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Stress Less

meeting plan by Allison Martino

Meeting Example Walk-through!
Goes with google slide presentation
Meeting begins with promise and law, then slide 1. Today’s meeting is about something that I think we can all use right now… how to stress less, and use different calming techniques to feel better! (Add picture of badge to this slide when I have it!)
Slide 2 - STRESS is a MESS! Look at these two balls of yarn. They are the same color, but one of them is all tangled up. This yarn is STRESSED OUT, and being stressed stinks! This ball of yarn looks much more calm. It feels much more calm too. This yarn must have some tricks it is using to be less messy. Today we are going to work on how we can be more like this yarn, and less like this yarn.
Today we’re not just going to talk about stress, but also it’s very important opposite – relaxation…or peace.. or calmness. When we think about stress, we tend to view it as an adults-only condition, but it’s not! Stress and anxiety are pretty common right now, for kids and adults alike! Our lives are so different than they were just a few months ago, everyone is doing their best to adjust… but it can be tough! Does anyone have anything to say about that? Have you felt stressed out since school ended and you’ve been at home? Right now you’re probably juggling a lot of things, like schoolwork, virtual extracurricular activities, family, trying to stay in touch with friends, and household chores. It can be really tough! How many times have you felt disappointed, sad, frustrated, or just plain old not pleased?
Let’s find some ways we can calm down our minds, calm down our bodies, and remind ourselves how to relax and find peace inside!
1. People deal with stress in different ways. Let’s write some down together. What can you do to help pull yourself out of a grouchy moment?
You can:
Read a book
Listen to music
Dance – move that stress away!
Make a list of what you need to do
Find some smells that make you feel relaxed
Pop bubble wrap
Do yoga
Help someone
Write in a journal
Hug someone or something
Find a fidget toy
Do something with your hands – cook, garden, paint, knit/crochet
Do breathing exercises and meditate
Being in nature
Getting fresh air and sunshine
These are all great ideas!
2. I asked you to do something at home this week – to find a box or a bag, decorate it, and fill it with things that make you happy. This is your BLISS BOX! Some people call it a stress kit, but bliss box makes it sound so much more delightful! I asked you to fill it with around 6 things that help you relax/laugh/dream. Things that put you at ease and put a smile on your face. Maybe you have a book, cartoon, photo, card or letter, peaceful magazine cutouts, a toy or stuffed animal, something to draw with. I made one too – would you like to see what’s in mine?
Calm jar (glitter glue, jar with lid, water, beads.
Yarn and hook
Lavender roller
Coffee pod
Picture of my troop
Picture of my family
Bubble wrap
Picture of the sun
Worry stone
Model magic
Pink stress ball
Buddha board
Beads on a string
Now I’d like to see yours! Who would like to share their bliss box? (have girls go around and show theirs)
This isn’t something you need to be done with now! You can keep working on yours after the meeting, maybe you’ve been inspired by seeing others’ boxes! When you feel done with it, keep it in a place where you might go when you need to calm down and find some peace. A special chair, next to your bed, by a sunny window. When you are feeling stressed, you can open your bliss box and find things that will help you!
I’m so glad we can share these with each other. Having a friend or a group of friends is one of the best feelings in the whole world. A friend that loves you and accepts you for who you are is priceless. Laughing together over your silly jokes, playing games together, sharing your hopes, dreams, and secrets with them makes life feel sweeter.
segway Something I like to say is, “Just because you stepped in a mud puddle doesn’t mean you need to stand there all day! Take a deep breath and step out of the puddle!” Picture that in your mind. Do you have an image of yourself doing that? Sometimes all you need is a reset!
What are some other ways we can help our bodies or minds relax? We’re going to explore that a little bit.
3. Let’s start with mindfulness. Has anyone heard of that before? It can be really helpful when you need to give your brain a break, when you just need to chill out and enjoy the moment. It can even help you relax and fall asleep at night. You will fell calm, happy, strong, and wise. You will be a zen ninja!
We have this really great book, “Breathe like a Bear.” It is full of different mindfulness and relaxation ideas for kids. We do this every night. I really love it, some days it is just what I need at the end of the day. Find a comfy place to sit while we try 2 of our favorites together.
Your Favorite Color
What is your favorite color?
Is it blue, purple, orange, or red? Or another color?
Imagine a little ball of your favorite color inside your body.
Maybe it’s where your heart is, or maybe it’s in your belly.
Take a breath in and imagine the ball is getting bigger and bigger. It takes over your whole body!
Imagine that everything all around you is your favorite color, and it feels really warm and good.
Take a long, slow breath in, and let it all the way out.
Snake Breath
Let’s do snake breath!
Make your mouth into the shape of a little “o.”
Take a long breath in, like you’re breathing through a straw.
As you let it out, hiss like a snake.
Take another long breath in, like you’re breathing through a straw.
As you let it out, hiss like a snake. Make the “ssss” sound last as long as you can!
Try it one more time! Take a loooong breath in, and hissssssssss on the way out.
Sit up tall, take another long breath in, and just let it all the way out.
Let’s try following a meditation video now – this one is by the people who do Cosmic Yoga, has anyone done that before? I’ve tried a lot of guided meditations and this is one of the best I’ve found.
The last thing we’re going to do here for mindfulness meditation is a relaxation body scan. Do you have a place where you can lay down comfortably and still hear my voice? If not, you can do it in your chair. Just make sure to close your eyes for it to work best. I’m going to put on some relaxing nature sounds and use my best “bedtime story” voice to get us really calm.
Sit down or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. You can use pillows or blankets to make yourself as comfortable as you can be.
Take a few deep breaths as you begin to relax.
Bring all of your attention to your feet, noticing how they feel. Squeeze your feet, making a fist with your entire foot and all five toes; tense and squeeze it tightly. Hold this for two deep breaths.
Then release all tension in your feet suddenly. Relax them completely and notice the tension release. You may feel a tingling sensation!
Take a deep breath, and then move on…
Move slowly up your body, squeezing one body part at a time and then relaxing the muscles. Follow each part with a deep breath.
calves (lower legs)
thighs (upper legs)
All feet and legs
Hips and butt
Whole body at once (do this one twice)
When you’re finished with the relaxation technique, spend at least a few minutes in quiet, keeping your breathing slow and steady.
SO, how did meditation feel? Did it make you feel silly or good? What worked and what didn’t?

Now let’s try some yoga. Has anyone done yoga before? Did you know even goats do yoga?? Would you like to see? (video)
Yoga for stress isn’t anything new. It can show you how to calm your bodies when they feel overwhelmed. If you start doing it now, over time you’ll feel more self confidence, peacefulness, and joy! It is an excellent stress reliever and can even help you concentrate better. It might be a good thing to do when you are learning at home and need to take a brain break! As a bonus, your body will become stronger and more flexible! While we follow a yoga video together, remember to try focusing on your breath. Breathe in through your nose, breather out through your nose.
You don’t need a fancy mat or special clothes! Just find somewhere quiet where you can really relax. Focus on your breath while you practice, remembering to breath in and out through your nose!
I found two yoga videos that I think would be fun for us to do together – I’m going to show you both of them and you can vote on which we choose! One is a simple yoga class with kids acutally doing the yoga poses while an instructor explains them. The other is unicorn yoga. I know that many of you LOVE unicorns, so I thought this might make you smile while you try something new!
Do whichever yoga they pick!
Let’s talk about that breathing we were trying to focus on in yoga. When you’re feeling stressed, your breathing changes! How do you think it might change?? You take shorter faster breaths, which only makes worry feel bigger. Show me what those look like! When we use mindful breathing, taking slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, we let our bodies focus on something other than worry. Once your breathing has slowed, you’ll feel more calm! Mindful breathing is a perfect trick to remember since you can do it no matter where you are!
If you do get distracted, that’s okay, it’s always okay to do your best and try again!
* Get a favorite stuffed animal, lie down, and place it on your stomach. Just breathe and watch the stuffy moving up and down. You can “rock” the stuffy to sleep. This is especially helpful when you are having trouble falling asleep at night! Notice how your breathing changes the way your stuffed animal moves. If your breathing is fast and rushed, your stuffed animal will topple over. When you use deep, slow, calm breaths, your stuffed animal will be rocked into a nice deep sleep.
We’re also going to try breathing while we trace some shapes with our fingers. They’ll show up on my screen so you can trace them right now, but these are also cards that you could print at home and use them when you need to!

Did you know that art can help you with stress? Coloring and creating can relax the fear center of your brain! When you’re focused on creating, it can take your mind off things that are worrying you, at least for a few minutes. You do not have to be a super talented artist to do this because there is no wrong way to be creative!! The arts is so much more than painting and drawing! It also includes dancing, drama, photography, writing, poetry, singing, instruments, knitting, and also painting and drawing. Does anyone want to tell me which is their favorite?
Since we can’t do much together over zoom, I’m going to show you 3 things I made and show you how to make them!
Scented lavender playdoh
Stress balloons filled with flour
Fortune teller with calm down fortunes
Which one is your favorite? Would you like to make it at home? I”ll send out the directions to your grownups when our meeting is done!
Sometimes, looking inside yourself isn’t quite enough. Sometimes you need to look out and around you. A powerful way to make yourself happy is to make other people happy! I’m sure you have all heard of practicing acts of kindness! What is an act of kindness you have done?
Small acts of kindness create a chain reaction. Recipients of kindness generally want to keep paying it forward. It is a domino effect of warm and fuzzy feelings. Are you ready to feel warm and fuzzy?
This activity is an act of kindness for the people living in your house! Do you all have the piece of paper cut up into squares and something to write with? We’re going to write some uplifting messages on them! Compliments, inspiring words, happy little pictures. When the meeting is over, get some tape and hang them up in sneaky places around your house! The bathroom mirror, inside a kitchen cabinet, on a bedroom door… where else? Next week, report back and tell us about who found them and how it made them feel!

I want you to see how brave and wonderful you are!! If you were at the unicorns meeting, you might remember that I kept repeating the same thing… you are unique and special! It can be hard to remember that! If you forget, try talking to yourself in the mirror until you remember!
If you feel stressed out, come back to this meeting. Come back to your bliss box. Try some yoga or breathing. Remember your mindfulness. Make a plan to continue on a path to a calm and happy place! Just make sure to not take yourselves too seriously, or feel down if these techniques don’t work right away. Keep experimenting, and know you have girl scout sisters to listen if you need to talk. It can feel a little silly at first when you are trying these things out at home, but keep going!

I believe in you! I am cheering you on, wishing you happiness, sending you thoughts of peace and confidence. I am glad you are here at this meeting!

Peace out girl scout!
NOTES: make scented playdoh to drop off for girls next week in their bags! …Also some tracing cards and breathing techniques.
Maybe add: stress balloon supplies, tiny bubbles with bubble breathing card.
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