Can Play be relaxing? Children and wellbeing.
I’ve come to thinking. How often do we tell the children here on site to ‘Calm down’? and how often do we hear parents telling their super excited kids to “Stop being so excited’?
And although we love to hear the happy noises of children playing, how often do we actually teach the kids to relax? I’ve been wondering if we can give them too the tools to unwind, put their feet up and enjoy that 'me time’ that we value so much.
The book I so lovingly bought myself for Christmas “The Relaxation Response” by
Herbert Benson, highlights the physical benefits of relaxation. The book also explains how we can actually heal our physical selves through a relaxed mind without quite so much need for medication. I’ll be studying this alongside Aromatherapy throughout the year so that I can share with you here onsite some of the natural aromas and techniques that help us to ‘feel better’, and to relax. You’ll also be able to spend time in some of the wellbeing areas that I hope to create, with art installations in the woods and a Wellbeing Garden in one of our new areas.
So, as I’ve been fantasising about our new play areas, paddling pool, play tent and play areas in the woods, I’ve been keeping in mind the need for our younger guests to relax too. So 'Play Tent' becomes ‘Quiet Play Tent' or 'The Bedtime Story Room', or The Reading Room.. depending on how I feel that weekend! But Play has to be at the heart of it. Children can play quietly without being told to, but they do need our support. Kids can be absorbed in board games or reading and crafting and making without the excited screaming that keeps us adults from being able to relax.
Of course the children need to be able to make noise and scream and run and let off steam, and there are endless paths and woodlands and meadows and trees and times for that, but if they have a calm place to retreat to, to relax and just be, there might not be such a build up of steam.
So, here’s to planning a relaxing break, with quiet spaces for all to benefit both yours and their wellbeing.
See you soon at Welsummer, Big and Small!
The Relaxation response Herbert Benson M.D.