Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

We are now really in the thick of the exam season and we need to look after our children’s and young people’s mental health more than ever before.

This year group have had so much learning missed; social and emotional growing missed out on and have had the brunt of the consequences of Covid.

Many are having to sit their exams WITH Covid.

The pressure on them and their teachers is enormous.

Our neurodiverse children do not forget already have much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies since birth and are already 2-6x more likely to pick up a mental health issue. We need to be proactive rather than reactive in helping them to self-manage and self-regulate during this incredibly stressful time.

This week I have shared a few facial massage tips which can be shared on a friends and family basis, shared by therapists in their sessions or be self-administered.

They are very discreet and can even be used during the exams themselves when you feel they overwhelm building.

All the main four neurotransmitters are stimulated with the strokes, releasing love, nurture, clarity, focus, concentration, attention, feeling able to cope and function, as well as levelling out mood and aggression and helping us to feel calm. It will also promote deeper and more restful sleep – vital before such important exams and all the pressure they carry.

I am honestly thinking of you ALL.

Take care this week and keep that huge, long Summer in your mind as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lots of love, Giuliana

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Easy exam breathing and massage stress busters

Easy exam breathing and massage stress busters

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

It is that time of year again where GCSE’s and A levels begin.

As if Covid has not been enough to deal with, robbing our children of huge chunks of their education not to mention emotional and social growth, we now have many of our neurodiverse young people going through this sausage meat, one size fits all system without a formal diagnosis or any support whatsoever due to waiting lists of 3-5 years.

We need to stay as strong and positive as we can. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or sick with anxiety, I look at my hand and think to myself “Ok, outside of my hand is what I can’t control or change – but inside my hand is what I can do to handle this.”

By putting the body and brain in a proactive rather than reactive state, this will automatically reduce that chance for fight or flight to kick in.

The very discreet, easy breathing and self-massage techniques I have shared this week all stimulate non adrenaline which is the chief combat to stress.

Serotonin (the neurotransmitter of happiness, confidence, self-esteem) as well as dopamine (the neurotransmitter of concentration, attention, focus, clarity of thought) are both pushed up from the gut and into the brain.

Blood and oxygen are also pushed up into the brain just surging it with focus and concentration.

I so feel for you all. You have all been through so much. Just please remember you can only do your best and that SO SO much learning is done outside of four classroom walls. These exams certainly do not define you.

I am living proof of that. Not only did I invent my own job, but I now give talks and webinars all over the world on neuroscience …. And I barely scraped my science GCSE!

YOU define you and getting exams purely shows you can pass exams and tick boxes. It does not encourage learners or seekers.

Employers now do not just look at exam grades. They look at other skills like hyper focus, team building, passion, emotional and social intelligence.

I am a recent training I did we were told that the statistics are “IQ may get you the job but EQ (emotional intelligence) and SQ (social intelligence) will get you the promotion “.

So, I am thinking of you all over the coming weeks and I believe in you ALL.

Just do your best in an outdated system where no one really thrives and know that not only do you have the best and longest Summer ahead but the rest of your amazing lives too!

Take care, Giuliana xx

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/

 

 

 

Arm stroking - always downwards

Arm stroking – always downwards 

Arm stroking - always downwards

Arm stroking – always downwards 

Arm squeezing – always downwards

Neck massaging or stretching

Neck massaging or stretching 

Hair squeezing

Hair squeezing 

Centre of palm rotations

Centre of palm rotations 

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

The five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation

The five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation of anxiety, PTSD, and mental health 

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

It is Mental Health Awareness Week …. But mental health issues can be lifelong. If only they were just for a week!!

And what does the word “awareness” even mean?! It is an empty nod for 1 week to what is now the new pandemic for so many people.

It should be renamed Mental Health Education Week, and this is what I want to share this week.

Here in the UK, we have the hugest suicide rate in the world.

Pre Covid the statistics were that if you are autistic or have another type of neurodivergence, you would be 2-6x as likely to pick up a mental health illness than someone who is neurotypical. I wonder what on Earth the figures are now??

Fifty percent of mental health illness is laid down before the age of fourteen and 75% before the age of twenty-four.

So, let us literally take this in hand.

This week’s video shows a 5-step self-holding exercise that absolutely anyone can do to help self-regulate mental health illnesses such as anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

After just 20 seconds of touch, it is now neuroscientifically proven that the neurotransmitter oxytocin is released. This stimulates that feeling of love and nurture as well as opening up our emotional intelligence so we can think clearly, read and process faces and situations, improve our social cognition, have empathy and compassion.

It is also very empowering to self-regulate, to take charge and have the tools to manage the not-so-good days. For those who are touch averse, by putting them in control of the touch stimulates trust and openness. THEY are in charge of that touch and pressure.

You can also use these simple holding techniques on each other on a friends and family basis or get your classrooms of students to do it for themselves if you are a teacher.

If you are a therapist, please feel free to use these simple holding techniques as part of your sessions.

Take care everyone.

Look after and out for each other.

Look after yourselves too so that you are not pouring from an empty cup.

And most of all Be Kind to everyone you meet because we all carry journeys and stories inside us.

See you next week.

Love, Giuliana xx

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/?exp=4a9f

https://youtube.com/channel/UCPIsbbgORolb60cIfECiPlQ

The five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation
Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

It is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week this week and theme this year loneliness.

We can all feel alone sometimes, even when we are around other people. Longer-term loneliness can contribute to mental health conditions including anxiety and depression – making it difficult to connect with others. As a lot of services became accessible online throughout the lockdowns, it has become easier to connect with one another – as well as get access to mental health support.

A recent study by Boots that explores the changing attitudes of accessing mental healthcare online shows four in five patients (82%) would consider using digital services for mental health while 70% would prefer to talk to a doctor about their mental health or access therapy (72%) virtually rather than in person.

The number of adults experiencing depression and anxiety is still up on pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 1.6 million3 people waiting to access mental health support on the NHS.

Unlike many physical illnesses, mental health issues cannot always be seen. Indicators that someone is suffering from mental health issues could include feeling sad or down for lengthy periods, withdrawal from friends, family and social activities, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Studies have found that increased loneliness in adults with autistic spectrum conditions is associated with increased depression and anxiety, and decreased life satisfaction and self-esteem, even when controlling for symptoms of autism.

Therefore, it is a vital area that needs to be addressed when considering how to improve the daily lives of adults on the autistic spectrum.

During this week we will be sharing articles from autistic individuals sharing their experiences.

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Just breathe – by Giuliana Wheater

Just breathe …

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Four easy breathing techniques to ease stress and boost non adrenaline, focus and coping skills!

For many of us we are undergoing huge amounts of worry and stress right now. Some of our young people who are already so vulnerable to mental health issues following Covid are now also soon to undergo GCSE’s and A levels.

Those of us with children who are neurodiverse have proven stress and fatigue levels equivalent to soldiers back from front lines.

Those of us who are neurodivergent also have 2-6 x higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than neurotypical people.

Mindful breathing techniques are so POWERFUL on many proven neuroscientific levels.

When we are stressed the blood and oxygen to the brain decreases by a massive by 40%! When we regularly practise breathing techniques it floods the body with party levels of blood and oxygen which boosts focus and perspective.

Mindful breathing stimulates non adrenaline, the enemy of cortisol. Non adrenaline boosts focus and positivity.

Serotonin and dopamine are pushed up from the gut, flooding our brains with focus, clear thinking, concentration, motivation, self-esteem, and perspective.

The grey matter around the amygdala/emotional brain/fear centre actually REDUCES!!! And what is even better is that the grey matter around the frontal lobe which contains all our higher or executive brain functions GROWS!!!! This has been proven through neural imaging and MRI scanning.

Heart rate and blood pressure even out whiling anxiety, depression, insomnia and even PTSD are eased considerably.

Our bodies and brains are just so PERFECTLY designed, I get SO EXCITED!! And we have all these powerful neuroscientific tools at our fingertips.

I absolutely love it!!

See you next week, lots of love, Giuliana xx

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/rainbow-kids-club/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/?exp=4a9f

Just breathe
Just breathe
Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Yoga for meltdowns and overwhelm

Yoga for meltdowns and overwhelm 

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

This week it is my joy to share with you three very simple yoga poses which are absolutely FANTASTIC for meltdowns and overwhelm.

They focus on massaging and stretching the gut, which is where we store trauma, undigested “stuff” which we shove down for another day, anger, fear, dread, and excitement. Professor Michael Gershon is the leading researcher in this field and the immense benefits of yoga have also been proven by Tiffany Field, another scientific leader in this field.

The gut stores 90% of the body’s serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness, confidence, and self-esteem. It also contains absolutely TONNES of the body’s dopamine, the neurotransmitter of focus, attention, concentration, productivity, and that gorgeous feeling of reward.

When we massage the gut by doing these yoga poses it helps our children (and ourselves) gently manage those feelings which build up to overwhelm and meltdown. Particularly for nonverbal people or those who simply do not have the vocabulary to express their emotions, these poses are hugely beneficial.

When we do them it pushes those happy hormones and coping chemicals up into the brain via the vagus nerve which connects our first brain to our second brain in the gut. We can then process emotions in a more controlled way which will eventually lead to self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-management.

You can do all three of these assisted too, as you will see in this week’s video.

Have a happy week everyone. This is my last article now for the next two weeks, so I wish you all a fabulous Easter.

Take care and see you soon, Love, Giuliana

Charity Well-being Ambassador

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/rainbow-kids-club/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/

Yoga for meltdowns and overwhelm
Yoga for meltdowns and overwhelm
Yoga for meltdowns and overwhelm
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