Health & Fitness Giovanna Fletcher: 'Children Are Suffering – There’s So Much Change'

20:05  02 september  2021
20:05  02 september  2021 Source:   graziadaily.co.uk

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Giovanna Fletcher in a green shirt © Getty

Tell us about the audiobooks you've been working on...

Churchill and Sue Pickford and I have come together to create the second series of Little Chapters Of Chill. We made the first series at the start of lockdown last year and the emphasis is all about mindfulness for kids. These are audiobooks which I narrate. It was originally created to combat the restlessness that happens when you’ve got kids in the back of the car and to bring a bit of chill. But the first series actually launched in lockdown, which for my house was a great thing. Because life was loud and chaotic with the three boys just running around all the time. It enabled us to have some chill in the home. Each episode follows Churchie, the Churchill mascot on a different adventure through nature and each one is focused on a different sense.

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Series one went down a treat in our house – Buddy, my five year old, still listens to it every single night before he goes to bed. I’ve seen first hand the effect it can have on kids and their mental health. It’s just that being able to stop – the three boys are go from the minute they wake up, so having something that brings in that bit of stillness has been brilliant.

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Lots of them focus on nature - why is that?

These stories are about connecting with the things that you see, the things that you hear. Nature is so important and it’s so important for kids to be out and about in it. So hopefully it’ll help bridge the gap between children being at home and being out and about and allowed to roam now.

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Why is it important to teach young children about mindfulness?

For adults over the last five to 10 years it’s become a huge topic. We all realise there are certain pressures in life and anxieties and taking that time to implement some mindfulness it does wonders. And I we can do that from a really young age, have those tools accessible, it can lead to great things happening – self-awareness, knowing what your triggers are, when to take that time. Making kids aware of something like this from a young age can only be beneficial when they get older.

a piece of broccoli: Giovanna Fletcher © Credits: Churchill Giovanna Fletcher

Are they easy for people to use?

You follow Churchie on an advanture then towards the end, the mindfulness exercise comes in and it’s literally just me talking the child through it – most of it is breathing and visualization. Then at the end we go back to the story and see where Churchie ends up. It’s super easy and super accessible. They’ve been such a joy to work on and it’s a project that I’ve genuinely loved. The whole team is brilliant and knowing how important it is. I’ve got a child who’s really got on board with it.

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You speak to loads of parents - what do you think kids in the UK are experiencing at the moment?

They are suffering – there’s so much change. A year and a half ago it felt like the world stopped and no-one was able to do what they were doing before, no planes in the sky, or cars in the road. You can’t see the people you love and when you were able to see them, you couldn’t cuddle Nana and Grandad. There’s this difference between everything – the life you once knew. And now we’re going back into being allowed these things. There’s so much change in a short amount of time. You’ve taken intimacy and closeness away and now it’s coming back. There’s just so much going on and having a tool that can remove the child from the situation and ease their mind is really important. It’s been difficult on all the family, everyone. Whether that’s the grandparents who can’t see grandkids and feel like they’re missing out, or a mum or dad at home so overwhelmed with the juggle of trying to pay for the house, put food on the table and also having the kids at home. There are so many different scenarios, so even though we’ve all been going through the pandemic together, everyone’s experience of it has been different. We’ve had to be mindful of that when we talk about it and address it. For some people it’s been absolutely horrendous – I don’t think it’s been fun for anyone, but it certainly has taken its toll on the mental health of so many people.

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What do you to find some calm?

I love going on walks, so if I can go for a long walk I will. I stick on a podcast and listen to a conversation. Do you know what though? I’ve realized when I go on book tours, one thing I absolutely love doing, when I get to a hotel, I sit on the bed, and I just sit on the bed in silence. I don’t put the TV on, the radio on, I don’t pick up a book. I just sit there and enjoy no-one asking anything of me whatsoever. So I do enjoy stillness and going out in nature and gardening I love, getting your hands dirty and watching something grow. This year we’ve done cucumbers and tomatoes, peppers, broad beans… I find that really therapeutic and the kids love it too.

Giovanna Fletcher has partnered with Churchill alongside Emma Willis and Angellica Bell to launch the second series of Churchill’s Little Chapters of Chill children’s audiobooks. The five new episodes in the audiobook series follow the brand’s canine mascot, Churchie, on nature-based adventures designed to reconnect children with the outside world and include simple mindfulness techniques. Little Chapters of Chill – Part 2 are available at Churchill.com/Chapters-Of-Chill, and all major streaming platforms now. #LittleChaptersOfChill.

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