Small children are full of energy, and though it’s fun, it’s also exhausting. Sometimes you want to relax while engaging with your kids. If you’re interested, check out these five calming activities you can do with your kids.
Choosing a book and reading with your child is relaxing and educational. Even if your child can’t read yet, you can introduce them to words, phrases, and books in general. Set time aside to read aloud to your kid.
If your child can read, you can block out 20 minutes of the day for “reading corner” time, as you both silently read different books at the same time. After 20 minutes, you all can come back and discuss the book your child read.
Aromatherapy is an ultra-calming activity that allows kids to relax while smelling some lovely scents. Place a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser and sit with your child as you two work on deep breathing exercises or yoga. If you’re new to aromatherapy and essential oils, you can follow these tips for buying and using essential oils.
For young kids, sensory stations are a great way to play with different things while relaxing. The best part is that you can create the stations and play with your kids! For instance, you can fill a bin with shredded paper, uncooked rice, different types of fabric, or play dough to give your kid something to touch. As they explore different textures, you can play right beside them.
Drawing or Painting
Drawing and painting are two “never-fail” activities that kids of all ages can do! Grab some paper, crayons, paint, or colored pencils and work on a masterpiece. To elevate the experience, you can give your kid challenges, such as “draw our house” or “paint a picture of the sky,” to help them become more observant. Art is also a great form of self care and helps them to express their thoughts and feelings more clearly.
Walking is a fantastic exercise and a calming activity. You and your child can take a walk around the neighborhood or stroll through a park and enjoy the outdoors. You can even play a game of “I spy” to enhance the experience. For instance, you can say, “I spy something tall and green,” and your kid will say, “A tree!”
Kids are little energy balls that seem like they’re always on “go-mode.” However, there are activities you can do that calm yet engage your children! Hopefully, these five calming activities you can do with your kids gave you great ideas.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
Let’s face it; being a new mom is hard. It’s so important to participate in fun activities to keep postpartum issues at bay. Motherhood is all-encompassing, and some women find it challenging to know themselves outside of this role. Making home décor is an excellent way for new mothers to engage in something outside of being moms. Try out these creative DIY projects to decorate your home with when you’re feeling an artistic itch.
Every room needs a good shelf to house knickknacks and other decorative items. Making a unique shelf is an easy way for beginners to add character to any space. All you need are some brackets, nails, a stud-finder, and a drill. Using unconventional items, like wood stumps and brightly colored planks, leaves a special touch on all your designs.
Blank walls are an eyesore. Liven up any area with a gallery wall that expresses your unique taste and style. This doesn’t have to be an expensive project, either. Find cool art prints at your local thrift store or make art with a cheap canvas and any craft supplies you have at home.
While taking your mind off motherhood is our main goal, it’s always easier said than done. If you want to include the little one in the mix, a baby mobile is a creative DIY project to decorate your home with. Materials like ribbons, pom-poms, and reflective plastic provide your child with stimulation while also acting as a fun activity for you.
Flowers brighten up any room they occupy. Now is the perfect time to sift through your garden or pick up some fresh, local blossoms to include in your arrangements. You can even use dried flowers in your vases to add texture and dimension to an already beautiful display.
Becoming a new mom is a rewarding experience. Even so, it’s essential to care for yourself and continue to partake in activities that bring you joy. Creative DIY projects are beautiful ways to incorporate creativity into your home décor and your life. Now when you feel like adding something new to your home, you can make it yourself!
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
You’ve just put your baby to bed. Now, it’s time to take a deep breath and relax. However, sometimes it can be difficult to unwind. Your body might be tired, but your brain is still buzzing with plans for tomorrow. If you’re experiencing this frenzy, it might be a perfect opportunity for you to embrace an art-related hobby. Art and craft projects are perfect for helping new parents relax because crafting can:
The repetitive motion of many arts and crafts invokes a calming rhythm, similar to meditation.
Decrease depression and anxiety
The repeated motion and relaxed breathing used in many art projects can release serotonin — the body’s natural anti-depressant — in the brain.
Being a new parent can be difficult. Just when you think you have the hang of something, your baby decides to switch up the routine. Take a few minutes to tackle an easy win, such as a quick, de-stressing art project.
The repetitive motion of creating art can calm the mind, especially when combined with non-stimulating background sounds, such as those from a sound machine or white noise app on your phone. Crafting before bed can help you sleep better.
Occupy your hands
If you are prone to stress-eating, pick up an art-related hobby instead of a bag of chips. Holding and engaging with craft supplies can help keep you from eating mindlessly while watching TV.
Help prevent memory loss
Learning a new skill — even a skill that is not physically or mentally demanding — can help keep your mind sharp by strengthening the neural connections in the brain.
Be done while seated or standing
If you’ve been on your feet all day, it feels wonderful to sink into your favorite couch and put your feet up. By the same token, if you’ve been at a desk for several hours, it feels just as good to stretch your legs, back and shoulders. If you need to do more standing than sitting during your art projects, try crafting at a counter-height dining table or at a standing desk. Stand-up desks can also help keep little ones from getting into your art supplies.
Give It a Try!
Art doesn’t have to be intimidating or overly complicated. You can find easy art options — such as paint-by-number sets — at your local crafts store or supermarket. If you’re on a tight budget, you could create some simple works of art from the everyday objects around your home!
Here are some art and craft ideas to help any parents relax, new or tenured. Remember, don’t leave your projects unattended and always stow supplies before you retire for the evening.
Paint-by-number kits have improved tremendously since they debuted in the 1950s. During those days, the enclosed “canvasses” were pieces of cardboard that would sometimes bend and warp. Usually, there was only one type of brush included and the thick colors of pigment arrived in plastic containers that refused to stay closed, so the paints would often dry into cracked fossils before you could finish painting.
Today’s paint-by-number kits are much better. Many canvasses are made of woven linen and are available in various sizes. You can find kits with acrylic-based paints that are non-toxic, making them safe for kids, pregnant moms, pets and the environment. Many kits even include multiple brushes and hanging hooks. Best of all, in addition to contemporary abstracts and classic images by Klimt and Van Gogh, your personal photos can be uploaded to create custom canvas templates.
Grown-up coloring books can be purchased online or found in the magazine section of supermarkets and drug stores. Their images feature a range of patterns and topics, from Zen-inspired mandalas to realistic images of the human musculoskeletal system. Shade them with colored pencils, markers, highlighters from your home office or your kids’ crayons.
Crocheting and knitting
One current trend is arm knitting, which incorporates your arms, wrists and hands instead of knitting needles or crochet hooks. The result is a chunky blanket made of giant stitches. It’s easy to learn, and fun to complete!
Jigsaw puzzles often incorporate famous artwork. Assembling the pieces lets you engage with works of art even if you’re unable to visit the museums in which they are housed.
There are hundreds of paper-folding patterns available online. Their difficulty levels range from easy to mystifyingly complex. Like any art project, start simple and work your way up.
Creating art is a perfect activity to help new parents relax. Crafting is great for your self-care time, while you make masterpieces to use throughout your house. Plus, artistic activities can be accomplished quietly, enabling you to listen for the kiddos. Alternatively, many art projects — such as coloring — can be done as joint projects, with little ones working on their creations by your side. The next time you need some quiet time to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul, choose an art project.
Anna Baker is Social Media Manager for Crafts by Numbers, a provider of premium paint by number products. Baker has more than a year experience within the industry and focuses on managing various social networks.
Mother’s Day might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean mom’s pampering stops! Self-care is so important regardless, but for moms, it’s vital for staying sane and continuing to juggle many responsibilities in the age of COVID-19.
For any self-care newbies, the concept might seem like a buzzword, but studies show its remarkable benefits for overall well-being and health. Self-care isn’t about slacking off or going to the spa, but the practice of taking action towards preserving one’s health.
This past year, moms have been forced to do the impossible– balance working from home, helping their kids with virtual learning, and keeping their homes running smoothly. Half of all moms have seen their workloads increase and to balance it all, put their own needs on the backburner.
If you’re a mom who deserves some time off or you know a mom who has been deprioritizing her own needs, the following 16 self-care ideas are for you. Let’s get started by listing different ideas for different kinds of moms!
Self-Care Ideas for Stay-At-Home Moms
Stay-at-home moms have not received the breaks they need as kids no longer have sporting programs, extracurricular activities, or school a part of their schedule. Here are a few ideas for incorporating self-care as a stay-at-home mom.
Indulge in “me-time”
Stay-at-home moms might feel like prioritizing time for themselves in a house full of kids is “selfish” however, self-care is about replenishing your resources without depleting someone else’s. Creating a standard of wellness and personal development in your household will also encourage your kids to do the same!
Talk to someone who can relate
Discuss the highs and lows of motherhood with someone who can relate to you. Venting to another mom can grant you the perspective you need to feel like you have support when you need it.
Research shows that meditation can sharpen your mental awareness, prevent insomnia and even help you feel more present and attentive when caring for your kids.
Self-Care Ideas for Moms Who Work
While the “rest is for the wicked” mindset, might prove successful in the workplace, breaks and relaxation time is needed for moms to balance work and family. Try the following self-care ideas geared at working moms.
Listen to a thought-provoking podcast
For busy moms who only have free time in the car or on the run, try listening to an inspirational podcast. Follow podcasters like Brené Brown or Oprah who converse with leaders in society to feel courageous during a chaotic climate.
Unplugging from technological devices allows your body to naturally shut down and relax for restful sleep.
Put it in your schedule
TEDx speaker and holistic nutritionist Rebecca Cafiero recommends blocking off time on her calendar for self-care. She says “If it isn’t scheduled, it isn’t real.”
Self-Care Ideas for Essential Workers
Moms who are also essential workers have been called to perform at the same level while experiencing psychological pressures from the pandemic. Explore the following ideas for getting the rest you need.
Look to others for support
Many moms are not able to receive the support they need from friends and family due to social distancing guidelines. Instead, ask friends and families to help you in other ways like going grocery shopping for you, dropping off dinners or virtually teaching your kids.
Creating boundaries is not an overnight process—and some people or family members are unaware that they’re constantly crossing them. Use it as an opportunity to instruct your coworkers or family on how you best communicate, when it’s appropriate to disrupt you (if ever), and what they can realistically expect from you.
Medical director Dr. Ben Crocker recommends “Intentionally creating ‘shutdown’ time in your schedule.” He says “This can be a healthy time alone, for meditation and quietude.”
Check-in with colleagues
Finding meaning in helping others can build a support system and create normalcy in a chaotic time. Check-in with colleagues to let them know you’ve got their back.
Self-Care Ideas for Moms-To-Be
As an expecting mom, it’s easy to become fixated on preparing for your baby’s arrival, but cultivating your well-being is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Try some of the following ideas for moms-to-be!
Practice saying “no”
From friends offering unsolicited parenting advice to strangers asking to touch your belly, learning how to set boundaries can help you regain control of your pregnancy.
Get some exercise
As your pregnancy extends, there are many benefits to exercising for both mom and baby. Ask your doctor what a safe exercise session looks like for you based on your health.
Eat healthy foods
Food is medicine, and when expecting it’s important to make sure you are eating healthy and nutrient-rich food. Indulge in foods with protein, vitamins, and fiber such as salmon, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
Explore clean beauty
Many personal care products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to you and your baby’s health. Read up on clean beauty picks for pregnant women and indulge in pampering yourself with fun and safe products.
Mother’s Day may happen once a year, but self-care for moms should be practiced every day. Find little ways to incorporate these ideas into your routine to stay happy and healthy all year long.
Stacy Walden is a writer from sunny San Diego. She enjoys covering topics around productivity and wellness in the workplace. When she’s not writing she likes spending time with her family and friends and traveling to new places abroad.
Whether you’re a true artist, or looking for a way to enhance your self care routine, being creative is excellent for our mental health. The Covid-19 pandemic has given so many people the opportunity to take up a new art form. Creative hobbies such as drawing, sketching, writing and various forms of painting have become much more popular in 2020. But how do you continue to develop your creative limits post pandemic? The best advice is to fill a page a day with your artwork.
From taking breaks, indulging in thought-provoking media, and basking in eureka moments that last for nights on end, we all have our methods of training our skills in drawing, painting, sketching, and bringing our artworks to life. In fact, it’s quite hard to pin down a cookie-cutter description of how artists improve and make progress, other than abiding by principles like the golden ratio and proportion, to name a few.
However, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, to improve your art, you need to make art because skills come from hard work and not some magical potion you brew from inside your mind. And, in light of this universal truth, we think it’s high time that every artist must practice filling a page a day, whether just doodles or complete stories, to surpass their creative limits.
Why Even Bother?
Now, you’re not wrong for being indifferent. If you already have a schedule or technique that works best for your creative goals, then more power to you. But, there are also advantages to filling a page a day that can help hone your skill holistically and give you an edge against the average artist online. At first, the benefits may seem small, but they will stack up and eventually prove worthwhile over time.
Journal of Ideas: Let’s be real, we’ve all been through a drought in creativity, a time when nothing comes to mind and brain juices have run dry. For the hobby artist, this is perfectly fine and won’t affect them too much. But, for those that depend on art as a livelihood, this can eat into their mental state and put pressure. However, by filling a page a day, you slowly build a journal of ideas, a personal log that you can go back to when you’re not feeling your best.
Tracks Your Progress: Filling a page a day is also an excellent method of tracking your progress and evaluating how much you’ve improved over the past months. You can even use some of the artwork you’re most proud of as welcome additions to your portfolio. And, regardless if you treat art as a hobby or job, it doesn’t hurt to know where you’re at with your artistic journey.
How To Stay Spontaneous
Likewise, some people find it difficult to make anything creative when staring at a blank page and don’t really have any concept or description to base off. So, to get you started on that daily grind of filling pages with doodles and love, here are some ways you can stay spontaneous and on your toes:
#1 Try Different Concepts
As artists, we have a tendency to stick to our comfort zones and focus on things we’re used to making, not because we don’t want to try different concepts, but because we’re more well-versed in those subjects. However, since this act of filling a page a day is for your personal gain, there’s no reason to shy away from trying something new.
Use Templates: From free character design templates to countless creative prompts, there are millions of launchpads readily available online that you can use. If you find it troubling to make one, then use someone else’s because there’s no harm if it’s just for fun. Plus, you can limit yourself within the boundaries of that template.
Follow a Story: Another great way to get out of a creative rut and narrow-minded approach is by thinking up a story. Whether it’s a sci-fi samurai trapped in the future or about a modern and powerful woman’s quest for love and beauty through skin-tightening facial treatments, these concepts can inspire multiple ideas.
#2 Reference Existing Material
Many artists take pride in creating original work, but there’s also nothing wrong with exploring existing material and building off the worlds of others. There’s a reason why they’re famous, and that’s because they look beautiful, astonishing, and are well-planned out. So, why not give it your personal touch as a way to train your creative spirit?
Game Design: Games are a treasure trove of beautiful concept art and deeply invested lore. From the world of Half-Life with the Black Mesa incident to League of Legends and their numerous champion skins, there’s a vast world of game design for you to explore. And, with that extensive world, you can go crazy and have the freedom to give your spin.
Natural History: Nature is the best source of inspiration, and what better place to reference than going back to natural history? Plenty of beauty can be found in the living organism found on Earth and the plants that surface every corner. So, whether it’s sketching or sculpting, the ideas are limitless.
Don’t Let Creative Blocks Get in Your Way
Look, if there’s one thing the collective art community despises, it’s those pesky creative blocks that get in your way. They strip you of your imagination and leave you feeling lifeless. So, before you toss this practice to the side, please give filling a page a day a chance, and we can guarantee you that you’ll never regret it.
A new year marks the right time to start filling a page a day with your beautiful creative artwork. It is something that can easily be incorporated into your self care routine. If you’re quarantined at home, then taking up a new art form can be a great way to pass the time and help you feel less isolated. What will you fill your page a day with?
Anyone who isn’t currently practicing social distancing is putting others at risk.
With the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the loose, many people are retreating to their homes and avoiding large groups, i.e. social distancing. Not all are finding this is easy, with the Millennials and Gen Z’s getting most of the blame. Whether you’re currently serving a 14 day self isolation, or you’re still working and living life, you’ve likely noticed an increased level of boredom. Most places are closed, events are cancelled, and even hanging out with friends is frowned upon. So what are you supposed to do during this quarantine?
Well, my friends, it sounds like the perfect time to practice self care!
Pamper Your Body
With the added amount of stress due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, your body is likely in less than optimal health. Social distancing provides us with an unlimited amount of time for self care without feeling guilty. We don’t have to sacrifice time for self care because we suddenly have an abundance of it. (Besides, with all the frequent hand washing and cleaning, I’m sure we could all use a little extra pampering.)
1. Soak in the bathtub with a bath bomb or Epsom salts.
The media coverage on the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has us all stressing out. All of the stress and anxiety is bound to have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Plus, having to stay isolated can exacerbate those symptoms. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to use this time of self isolation and social distancing to work on improving our mood and mental health.
Self care should never be all work and no play. In fact, laughter is a great mood booster and we should find all kinds of ways to laugh and be playful, even while social distancing.
26. Play a video game or app.
27. Play a board game.
28. Work on a large puzzle.
29. Doodle a mandala.
30. Watch your favorite movies.
31. Laugh along with some stand up comedy or a funny movie.
Keep in Touch
We often think of self care as being alone but taking care of ourselves means doing good things for others, spending time with those we love and sharing pieces of who we are. This might seem hard to do while practicing social distancing, but there are still ways to keep in touch with others.
We need to spend as much time outside as possible while social distancing. Of course it’s important to stay away from crowds and limit our interactions as much as possible, but accessing fresh air is so important for our bodies both physically and mentally.
Decluttering is a form of self care because it’s something that we tend to put off doing. Then the clutter sits there, reminding us of our failures and causing undue stress. Use this time at home to deep clean, declutter and minimize possessions.
63. Go through all your old electronics, DVD’s, CD’s, cables, etc.
Tap into your Artistic Side
Art therapy is a super important way to practice self care while social distancing. Being creative means using our brains as well as developing hand eye coordination. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, you might be surprised with what you can come up with.
Use this opportunity to learn something. Learning is a way to improve our brain health. Plus it offers a distraction from anxiety and loneliness and can boost our self esteem. As adults, we often refrain from learning new things, or we start them but never seem them through. Learning a new skill or hobby is truly making the most of social distancing.
76. Take an online class.
77. Watch YouTube tutorial videos.
78. Read an instructional book.
79. Watch a documentary.
80. Find a new way to utilize something you don’t use anymore.
Exercise is one of the most important parts of self care. There’s no excuses while locked up at home with nothing to do. If your local gym is closed, check to see if they’re offering online workout videos instead. And don’t worry if you don’t have a home gym, there are so many different ways to stay physically active at home.
The world looks a little scary right now. Try to focus on the positive aspects instead. We are living in a moment of history, so document it. Take photos, write about it and enjoy every single moment. Use your time wisely and continue to have hope for the future. When this is all over, will you come out of it a better person?
96. Take at least one photo each day.
97. Cuddle with your spouse, kids, pet or even a stuffed animal.
When you’re a mom, it’s very easy to devote all your time and energy to parenting. Children have a lot of needs, especially when they’re younger. And although their needs tend to be time sensitive and consuming, using the right self care strategies can ensure that you make yourself a priority. It’s important to be selfless, but it’s also crucial that you find the time to look after number one.
Here are some helpful self-care strategies that moms should remember.
Stress is a very common problem faced by parents. Sleep deprivation, having to be on the go all the time and feeling like you never have enough hours in the day can all increase the risk of stress. Other factors, such as relationship worries, money problems and trying to balance work and parenthood may also play a part.
If you’re struggling with stress, the one of the best self care strategies is to try and work out exactly what is bothering you and causing you to feel on edge. Often, there are practical solutions.
Take the example of managing your money. If you’re finding it tough to get by from month to the next, or you’re trying to figure out ways to boost your credit score to get a mortgage, or you’re attempting to pay off debt, there are steps you can take. It’s useful to see a financial adviser, to start budgeting, and to use services like my fico to monitor your credit score.
There are myriad causes of stress, but if you let them take hold of you, even the most innocuous-seeming problem can spiral into something all-consuming. Learn to spot signs of stress, and try and manage it before it gets worse. Everyone is different, but popular self-care strategies include exercise, meditation, and creative activities.
Taking time out
It’s no lie that parenting is a full-time job. Even when kids are fast asleep, as a parent you’re still thinking about them and probably worrying about them too. Children do take up a lot of time, but there’s always room in the day for a bit of ‘me time’ too.
Make sure you take advantage of breaks. Schedule in half an hour to do yoga, an hour to catch up with friends or a night off from time to time to go out with your partner. It’s so important to be able to have that time out to recharge your batteries, relax, and connect with others without the kids in tow.
We all love our children, but there’s no harm in having a breather now and again. Scheduling some alone time is one of the most important self care strategies a mom can do.
Doing what makes you happy
When you become a parent, you tend to focus on what makes your kids happy, but try not to lose sight of what perks you up or brings a smile to your face. None of these self care strategies even matter unless they’re bringing you joy.
It’s crucial to work on your mental health and to find time to pursue hobbies and interests, engage in social activities and enjoy time doing things you love. Whether you like reading, painting, writing, dancing, or running, give yourself time to do what makes you content.
As a mom, you probably spend most of your time looking after your children. While they may feel like your number one priority, remember that you are still responsible for taking care of yourself too. And you will only be able to take care of them if you also take care of yourself.