotions. There are various benefits of mindfulness including reduced anxiety, strengthened self-control, improved sleep, better mood, and increased positivity and self-esteem. Clinicians often incorporate mindfulness and calming techniques in therapy and find ways to create with families a stash of tools that can be used to build self-awareness, practice breathing, and promote calm. For children who enjoy art, the process of drawing and creating can be powerful. Listening to music or writing in a journal can help children explore their feelings. Fidget toys and stress balls can help reduce anxiety and improve focus. There are so many different ways to calm our minds and bodies, and JFS has had the opportunity to provide a collection of creative items for children and adolescents throughout our community.
Marianne McCrone, MS, NCC, LPC, Program Coordinator, JFS Child & Adolescent Services stated: “While we haven’t been able to be together over the past few months (in our offices), sending these packages to the children and families we work with really means a lot. It shows our support from a distance and the acknowledgement that these times are tough. These packages have brought smiles and positivity to the kids.”
A 16 year old adolescent client reached out to JFS with many thanks as she received her package, stating: “Thank you so much for the thoughtful package. It means a lot that you are thinking of me and always there to listen when I need it. These things will help me focus. What a lovely box of happiness.”