As we start to become more aware of the importance of physical and mental wellness, the benefits of thermal wellbeing and the ways it can be incorporated with complementary therapies are starting to be realised. Thermal wellbeing is seen in the mainstream as geared to adults with a gym membership or access to a spa. But actually, wellness begins from birth. In this series we take a look at the 4 stages of life and show how wellbeing can be incorporated into your lifestyles to ease each transition ….
Toddlers to Teens
This is probably the most stressful and confusing, yet delightful age for both children and their parents. There is so much to deal with as screaming babies turn into toddlers and then into teenagers and all the angst which that can bring! Children are learning to deal with the world in general, growing independence, school, friends, exam stress, adolescence, and social media. If ever there was a life stage that required a way to achieve mental peace and physical awareness it’s this.
So how can thermal wellbeing and general wellness help? Well, it can start as early as a few months old with baby yoga, baby massage and swimming being the most commonly sought therapies to encourage sleep and relaxation. Babies and toddlers can also benefit from using salt rooms, especially if they suffer from respiratory problems such as colds and asthma. Salt is 100% natural and safe for children. Combine it with sensory play for babies, and for older children, let them relax with a book lying on heated loungers. This ‘time-out’ can be essential for mental health.
Younger children can also use a sauna or steam room safely, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Sauna’s do not have to be set on a fierce heat, set the temperature lower and let children sit on the lower benches where the heat is less intense. This is great for family time too, a time to set aside phones and talk together. The heat of thermal rooms and/or heated loungers can also help with the discomfort of period pains and aid restful sleep. Add essential oils to saunas and steam rooms to help revitalise or relax and again, help get a good night’s sleep. And don’t think that you can’t make it fun – play funky music to keep them interested and install colour changing lighting! Loud music has it’s place within wellness – see our previous post Techno Spa Chromotherapy is proved to help improve your mood – always useful with a teenager!
The digital age is informative but can be cruel too. There is a higher number of young people with mental health problems than ever before in a world where you can never really be disconnected. How many young people do you see that never put their phone down or venture far from some kind of screen? Too many. This can have a really damaging effect on mental health and wellbeing from the pressures that always being connected can bring. Bullying, peer pressure, pressures to look a certain way, searching for validation and approval. Children should be encouraged to get out and exercise, even just walk for half an hour a day, and to try a digital detox every day, especially before bed. Easier said than done, but maybe we need to lead by example. Healthy eating should also be encouraged alongside exercise to help beat childhood obesity which is an increasing problem.
Mindfulness for children and teenagers is a great way for them to become more aware of both themselves and their emotions, and the world around them. Schools are starting to pick up on the importance of this and the Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.
Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced less stressed future generation.