Let’s face it — stress is high right now. To start, many of us are worried about the health of ourselves and our loved ones.
If you have kids, they’re likely trying to figure out online schooling and how to stay on top of coursework. Meanwhile, you’re likely being asked to work from home yourself.
Many working adults are facing reduced salaries, furloughs, and layoffs at this time. And with the inability to visit friends and family, go to our regular doctor and dental checkups, and more, it can feel like life as we know it has been turned upside down.
Both you and your kids are in need of some serious stress relief. While we can’t make these challenges vanish into thin air, we can control how we cope with the stress we’re feeling. And we can help our kids cope better, too.
One of the best healthy ways to relieve stress? Staying active.
Relieve Stress with Regular Exercise
While California may be under a stay at home order, you can still stay active at home. And this is important for your physical and your mental well-being, because it helps to relieve stress.
Regular exercise helps to relieve stress by:
- Increasing production of endorphins, which reward your brain with good feelings
- Shifting your focus from the causes of stress to your physical body and workout routine, creating a meditative calm
- Relaxing your mind and giving you more self-confidence, which can boost your mood and help you sleep better at night
With Californians being asked to stay home to battle the spread of the coronavirus, getting in some fun, healthy, family-friendly physical activities can feel more difficult than ever.
There are, however, many indoor activities that you can do alone or with your children to help bust stress and improve your mental and physical health while you’re add it.
Here are 5 stress relieving activities that are good for the whole family, including kids of all ages.
1. Try Out Yoga
Right now might be the perfect time to try out yoga for the first time. It’s an activity you can do from the safety of your home with your family.
The purpose of yoga is to find mindfulness, which means getting out of your head, letting go of making mental lists, and finding a sense of calm.
Yoga can help people develop more empathy, focus, and self-confidence — things we could all use a little more of! Yoga can also improve physical strength, lead to better sleep, and of course get rid of stress (that’s the goal!)
Some excellent and free online yoga offerings include:
- Yoga with Adriene: This channel has a ton of offerings, including yoga courses designed specifically for teens and preteens, short practices for busy adults, and more
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: Online yoga for young children, ages 3 and up, with courses dividing into playlists for different age groups. There’s even Disney and holiday-themed yoga courses!
- YogaDownload.com: This online subscription service offers a bunch of free introductory courses on their YouTube channel. These classes are primarily for adults.
2. Go For Walks Or Jogs In Your Neighborhood
While we all need to practice social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus, we’re still able to get outside in our neighborhoods.
Taking daily walks or jogs with your family is a great way to relieve stress and get in some healthy exercise.
The physical health benefits of walking and running include:
- Improved heart health
- Stronger lungs, bones, joints, and muscles
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Helps with management of body fat
Even just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a big difference in the health and stress levels of you and your family.
When you’re out walking, be sure to follow social distancing guidelines and stay six or more feet away from your neighbors at all times. Avoid touching anything outside, such as railings, poles, or playground equipment.
3. Spend Time in The Backyard
Just being outside and getting fresh air and sunshine is good for our health. We’re lucky that the weather is getting warmer every day across most of the country, giving us all a chance to play outdoors.
While your local park may be closed, you can still hopefully take advantage of a backyard or green areas around your home.
Prioritize getting in some outside free play with your kids, whether that involves throwing around a football or baseball or kicking around a soccer ball. Maybe you have a basketball hoop in your driveway. Now’s the time for a game of horse!
Another option is to get some productive work done while enjoying the outdoors. Most kids don’t like chores, but a lot of kids like getting their hands dirty. Maybe this is the week you all spend time in the garden to get it cleaned up and ready for summer planting.
4. Play a Pickup Game of Broom Hockey
If the weather isn’t looking so friendly toward outside play, this game is a perfect indoor time-killer. All you need is a couple of brooms and a soft foam ball, tennis ball, or even a crumpled up piece of paper.
Designate goals at either end of a hallway. A laundry hamper is perfect for this, but you can also use a doorway or whatever else you can find — this isn’t the World Cup.
Divide your family into two teams (you only need two people to play), and off you go. Whoever gets the most goals wins!
5. Discover Online Workouts and Dance
Just like you’ll find yoga videos online, you’ll also find a whole world of online dance and workout videos.
If you’re more of a gung-ho family than a namaste family, this might be the perfect indoor activity for you.
Some options include:
- Zumba and Zumba for Kids
- Mountain Kids and Mountain Contemporary Dance Arts
- Les Mills Born to Move
- SELF Free Online Workouts (for adults)
Keeping Your Mouth as Healthy as Your Mind
While we wait for life to return to normal, it’s important we do our best to keep not just our minds and bodies healthy, but our teeth, too!
Doing that requires proper brushing and flossing. If your children need some encouragement in this area, check out this blog with ideas for how to make dental care fun »
But if good dental health ends with brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, it starts with a teeth-friendly diet!
Read our guide to fun and healthy snacks that are good for your teeth (and that your kids won’t hate) »
A note to our customers: In keeping with guidelines issued by the state of California, Premier Orthodontics’ offices are currently closed. But customers needing emergency or pediatric care can contact our partner Children’s Choice, which is operating to serve patients with urgent oral and dental health needs.