Mindfulness expert has easy tips to help kids succeed in what'll be a challenging school year
via @josephineratluri / Instagram and Pexels

Getting kids to go from a summer state of mind back to academics is always a big challenge for parents this time of year. But this back-to-school season comes with the added stress of living during a global pandemic that's sure to make things even more challenging.

Upworthy spoke with Josephine Atluri, a mindfulness expert and mother of seven, to learn some techniques parents and children can use to ease back-to-school stress and improve academic performance throughout the year.

Alturi hosts the popular podcast, "Responding to Life: Talking Health, Fertility, & Parenthood," and her new book "Mindfulness Journal for Parents" helps caregivers transform and enrich their parent-child relationship.

Atluri's age-appropriate mindfulness techniques can help students navigate "big emotions or tough situations" and allow them to "stay present versus worrying about past mistakes or future tasks."

via Pexels

Mindfulness improves academic performance by enhancing students' focus and cognition. It can also help them manage their on-campus social lives by enhancing their emotional awareness.

Mindfulness techniques can also give student-athletes a leg up on the competition.

"Sports are typically a fast-paced activity with a lot of things happening at the same time," Atluri told Upworthy. "Plus, there's a lot of noise while playing from both the players and the fans watching. When you practice mindfulness, you practice slowing down and getting quiet within, no matter what is happening around you."

Looking for a "simple proven, no-nonsense" meditation technique? Upworthy has a great one you can learn here.

Alturi has different mindfulness techniques for students of every age group.


Kids at this age engage better with activities that are fun and visual. Two breathing techniques I love to use for little kids are:

Hugging breath: Have your child give themselves a big hug while breathing slowly. The hug gives them physical support which is especially helpful if they don't have someone around who can comfort them when they have big feelings. The slow breathing tells their brains they are moving from an overwhelmed state to a calmer state of being.

Wolf breath: Have your child pretend they are the wolf from the "Three Little Pigs" blowing down the houses with a long slow breath. The benefit of a slow exhale is that it gives you an opportunity to just let go and blow out your worries whether you realize it or not.


At this age, kids are better able to give meditation and mindfulness a try while also understanding the benefits. You still want to keep it on the shorter side so they feel like it's an activity that is approachable and the benefits are attainable.

A mindfulness practice that really resonates well with kids is cultivating gratitude. They can sit with their eyes closed and breathe slowly and call to mind a few gratitudes from their day. Plus, they can even cultivate gratitude without sitting in meditation and use the strategy when they feel themselves spiraling into a state of negativity.

Researchers have found that people who focus on gratitude are more optimistic, happier, and healthier.


Teenagers who are struggling with issues of self-esteem, can improve their sense of self-worth by using a mantra while they are sitting with their eyes closed and breathing intentionally. They can remind themselves of affirmations like: "I am loved." "I am worthy." "I am smart." "I am beautiful." "I can do hard things."

Atluri believes that the most important thing parents can do to raise mindful kids is to model the appropriate behavior.

"Our children are always watching what we do as parents and taking it all in whether they realize it or not," Atluri says. "When they see you put into practice ways for managing stress in a healthy way and on a consistent basis, they'll begin to learn and see for themselves the benefits of using mindfulness strategies to combat stress, overwhelm, and worry."


Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Christopher Meloni responded to a fan's 'Law & Order: SVU' themed wedding invitation

Fans have some hilarious suggestions for how to make the most of his appearance.

Nothing beats a response from the Zaddy himself.

You may have heard of Christopher Meloni. You know, the actor who’s starred in 12 seasons of a little show called “Law & Order: SVU"? Whose character was so popular he got his own spinoff show? The originator of the “zaddy” moniker? Yeah, that guy.

Well, it’s no secret that the 61-year-old actor, and the show that put him on the map, has a loyal fan base. Recently, a couple, clearly dedicated to the show, decided to tie the knot with a series of “Law & Order”-themed wedding invitations. Naturally, they invited Detective Elliot Stabler himself.

“Chris, please come to my wedding,” tweeted Kelly Heenan, the bride-to-be. Along with her request, she posted a photo of her wedding invitation, which was a spitting image of the show's iconic poster.

The couple’s dedication apparently paid off, because Meloni replied with a simple “and do what?” This set off a hilarious slew of suggestions from fans, who knew exactly how to make the most of this proposed appearance.

Keep ReadingShow less

Phil Collins and George Harrison

This article originally appeared on 12.01.21

Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

Keep ReadingShow less

Women reveal 10 things some men unknowingly do that are an instant turnoff

"Only treating women with respect if you find them attractive."

Women reveal 10 things some men unknowingly do that is an instant turnoff

If you ask most single people, dating is a pretty big poop show. Dating apps have taken an activity that was awkward enough on its own and turned it into a job-finding board. You have approximately 3.45 seconds to impress someone with your face, your hobbies, your job, political leanings and whether or not you want children.

That's it. If you're not ringing any buzzers in those first few seconds, the person on the other end swipes left and your profile picture is staring up at another potential suitor. But if you make it past the lightning round known as the dating app and actually meet in person, other things come into play that may be an instant turnoff.

A Reddit user asked, "Women, what are some things that make a man insanely unattractive but they don't realize?" It's safe to say that the ladies had a few non-negotiables since there are nearly 3,000 comments on the thread.

Keep ReadingShow less