New year’s resolutions don’t have to be difficult or extreme, taking better care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is the key to being an improved version of you! With COVID, it’s especially important to try and find the simple positives in your life and surroundings. Mental health impacts all ages, use the following tips to help your family be healthier and happier!
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Being dehydrated can cause a lot of issues to your health including sleeping issues, depression, anxiety, and confusion. So, how much water is actually enough? It’s suggested for children to drink an 8 oz cup of water for each year of their age with a max of 64 oz a day. (CHOH Urology, 2020). Adults, on the other hand, need to drink between 9 and 12 cups of water a day (Mayo Clinic, 2020). One of the hardest parts of drinking water is honestly how boring it is. Make it fun by having a family day to personalize a water bottle with stickers! You can also make it a game by coloring a free water intake printable tracker. Nutrition goes hand in hand with water intake. Some foods are natural hydrators and antidepressants, find out more HERE. Want to know more about the effects of dehydration and mental health? Read Healthline’s article, Dehydration and Anxiety: How to Keep Calm and Hydrate On.
Take a Breather!
Being a parent AND an educator can be stressful so it’s necessary to take a breather! Make it a part of your family’s daily routine to stop and breath. Did you know that exhaling is related to the parasympathetic nervous system which can help in relieving anxiety? Try breathing deeply through your nose for 4 seconds then exhaling for 6 - 7 seconds. Focusing on the counting can also help to pull your attention away from other matters which will give you a much needed moment. Find other breathing methods through Healthline’s article, 8 Breathing Exercises to try when you Feel Anxious.
Exercise? Yuck! Luckily, movement doesn’t have to mean sticking to a certain regimen that involves crunches (more power to you if that’s your thing!). Break up the monotony by doing a different physical activity every day. This can be:
- Taking a walk around your neighborhood and finding something that makes you smile (animals, flowers, etc!)
- Doing a scavenger hunt
- Having an indoor parade with homemade musical instruments
- Dancing along to your favorite song or
- Making Activity Dice!
- Find other activity ideas HERE
Social Distancing does NOT mean isolating!!!!
Don’t let social distancing keep you from speaking with friends and family! Keep in touch through texting, calling, or virtual video calls (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, etc). You are NOT alone in how you’re feeling, speak with your children and teach them that it’s important to get things off of their chest. Reaching out for additional support is MORE THAN OKAY!! There are tons of parenting social media groups out there.
Needing someone to talk to?
National Alliance on Mental Health 1-800-950-6264
National Suicide Prevention Line (24/7) 1-800-273-8255
General Crisis Text Line (24/7) Text SUPPORT to 741741
Trevor Project (LGBTQ+) (24/7) 866-488-7386
National Parent Helpline 1-855-427-2736