Stories and advice from some incredible women in wellness.
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With parenting comes planning. There’s before-school care and aftercare. There are sports leagues and carpools. There's homework, and there are way too many hormones. It’s overwhelming. That’s why parenting guides are such big business—it’s one of those things you just don’t want to get wrong.
Now, though, all around the world, still-working parents suddenly find themselves shut away with their school-age kids, and neither side has any sort of manual or idea of how to make it work, other than just making it work.
In that sort of moment, how can you even think about prioritizing wellness?
The key for Christy Diaz, a Mindbody Workplace Safety & Security Specialist, is capitalizing on "the time my son is occupied with an activity that he can do all by himself.” She and her son are following a schedule, but not too closely. “When the sun peeks out here in California this week, we take a break and go outside for walks, play ball, and exercise.”
In need of some activities to do while you and your kids are homebound? Here are some ways we’re keeping the kiddos (and ourselves) happy during quarantine:
According to Alesha Lynch, a Mindbody Solutions Engineer and now WFH mom, setting a Mon-Fri schedule is very important:
"I have three little ones, and juggling homeschooling and work is very challenging, but if your kids know that there is a consistent schedule that they will be held to, it will help ease their little minds as well. Knowing what to expect each day, in these unexpected times, will help your little ones adjust.”
Just as we all are trying to find our own WFH routines, our kiddos need them as well. Whether it’s ringing a bell in between subjects, making sure they eat at the same time each day, or even designating a specific window of TV-time, we could all benefit from a little structure right now.
If you’re struggling with the whole homeschool part, check out Youth Remote Learning, an online platform that connects K-12 students to free, fun, and engaging courses in a variety of subjects taught by volunteer professors, teachers, and specialists. You can filter by grade level, topic, or time (to fit right into your schedule!), and take classes on anything from Spanish 101 to Storytelling with your Smartphone Camera.
Just as yoga can benefit our minds and bodies during this stressful time, it can benefit our children's as well. You may be taking advantage of virtual classes for yourself, but did you know that plenty of studios offer virtual kids yoga classes as well? Not only will this be a fun and healthy activity for your child, but it will help support small businesses as well! Here are some of our faves:
Shorty Yoga is a kids’ yoga studio in Beverly Hills that offers *tons* of classes designed specifically for your little ones. Browse their schedule to find classes for different age groups from pre-crawlers to tweens!
If you want to check out what the East Coast has to offer, Karma Kids Yoga in New York has tons of classes to choose from! From Baby Yoga to 7-10-year-old classes (and even Pajama Yoga), Karma offers classes for all age groups. Plus, they have a Family Yoga class you can all do together! Talk about keeping the family peace.
How about one specifically for tweens? We all know they love to act like adults. Be The Love Yoga in Boston offers a Virtual Tween Yoga class that “helps preteens navigate the journey from childhood to teenager by teaching the tools they need to improve concentration, reduce stress, and navigate the social emotional experience of becoming an independent young adult.”
If you notice your children are feeling particularly anxious right now, Free Spirit Yoga in Long Beach offers a yoga class for 4 to 8-year-olds that focuses on developing confidence, concentration, and reducing stress. In this 45-minute class, they’ll learn yoga poses and breathing techniques to build strength and promote calmness.
If you’re looking for one class for all your kids to join, Namaste Fitness in Chula Vista is offering their all-ages kids' class virtually as well! In this 30-40-minute class, students will practice deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and various poses in a fun, mindful, and imaginative manner.
And if your kid isn’t exactly running around yet... Blooma Yoga in Minneapolis has an awesome Prenatal Yoga class!
In a time when we’re forced to stay distant from others, it’s important to find other ways to get connected, not just for yourself, but for your little ones as well:
"I let my 5-year-old record live videos of herself reading bedtime stories to her friends. This helps her feel connected with her classmates.”
- Alesha Lynch
In addition to keeping her daughter connected with her friends, Lynch makes sure to keep her family close as well: "We try to take a family walk once a day, getting fresh air is super important while still practicing social distancing.”
Bridget Finegan, a Senior Technical Account Manager at Mindbody, says that in addition to being a homeschool teacher for her children now, she is also a “Zoom game night host for (her) cousins and friends." This presents a unique opportunity for her family to bond not only with one another, but with friends and extended family as well.
Another fun way to stay connected with your family is to treat your spouse and kids as coworkers, says Baron Wills, Solutions Engineer at Mindbody Australia:
“Being here with my children keeps me positive, and controlling whatever I can keeps the stresses low."
Try setting up their desks next to your own, allowing them to feel like you’re all part of the same team.
Sometimes, the same way too much of anything can get to be too much (except yellow Starburst—you can fight me on that, but know I haven’t cut my nails in a few weeks now), there comes a point when what you really need is to maintain familial distancing on top of social.
Acknowledging and respecting that emotion isn’t just OK—it lets you find healthy avenues to alleviate some of it.
Kim Haile’s ideal “me-time” is silent time—at least while it lasts.
“I usually lock myself in the closet or bathroom,” says Haile, a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Mindbody:
“I sit in silence, snack (not in the bathroom), or paint my toenails. Most of the time, my five-year-old finds me, and the ‘me’ time is over.”
If you’re like Haile, and you just can’t seem to get that “me-time” to last, try a more scheduled approach. Alesha Lynch appreciates “me-time” with other moms, to vent and share tips for working from home with kids: “My mom friends and I have been hosting a zoom meeting as "Moms night in." We come with our coffee and have social time to vent. We have also stayed social by hosting a Netflix viewing party and sharing recipes as well."
Whatever it may be, always be sure you’re making time for yourself, and know that you are not alone. This parenting business is tricky, but we’re all just taking it one day at a time.
Want to try a fitness class for yourself? Check out all our new virtual classes on Mindbody!
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.