Stress management can make or break keeping a healthful lifestyle. For those of us living in families with children, we may need to de-stress together. Luckily there are stress-relieving activities that can be done at together. Plus, teaching stress management to your youngsters will better prepare them for adulthood. So, practicing stress-relief as a family has the double benefit of providing your child with valuable skills and giving respite to the whole family. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Create a tradition
Traditions and routines matter because they help everyone feel more secure. Any activity that is regular and predictable can be a tradition. Pick from everyday activities or create something new and add them to your weekly, monthly, or annual routine. Can’t think of anything? Consider one of these: Write ridiculous birthday songs. Start a game night. Learn something together.
Find a shared hobby
Find something the entire family can enjoy together. If you haven’t yet discovered something everyone likes, perhaps turn everyday duties into a hobby. Cook together. Garden together. Create a scrapbook or photo album. Watch movies. Play a game. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it is relaxing and enjoyable.
Get active together
Physical activity is good for stress management, so long as you’re doing it in a way that’s both physically and emotionally healthy. Try to find ways to be active together. Some ideas include: Yoga, tai chi or other videos online. Cosmic Kids has fun kid friendly yoga. Go for a walk or bike ride. Go on a treasure hunt. Go places where being active is the fun part of being there. Hit the ice rink, skate park, or hiking trail. Train for a 5k or take up a martial art.
Downtime is critical for stress management. Try scheduling some “do nothing” or free time. Unscheduled time allows for playing reading, creating, relaxing, contemplating or nothing at all. The whole family will benefit from being allowed personal time.
Share story time
Regardless of age, reading and stories can be an enjoyable way to de-stress. Take turns reading a book. Listen to a book or story. Make up stories to tell each other. Check the local libraries for reading and story opportunities.
If you are finding it difficult to manage stress even with some of these activities, counseling may help get you back on track.