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A national trauma

“Today, we are in the midst of a national trauma that could very well surpass 9/11 and approach the heightened terror of the Cold War years. The COVID era has changed our children’s lives in far more real, tangible ways – social distancing, school closures, daily mask use.”  Goldie Hawn – USA Today.

Goldie Hawn speaks up for the kids

Hawn told USA Today that kids are now living in a constant fear that was unheard of ten years ago: “Kids are afraid of people, spaces, even the surrounding air.”

“We all know how magical a child’s imagination can be – the wonderful worlds they create in their minds. But there’s a flip side to the joyful creativity that can turn a big cardboard box into a spaceship. A child’s mind exposed to real-world fear, without the ability to properly process it, can go down dark passages leading to nothing less than existential dread.”

Goldie HawnShe wrote, “In early 2021, emergency room visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51 per cent higher for adolescent girls and 4 per cent higher for adolescent boys, compared with the same period in early 2019.

Children’s Mental Health Is a National Emergency

As far as Goldie Hawn is concerned, “children’s mental health is now at the level of a national emergency.”
She cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. surgeon general, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in her Op-Ed.

Even though most people regard Goldie Hawn as a happy and energetic personality, the actress has experienced her mental health challenges and is not afraid to share them.

“It’s a complicated world out there. People everywhere are figuring out how to stay balanced. I’m generally known as a happy person, but years ago I suffered from panic and anxiety. I’ve learned to manage the fear and pain. It’s not easy, but with a few life tools, you can control the monkey mind. I’d say it’s my life’s mission.

Hawn established MindUP

In 2003, Hawn followed her heart and established the Hawn Foundation to help children create greater brain health through mindfulness practices.

She worked with neuroscientists to develop a program based on meditation which helps develop better brain pathways. Hawn says the  MindUP program in schools has demonstrated that if students take two minutes of a brain break three times a day, optimism in the classroom goes up almost 80 percent. On the playground, aggression goes down about 30 percent.

Why Mindfulness helps

We can all benefit from practicing mindfulness, explains Hawn.  “That’s because we become what we think. If you have a negative thought — “I can’t stand my boss” — it perpetuates a negative worldview. But if you supplant each negative thought with three positive ones, you begin to restructure your brain. Research has proven that this practice can lift people out of depression. That’s a powerful force.”

Goldie Hawn4 Mental Health Tips From Goldie Hawn

She told AARP,  it’s essential to take time to breathe or spend a few minutes in nature away from phones and computers.

“You start to live for now, rather than for what’s next or, worse, waiting for the end to come. Slow down. Enjoy this ride. It’s all we’ve got.” Goldie Hawn 

1. Try mindful meditation

Sit quietly. Soften your belly and take three deep breaths. Now breathe normally. Focus only on your breathing. When thoughts arise, let them go, like clouds passing in the sky. Be patient. Your heart rate will slow, and your stress will eventually melt away.

2. Reconnect with nature

Go outside, walk slowly, and focus on the wonders of nature, as if seeing them for the first time. Even in your neighborhood, examine the trees, the flowers, the grass — the absolute perfection surrounding us. This will wake up your brain and enliven your spirit.

3. Dance

Put on your favorite dance music, free up your body, and dance with true abandonment! Don’t judge your moves — and no mirrors allowed! You’ll feel elevated, and your happiness quotient will rise.

4. Get ready for bed

Goldie Hawn believes sleep, is vital to brain health and doesn’t come easy for many. One hour before bedtime, turn off the TV, especially the news. I like to listen to the sounds of soft rain on my bedside iPod player. Let go of the trials of the day. Trust that tomorrow will be the best day you can make it.

Closing comments

Despite the cutting Op-Ed,  Goldie Hawn is not all doom and gloom.

We will survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’m not sure we can survive an entire generation whose collective trauma sends them hobbling into adulthood. We need more research, more preventative care and more early intervention. And there’s still time. If we get it right, today’s kids could emerge as the strongest generation America has ever produced.”

Main photo credit:

Goldie Hawn Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goldiehawn

 

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Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and freelance writer. I love sharing new insights on how to live a healthier life using nature's gifts. Be kind. Be generous. Love. Peace. Humanity.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.