Chris Hemsworth and the team of health and fitness experts behind his online health wellness platform Centr (opens in new tab) have created a series of meditations for kids experiencing stress and anxiety as the Coronavirus pandemic continues. The meditations provide guided sleep visualizations and positive thoughts to help children aged four to 10 maintain a healthy mindset.
As many kids are now being home-schooled during the pandemic, Hemsworth and his team, which includes psychotherapist Alexis Naim and meditation experts Fabrice Midal and Ally Bogard, intend for the meditations to also help ease the worries of parents who are concerned about their children feeling anxious or stressed. The meditations and guided visualizations will be available on Centr starting this week.
Making the announcement on Instagram, Hemsworth said: “If you find yourself in a situation like myself and a lot of people, where you’re having to homeschool your kids and you’re failing miserably – because it’s not an easy task, it is a very difficult job teaching and I have a boundless respect for teachers globally...
“If you are having this trouble, a friend of mine suggested doing guided visualizations with them [kids]. I thought this would not work as my kids are allergic to sitting still but to my surprise it actually did,” Hemsworth continued. “It has calmed them down because kids are also feeling anxious and stressed like us and probably more so because they don’t understand the situation and it's difficult for us to explain it to them.”
Watch Hemsworth explain the new meditations for kids in the video below...
Hemsworth will also be narrating, "a few meditations, children-specific meditations – sleep visualizations, positive thoughts – and you may get something from it." The meditations, written by Centr's clinical psychologists and certified meditation coaches, will sit inside the Explore section of the app. The content will include an initial range of sleep visualization techniques and themed meditations, which may be expanded on if the demand is there.
The Child Mind Institute (opens in new tab) is also offering daily tips via email for parents and caregivers who want to help look after their child's mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis.
Up until April 5, Centr was offering a free six-week trial period to new members. Although this has now ended (subscription costs range from $29.99 a month to $119.99 for 12 months), you can still get a free seven-day trial to the platform. This should give you enough time to see if your kids find the meditations and guided visualizations helpful, and there’s plenty of meditations for you to take advantage of too, especially if you’re feeling stressed or worried.
As a fully-featured diet and fitness program, Centr also provides access to 1,000+ workouts and 500+ meal recipes. The workouts include HIIT, boxing, muscle building, pilates and yoga, while the diet side of the program included recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Diet and exercise has a noticeable impact on our mental health, with the World Health Organization’s physical activity recommendations (opens in new tab) stating that adults aged 18-64, and who are able to exercise, should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise a week. If you don’t know how much exercise you’re currently getting, we have reviewed the best fitness trackers to help you keep track of your daily activity and workouts.
Mental wellbeing for kids
In addition to Centr, there are other alternative platforms for helping kids unlock the benefits of meditation. One of the most popular is Headspace (opens in new tab), which offers a dedicated program of meditations for children, as well as soothing sounds and bedtime exercises, all designed to help little ones cope better with feelings of stress and anxiety and to sleep more soundly.
Headspace is currently offering your first two weeks for free if you take out an annual subscription ($69.99 a year, which works out at $5.83 a month), or the first week free if you take out a monthly subscription ($12.99 a month).
Keeping children enjoyably occupied is another way to help them manage stress and anxiety, though we appreciate that’s not always easy – especially if you are holding down a job as well as homeschooling them. We recently rounded up 5 activities to keep kids busy all day, while for kids who enjoy gaming, the World Health Organization recently surprised us all by saying playing video games is good for us.
Looking for new tech to help you download the health and wellness apps you’d like to trial or subscribe to? Then take a look at our guides to the best tablets and the best smartphones. If your child is musically-inclined, we have also rounded-up the best online piano lessons and the best guitar lessons online.