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Teaching your children self-care can go a long way toward reducing stress and ensuring everyone in the family has the tools needed to deal with the hardships of daily life. Here are seven simple self-care activities for parents and kids alike.
7 Self-Care Activities for Families
Consider all the ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine with your family. It’s never too early to start showing your children how important they are to you and to themselves.
Get Outside and Be in Nature
Whether it’s a hike, a walk in your local park, or even just a few minutes in your backyard, The American Institute of Stress notes that being in nature is an effective way to reduce stress. In addition to improving your mood, nature also provides you with extra oxygen — which means more energy. Next time you notice your kids getting stressed out, suggest they take a break by going outside.
Listen to Music
Music is perfect for setting a mood. Whether you play it in your car or on your phone, music can help relax you and get you through stressful times. Make a playlist together and choose songs you all like. Listen to it while you run some errands or finish chores around the house.
Simply put, mindfulness is being fully aware of yourself and your surroundings. When mindful, you’re relaxed, calm, and unstressed. You have a sense of peace in your daily life. Mindfulness exercises can be practiced in any place — even when you’re waiting at a stoplight — and take as little as five minutes a day to complete. If you’re not familiar with mindfulness, you can learn and teach your kids meditation as you go.
Play Games Together
If your child is distracted or stressed out, getting them to play a game can help them put their worries aside, refocus on what’s important, and center themselves. Whether you sit down with your kids to play board games, or you suggest they take a moment alone to engage in a stress-relieving activity, such as coloring or sculpting clay, games are an easy way to promote self-care in kids.
One great self-care activity is to exercise together. Get up at 5 a.m., and work out before your kids are awake. If you live in a safe area, run or walk around your neighborhood — put on some music, take in some fresh air, enjoy a bit of privacy. You can also walk with your kids. Download an app, such as Zombies, Run!, which turns your walking or running into an interactive game.
Create Art Together
Spare five minutes each day to create a piece of art with your kids. This can be making a collage, drawing, painting, or whatever you want it to be. The important thing is that it’s something you do together. Let kids use their imaginations. Encourage them to experiment with color and mix paints. Create a parent-child partnership based on creativity.
Reduce Your Stress
MedlinePlus points out that your stress level can impact your children’s mood. Reducing that stress makes you and them happier. Try new ways of doing things, eat healthy food, and lighten up on yourself. It’s also an opportunity for you to model healthy habits. This extends to your home office as well, so take some simple measures – like letting in more natural light and using timesaving equipment – to minimize the stress levels during your workday.
Set an Example for Self-Care
Set an example by practicing self-care activities with your kids. Explain what each activity is all about and why it’s important. Your child(ren) will learn to prioritize his/her health as they grow into adults. Carrying healthy routines and habits now to spend time participating in self-care will be worth it for your child’s future.
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This article was written by Anya Willis of Fit Kids, a site for nurturing your child wit a love for fitness. Find more information about Fit Kids.