1- First, find a nice empty box at home (you can also decorate or paint a shoebox) and write a quote on it like: "This is a safe space. Peace dwells here."
2- Then, play a piece of soft, calming music like, for example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFcSrYw-ARY
3- Then practice Soft-belly breathing with your children, students, family members, or friends. It is an excellent activity that provides a profoundly relaxing effect.
Step 1. Put your hand on your belly and allow your abdomen to relax.
Step 2. Close your eyes or soften your focus and look at the floor a few feet in front of you.
Step 3. Inhale through your nose (feel the air coming through your nose and pay attention to your breath) and exhale through your mouth.
Step 4. Breathe deeply into your abdomen and feel it expand as you count to 5. If you have your hand on your belly, you can see it rising.
Step 5. Pause for a count of 1.
Step 6. Exhale slowly to a count of 5 (your belly goes down when you exhale), allowing your body to relax and release tension.
Step 7. Repeat for five breaths or until you feel relaxed.
4- Then invite your child/adolescent, student, adult family member, or friend to do a brain dump: take a piece of white paper and write all of the ideas or thoughts they have in their mind without selecting, sorting, or judging them. If they are stuck, you can encourage the child/youth by asking them questions like what worried you when you heard the news? What are the words or feelings that come to your mind?
You can write randomly, on different parts of the page it does not have to be organized.
5- Then, ask them to circle the words/ideas that are the most challenging for them.
6. Then invite them to take another piece of paper and draw/write about what bothers them: fears, concerns, sources of anger, and sadness (these things can be recent, current, or past). They can write/draw about how it makes them feel.
7. Then, when they are finished, invite them to put their drawings in the Healing Box, a safe place where their feelings and stories are protected.
Depositing the worries in the Healing Box helps them release their worries/challenges expressed on the paper and let go of things they have bottled up.
8. When and if they are ready, you can ask them if they are willing to share what they wrote and draw. Let them talk without judging or finding a solution. Be there for them, listen, and hug them if they feel like it.
We cannot always solve everything in our lives but having a space where we are seen and heard, where we are loved and connected, and a calming place where we belong is a beautiful blessing.
7. Then go outside, look at the sky and the trees, and feel gratitude for this moment together. Love resides in these moments and can help us heal 💜