Friday, April 10, 2015

releasing stress after disasters (and in the class, office, home)

I have a wide experience of working with children in education, special education and disaster areas - mainly as a first aid responder and re building educational systems. I believe in the power that games and physical activity have in order to help reduce stress, build self-confidence and to help construct staffs and groups of children.

The four elements I'm presenting here can help children (and adults) to be calmer, feel better and rearrange their selves in disaster areas and in regular schools, where research has shown that there are high levels of stress *.

In different positions I have had in this area I have usually used different combinations of those elements (see pictures from Haiti) and realized how fast is the impact and how it can help the children and the second and third circles of the family and the entire community.

If you choose to use them, please remember that children that need more attention/ help then others must also see a professional help (psychologist/ consultant/ other)

1. Group activities that connect the group members to the same issues, simultaneity with coping with
    small challenges. Playing short ODT games, dancing together, playing short Sport activities like-
    chase, clapping games, "catch me" and more. The main objective is collaboration and trust
     we can use different methods like- playing, football, running and more.

2. Dancing- free dance and guided dancing.
    The guided dance needs to be with local/ familiar music and create a dialogue of emotions and  
    movement. Our aim is to create a "safe space" that will encourage them to open up and talk, share
    and express emotions and letting their body talk, releasing dopamine and adrenalin while reducing
   For and example: drama dancing in which we play- happiness, anger, surprise and more.

3. Music- music is a safe field for children and adults. We give the children a space to share the
    music they like on one hand and a free options to use music. We can ask them if they want to
    dance, listen, draw it, invent movements or talk about it. the purpose is providing relaxing time.

4. Talking- information and normalization; giving the group information about what happened,    
    common coping/ problems etc., and an option to talk about everything.

Do you have questions? Comments?
I will be happy to hear them and answer.

* we can also use this elements in different way to create equal environment, self-value and more in the class, or any given group.

All the posts and materials belongs to Sharon Michaeli- Ramon ©