Children and their caregivers need more tools for stress relief

Teachers, social workers, program facilitators, and other caregivers use our trauma-informed, 5-minute videos to help children soothe their bodies and minds, so they can build healthy emotional-regulation skills from the roots up.

Big feelings have always been around, and caregivers have always used strategies to help children manage them…

But right now, children are facing a mental health crisis. And as a consequence of the pandemic, today’s children missed 2+ years of regular connection and social emotional learning with their peers.

As caregivers adjust within a working world that’s just trying to get “back to normal,” the reality is that what’s “normal” has changed.

Now more than ever, children and the adults who care for them need more strategies and tools to reduce stress, self-soothe, and self-regulate.

That’s what Roots Up is for. It’s a library of research-backed, 5-minute videos that help children and caregivers soothe their bodies and minds.

The library was built on trauma-informed practices and designed to accommodate neurodiverse needs.

Because we’re on a mission to help all children build healthy emotional-regulation skills, from the roots up.

Reach out to bring Roots Up to your organization »

Instead of reacting right away out of anger or snapping, kids can take that breath and realize, ‘Okay, I’m uncomfortable, so I’m going to slow my heart rate down, so that when I respond I’m being mindful. I don’t want to continue this harm cycle. I don’t want to get in a fight with somebody. I have a choice right now to use my resources.’ …The beauty of mindfulness, and the other strategies that Julie teaches, is to be so in tune with your own emotions and thoughts that you’re not causing harm to others. And you’re able to be okay with sitting in discomfort, because you can manage your body through that.”

Jamie, 5th grade Teacher

We believe we need to be emotionally regulated before we can learn, grow and thrive.

We envision a world in which all children are given strategies to self-regulate and recenter, so they can….

Kids need to look inside themselves to find that self-esteem, to think, ‘hey, I don’t need the affirmation from the teacher, or my peers, or from whoever will accept me. I can find it within myself.’ And that is not taught…. Julie’s videos encourage them to slow down and be centered… And if all kids could get that, imagine what a different place we would live in.

Barb Taylor, Special Education Director

The caregivers who use Roots Up are mostly teachers, social workers, and program facilitators at schools and youth nonprofits.

But physical and occupational therapists, pediatric professionals, and parents have also used our videos in both homes and hospitals.

We believe that any person or organization that takes care of children can benefit from easy-to-use, trauma-informed emotional-regulation tools.

If you have any questions about whether or not Roots Up would be a good fit for the children you care for, please get in touch.

Hear from students about how self-soothing practices make a difference in mind and body

If you think videos like these could help relieve stress for the children you serve and the adults who care for them, let’s connect.

Get in touch with Julie, Roots Up Founder, to learn more.

Stress-relief strategies are only as effective as they are inclusive

No one tactic is right for every child or situation. That’s why all videos include a repertoire of research-backed self-soothing strategies.

Deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga postures, and guided imagery all help quiet an overactive amygdala, the fight/flight center of the brain.

*When we talk about trauma-informed practices, we mean:

  • We created the library with explicit consideration for what happens in the brain and body after a child has experienced trauma. And we do everything we can to make the experience of watching our videos as safe and comfortable as possible.

  • Our videos are designed to minimize potential triggers. Every video has the same instructor (Julie) and follows the same basic structure, so viewers always know who and what to expect. We speak with inviting language that emphasizes choice, and only use calm, soothing, natural visuals and sounds.

  • We are constantly learning about how to craft and teach trauma-informed practices. That’s why we upload new videos regulrly based on the latest research.

Among all the self-soothing practices we offer, we believe it’s important to acknowledge the varied cultural origins of both mindfulness and yoga.

We have studied many of the roots of these practices, and have deep respect for their cultural significance and origins.

We acknowledge that those origins are not our own, and strive to always honor and to never appropriate.

We cite scientific research so that all educators and caregivers who use our videos can feel sure that they’re doing what’s best for the children they serve — but we respect and value all forms of knowledge, whether that be cultural, scientific, experiential, or otherwise.

A lot of our kids don’t stop and think. They just react… and they have a really hard time expressing their feelings. That’s why we do so much social emotional learning, because we’re hoping to teach the child how to use their words to express their feelings or what they need before that moment hits. That is one of the largest benefits of what Julie teaches — using it as a strategy for kids of any age, and teaching them to go internally and think about things before they react. And if they do it enough, it will become part of who they are.

Barb Taylor, Special Education Director

We believe that tools for emotional-regulation are an essential part of equity work.

A group of children might be sitting in the same space — but that doesn’t mean all of them are emotionally ready to engage with the information and the people around them.

If a child is triggered or unable to self-regulate for any reason, they can’t focus on learning, growing, and relationship-building.

This is true for all kids — but it’s especially true for children who are more sensitive to stressors in their environment, whether because of trauma or neurodivergence.

Research tells us that kids who have experienced trauma, their resting heart rates are 20 to 30 beats higher than someone who has not experienced trauma, just as a baseline. So they walk into school with their heart rates elevated, stress hormones coursing through their brains and their bodies. If you don’t mitigate that, the long term effects on brain development, on physical and emotional wellbeing, are catastrophic.

“But if you build in these skills and these structures, and help people learn how to calm their brains down and get centered and focused in the moment — like what Julie teaches — then their brains start to develop in a more normal way, and they can begin to heal from some of the injuries that they’ve incurred.”

Chris Salamone, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & District Student Support Team Leader

By providing inclusive tools to help all children self-soothe and emotionally regulate, administrators build more equitable classrooms and programs.

When children learn to self-soothe alongside peers and caregivers, they can begin to heal if they need to, to feel included if they often feel excluded, and ultimately feel regulated enough to access their learning and personal growth.

We also believe that self-regulation tools can help both children and caregivers minimize harm and manage their emotions during hard conversations around race and equity — conversations that, thankfully, kids and educators are going to have more and more of moving forward.

Get in touch to learn more »

You can’t fail at mindfulness. You can fail at math. You can fail to construct a sentence. And kids know when they don’t succeed in their academics. Mindfulness is structured in such a way that it is literally failsafe. And I think for many students, especially those that have challenges in their lives, to be able to engage in an activity in which they feel, ‘I will not be judged, I will not have a feeling of shame or failure… I might not have this in any other aspect of my life, but if I can get three minutes of feeling safe in my life — I’m going to take that.’

Peter McCormack, K-2 Education Technician, Former Assistant Principal at Portland Public Schools

Hi! I’m Julie Campilio, Roots Up Founder. For more than 15 years, I’ve been deeply focused on bringing self-soothing practices to children with trauma and neurodivergence.

My professional journey began working as a substitute teacher, taking neurodivergent children out of the classroom to help them manage their behavior with deep breathing, mindfulness, and yoga.

I noticed these short practices having a profound impact on behavior and attention. That’s when I started to consider what self-regulation strategies all children and their caregivers could practice, together.

I founded Radiant Beginnings Yoga in 2010, and Roots Up in 2019. Both share the same mission of bringing inclusive, accessible self-soothing tactics to children and the adults who care for them.

My drive to bring coping skills to children stems from my own personal life experiences.

As a young person, I struggled with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Later in life, I came to understand these struggles to emotionally regulate as a part of my experience of Autism.

I know first-hand that not all self-soothing tactics work for everyone, and that without them, neurodivergent children are denied the opportunity to feel confident, focused, and regulated enough to try new things, take risks, and grow.

Today I work so that ALL children can have the strategies I wish I’d had growing up.

If you’d like to bring self-soothing tools to the children and caregivers you serve, I’d love to connect.

There’s been a bunch of research done that says that stress is contagious. If you’re around people who are nervous and anxious all the time, then you are nervous and anxious all the time. But if you’re around people who aren’t, people who are regulated and calm, that’s also contagious. And there’s just something about Julie. I think she’s done her own work, and that when you’re around her, there’s a sense of calmness and safety that you get, just from the fact that she’s a calm, safe, respectful person herself.

“And I’ve seen her in action with some kids who have really been through so much, and have no real business trusting anyone after what they’ve experienced. But she just has a way of being around them that they get silly, they relax, they try some of the things that she encourages them to try, and ultimately they feel a sense of calm doing the activities with her.”

Chris Salamone, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & District Student Support Team Leader

We strive for everyone around us to feel safe, included, and that they have the freedom to be exactly who they are.

But as trauma-informed professionals, we also recognize that we cannot guarantee anyone’s feelings of safety or inclusion.

We are constantly learning about how to craft and teach accessible and equitable practices, as research evolves and as children’s needs change over time.

While we have deep, honest personal ties to our work, we also recognize our own privileges. And we are always grateful to listen and learn from anyone who offers their knowledge on how to be more inclusive and minimize harm.

Roots Up was built on years of research, first-hand experience, and collaboration with this team of experts:

Julie Campilio

Founder of Roots Up & Radiant Beginnings. Yoga & Mindfulness Educator supporting the social & emotional needs of ages 3-18.

Dr. Charles Igel

Associate Professor of Education & Program Coordinator of Elementary Teacher Licensure, Regis University, Denver, CO

Dr. Nicole Nicotera

Professor, University of Denver: Graduate School of Social Work, Denver, CO.

Dr. Bruce Thompson

Professor of Psychology – Human Development, University of Southern Maine

Robin Glenn, LPC

Founder & Director of BASE Education, a Social Emotional Learning platform.

Kara Leigh Taylor, OTD

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Cherry Creek School District, Denver, CO.

But even so… children have been our most important contributors.

Over the years, the children we’ve worked with have created the names of poses, their engagement levels have taught us what works and what doesn’t, and their attention spans have defined the length of exercises.

We believe that listening to and learning from the children we serve is our greatest asset.

I’m definitely more relaxed which helps me be kinder… Peaceful thoughts, peaceful words… It helps me do that in real life.”


I’ve been having a hard time in school and I’ve been getting frustrated in classes… The videos helped me calm down.”


Sometimes I get really upset during the day and I use those flower breaths and they really help me calm down.”


Sometimes when I get REALLY REALLY mad… I just like to do the breathing, the exercises… and it really calms me down.”


Our stress-relief videos are loved by children and caregivers alike at over 25 organizations, including schools, youth nonprofits, and hospitals.

If you think self-soothing videos might be a good fit for the children and caregivers you serve, let’s connect.


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