Embracing Life at Home with the Kids
With the given challenge upon us due to Covid-19, many are now housebound with kids for an indefinite amount of time. Initially, this abrupt change sparked chaos, mixed emotions and frenzy upon us. Now that we’ve had a little time to adapt, many seem to be easing into this temporary at-home lifestyle with a little more peace, ready to create a new rhythm.
Every person and every family is unique. It’s therefore very important to consider, explore and determine what works best for each of us. Following are some basic suggestions on how many of us (particularly those with children) can make this time at home a little smoother and more joyful:
Develop a basic routine and some structure while still allowing flexibility:
There are many ways to do this. One idea delivered by Time Magazine is to use school as the framework and honour the children’s previous schedule. Think about when are they are used to having breakfast, snacks and lunch. When is recess? Break the day into small chunks much like school does with subjects. If your child has assigned schoolwork, do they work best in the morning or afternoon? If you are working, how can you line up your day with their activities? Many kids thrive on predictability. It may be easier to get kids off technology if they have a set time for it each day and know when that time ends. Structure does not mean no free time. Free time can simply be incorporated into the daily routine.
Get moving (ideally outside) everyday:
We all know it’s important for our physical and mental health to take breaks from work to stretch and move. For those home with kids, initiating playful physical activity throughout the day is a wonderful way to keep everybody moving. Classic games like hide and seek, tag, skipping, ball, biking, yoga, dancing, yard work, backyard obstacle courses and races are great ways to get the blood pumping and oxygenate the brain while having fun!
Eat healthy and engage the kids in food practices like gardening, cooking and baking:
With the concern of a contagious virus circulating, now more than ever is time to be mindful of our eating habits. Foods that support healthy immunity are natural, plant based foods. Consuming a variety (think eat from the rainbow) of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, herbs and spices will provide loads of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and fibre for optimal health and immunity. Getting the kids involved in age appropriate food preparation helps to encourage responsibility and healthy eating habits. Growing our own food is truly inspiring for people of all ages. There is no better time to get connected with the earth, the source of our nourishment by planning and planting a vegetable and herb garden!
Don’t forget your supplements!:
With the abrupt change in routine, it’s easy to forget to take your supplements. My basic supplement recommendation guidelines for those of all ages is: a high quality multivitamin or green drink, essential fatty acids (typically fish oil), vitamin D and probiotics. For additional immune support, consider adding Ester vitamin C, zinc and perhaps a herbal immune support formula, sleep or stress formula if needed. NFP nutritionists are on site at all four store locations to help you determine what would be best for your and your family.
One of the best solutions to stress and anxiety is laughter and play! There are a multitude of articles and posts offering fun and creative activities for kids and families. Pick your favourites and have fun! Drawing, painting, crafting, baking, kitchen science, jewelry making, reading, playing cards, board games, dancing, music, playlist creation, movies, documentaries, fort building, puppet shows, karaoke, letter writing and mailing (the old-fashioned way), puzzles, spa day, backyard camping, sidewalk chalk, Lego or blocks, reorganizing and decorating a room, virtual play dates and online family chat, making a time capsule, video, scrapbook or journal of the current events are just a few ideas to spark creative minds! But be cautious not to overwhelm yourself. Perhaps choose one activity per day or week to focus on at a time.
Make room for Self-Care & Self-Compassion:
Think about what you love to do most. What truly fills your heart, your bucket? Whether it is reading, journaling, walking, meditation, art, yoga, connecting with a friend, taking a bath, watching a movie or show, cooking, etc… Make it a priority to fit in a little “you time” each day or week. Filling your bucket ensures that you have enough energy, peace and yes, sanity to keep you moving forward in a positive way. Most importantly, when all falls apart, remember grace and self-compassion. Be gentle on yourself. These are not easy times and some days are completely unpredictable. Happiness and health matter now more than ever! A new day always lies ahead!
Holistic Nutritionist Natasha Villeneuve has a passion for health, nutrition and holistic living. As the lead of the NFP Education Initiative, Natasha brings valuable information and education to the NFP community.