Mental health coach running ‘calm and confident’ classes for kids
By Caomhóg Breathnach
A LOCAL mental health coach is running classes to give tools to create ‘calm and confident’ children by using a seven-step approach.
‘Relax Kids’ coach, Lynne Byrne from Clondalkin, has worked in mental health for several years and has been running classes for children in schools and communities across Dublin for the past two years.
“I became a relax kid’s coach about two years ago, and the reason being was because I worked in CAMHS for many years and while working there I found there was a gap for people that were looking for help for their kids that were anxious, and I think everyone experiences anxiety at one stage or another.
“I came across relax kids and I thought everything it embodied covered what people were looking for.
“I did the training and I thought it was amazing, so I brought it to the community and then brought it to schools which was great until we went into lockdown. Obviously since lockdown we can’t get back into the community, so in January I decided to do some online classes,” Lynne explains.
Relax Kids offers a 45-minute session which teaches children strategies for managing their emotional well-being. A normal class uses the following 7 step approach – Movement, Play, Stretch, Feel, Breathe, Believe and Relax and are beneficial in areas such as concentration, self-esteem, confidence and self-regulation.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and recent lockdown has meant that children's health and well-being is more important than it has ever been. My goal with Relax Kids is to give children the tools to manage their emotions and live happier lives both in and out of school.
“The seven steps I live by them and I go through them every week. With the younger ones I do a theme – it depends on the age group. I am using themes for the younger ones like superheroes adventures and monster motions.
“You cover so much in the class, we go through movements and then play games and we do stretch, which is based on gentle yoga moves.
“The breathing exercises are lovely because they all pick up a breathing exercise that works for them and they pick these things up thinking they are fun games, but they are actually doing techniques that helps them regulate and calm down.
“I got in touch with the libraries in Clondalkin and Lucan and they were interested in running the classes through them, which is a great platform to get the word out there to know that they are available. We did the classes through the mid-term and we are going to do them again during Easter.”
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