Three Things You Learned in Kindergarten that Will Help You Manage Your Moods

kindergarten mood management skills mental health
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Kindergarten is a fun time in the life of a kid. The pressures of school are not there yet. The teachers are nice. They still speak to you on that soft tone of voice – an upgrade from baby-talk. There are lots of toys. The activities are not always mandatory and homework is just a suggestion.

Kids at that age can be moody though. As they leave behind their toddler years and open their eyes to the big, wide world, they start being afraid. They are also more sensitive (or maybe, perhaps, only more aware of?)  to the moods of their parents and other authority figures.

All of these things blend together with early successes, skills acquired, friendships formed and explorations that leave their mark for years to come.

You may not realize it, but you learned, back then, some serious life skills. Here are five of them that will help you manage your moods:

Kindergarten Mood Management: Skill #1

Get lost in something FUN that you LOVE!

Those were the days when you could play a game and forget to eat. Or push a truck around with the same effect. The idea is to forget yourself. When was the last time that happened? The usual suspects for adults are books, sports, music and movies. It’s not idle fun, it’s feeding your good moods and mental health!

Kindergarten Mood Management: Skill #2

Don’t say YES when you mean NO – and vice-versa.

Kindergartners don’t yet have social graces and they are not far removed from “the terrible 2’s”. In general, they have absolutely no problem saying no.

As we grow older and expectations change, “authority figures” loom large and most kids back off. Well, don’t! It doesn’t mean you have to throw a tantrum – and, sometimes, it makes good, adult sense to say yes even if you don’t feel like it. But, as a rule, you have the right to your no’s. It’s good stuff for your mental health!

Kindergarten Mood Management: Skill #3

Choose your friends wisely. 

Again, kindergartners’ lack of social graces and social niceties means that they are very picky about their friends. In fact, at that age most kids have only one friend. Two at the most. That is plenty. Friendships are formed based on true connections. Never-mind the shoulds, the popularity contests and family expectations. You hang out with whomever you hang out.

Depression is on the rise worldwide. But they tell us that the ones most affected are the lonely ones. The cure for that is one good, true friend.

To recap:

Three Kindergarten Life Skills that Help You Manage Your Moods (and Mental Health)

  1. Get lost in something you love (a toy, a game, an activity…).
  2. Don’t say yes when you mean no – and vice-versa.
  3. Choose your friends wisely.

Because the weekend is around the corner, I will remind you of your weekend mornings from back then.

I don’t know about you, but I for one was allowed to sleep in as long as I wanted. That, right there, is a pure life juice booster.

If that is not possible (if you, for example, have small kids or you have to take your pet pig for a walk), take one day to be “lazy”.

I realize it may not be easy: my husband took years in the beginning of our marriage to be bold enough to take a nap on Saturday or Sunday. He said he felt the wrath of his ancestors…

Be bold. Live your own life, not anybody else’s, no matter how big they loomed at some point when you were very small.

Have a great weekend!

Christine

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