We are approaching a year since COVID-19 became a reality to many of us and all of our routines have had to shift. Perhaps self-care has gone out the window? If you have young kids at home, self-care may seem impossible during a pandemic, but rest assured you can find ways to incorporate self-care into family rhythms. When kids see their parents or caregivers incorporating healthy habits into their daily routines, they get to see firsthand how to deal with stressful situations, and they are building skills that they will need and use later in life. Here are a few things that worked well for my family this past year and hopefully will work for you!
- Exercise — It releases stress and eases anxiety. Why? The body releases endorphins during a workout that create feelings of euphoria also known as the “runner’s high” which can be accompanied with a positive outlook on life. Regular exercise can help you sleep better, improve mood, and give you more energy. When you exercise with your kids, you are giving them an opportunity to burn energy and improve their self-esteem.
- Listen to an audiobook — Listening to a book while doing dishes or folding laundry can be a great pick-me-up, and it can make a mundane activity more enjoyable. Kids like audio books too. So, if you are needing to bring calm to your environment, an audiobook is a great way to change the tone and “entertain” kids without a screen.
- Have a dance party — You can do it anywhere: your living room, kitchen, or your backyard. Music and movement can bring a lightness to life that everyone can enjoy. Find a good playlist that inspires you, and let the rhythm of the music move you.
- Bake or cook — Make something you wouldn’t normally make and get your kids involved. Having fun in the kitchen promotes great memories and it helps teach your kids how to cook.
- Journal as a family — Each week can feel like a repeat of the week before, when we journal about what we did it helps us to see all the things we learned, small growth equals big growth over time. Kids thrive on documenting memories and it gives them ownership of what took place each week.
I hope you find these tips helpful and take some time to involve your kids in self-care during stressful times, it will be lifegiving for the entire family.
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JoAnn Gruener RD, CDE
Health Advisor | Email JoAnn