When our regular schedules are disrupted and we are forced to stay home for extended periods of time, it can be extra difficult to stay physically active and eat well to keep our family’s health in check.
The anxiety and fear we might experience then will sometimes lead to emotional eating, and resorting to highly processed foods is common. Staying home with your family for prolonged periods can be quite a challenge, and not just in terms of how to spend time doing meaningful activities.
Let’s take a look at some helpful tips on how to optimize your family’s health while staying home.
Prioritize Your Family’s Diet
This may be very tricky when you and your family are staying in the house all day long. With nothing to do, it is easy to grab sweets and other unhealthy foods and dig in. Try to maintain a sense of structure and routine in order to prevent that.
It’s a good idea to start the day with a healthy breakfast that refuels the body and provides nutrients and energy for the day. Having a strong immune system is more important than ever, so opt for fresh produce whenever possible, and include plenty of fruits and veggies in your family’s diet.
Another important step is to add in more whole grains, if your health conditions allow, like brown rice and oats, nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil.
The basis for a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet is eating a wide variety of foods. Since access to groceries may be limited, and also some items may not always be available, you can make up for the required nutrients by opting for vitamin supplements. Of course, talk to your doctor and/or nutritionist. to make the best nutrition decisions for you and your family’s health.
Motivate Your Family Members to Move More
A healthy diet isn’t sufficient to keep your health at the optimal level. You also need to get a certain amount of physical activity.
Think of ways to include more exercise in your family’s daily routine. Schedule regular walks with your family members at a certain time, or plan for bike rides, rope jumping, or roller-skating. And you can even take turns listening to your favorite songs and having mini dance parties.
Also, house chores can serve as a way to get your kids engaged and break a sweat. Dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning are all great ways to burn some calories and make your home sparkle, too!
Although this may be a tough one, try to limit your kids’ (and your own) screen time. Instead, explore fun ways to keep you all involved and moving while following governmental measures regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
The good news is that there is an abundance of free or affordable home workouts for both adults and kids available on YouTube, social networks, Zoom, and specialized apps. From yoga for kids apps and dancing classes on Zoom all the way to bodyweight training for adults on YouTube, you can pick your favorite and start exercising.
Looking for specific—not to mention easy and effective—home workouts? We’ve got you covered! Check out our workout ideas right here on Life As Mama!
Gardening is a great way to engage your family in fun outdoor activities, soak up the sunshine, and reap even more benefits. According to some studies, a type of bacteria found in the soil may affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants. So, while working in your garden, you may get more than entertainment, fresh air, and plenty of sunshine. It may even lift your mood!
To spruce up your garden and make it more inviting to your family, consider adding some decorative potted plants such as flowers and herbs. You can include your little ones in choosing the plants so they will feel even more invested in improving your garden.
If you live in an apartment, you can make your own urban garden out on the balcony or even indoors.
While tending to your plants on the balcony, you will also get much-needed vitamin D, fresh air, and sunlight. Similarly, getting in touch with the soil will have the same effect as working in the garden.
Occupy Your Family’s Free Time with Meaningful Activities
When it comes to kids, play is an essential part of their development. You can encourage your little ones’ imagination and support their self-awareness and self-management by including sensory play and other creative activities. This will engage your kids and allow them to think outside the box.
A popular classic, a scavenger hunt out in nature will get your kids moving and exploring the outdoors.
The whole family can also try out yoga together. This will not only help you build strength, flexibility, and balance but also provide relaxation and calm.
Don’t forget about your family’s emotional health. You can use art and play with colors to explore feelings and initiate a talk about what is going on and how it’s affecting them. You can also use online resources and learn basic mindfulness techniques together.
Focus on positive activities like reading, painting, crafts, or cooking and baking to reduce the anxiety children may be feeling. Let your little ones know it is OK to feel scared or insecure sometimes, and reassure them that you will get through things together.
Remember: Routine and structure are important, so make a schedule for the day. This provides stability and makes your little ones feel safer.
Do you have any tips for keeping family health in check during social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded, every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.