When you are a single parent, it can be easy to throw yourself into work, parenting, and daily tasks at home and lose sight of your physical and mental shape. This can become a significant issue over the winter months, so when the summer months come around, it is time to change things up and get active outdoors. Getting outside with your kids can be just the trick to shake up your routines and there are plenty of unique ways to be active and improve both your mental and physical health. Here are a few suggestions from Moms Exchange.com:
Getting your family outdoors in creative ways boosts your overall health
Getting outside is one of the best ways to improve both your mental and physical shape. For example, even just a few minutes a day outdoors can decrease your stress levels and boost your energy levels. Spending time being active outside can significantly improve your focus and it can do wonders for your child’s focus and school behavior as well. In addition, many people find that getting outdoors can lead to improvements in the quality of your sleep and all-around improvements in your mental health.
When it comes to working toward improving your mental and physical shape, making it fun and creative is key. Mind Body Green suggests that simply having fun and being active can have a great impact on your health and can give you an excuse to skip the gym or other structured workout. While families often think of traditional activities to do together outdoors like walking, biking, or playing in the yard, there are plenty of other options that can motivate tired single parents and their kids to make time for extra activity.
Buzzfeed shares some great ideas for family outdoor fun that are on the creative side. Spray paint a Twister board on your lawn and play as a family or put together an obstacle course or game including fun components such as slip and slides and frisbees. Play water balloon dodgeball or open up a whole new world of possibilities by using glow sticks at night in traditional games like Capture the Flag, bowling, or hide-and-seek.
And don’t forget that Fido is part of the family too, and dogs need exercise just like you. Find creative games to include your four-legged family member such as round robin, treat treasure hunt, or freeze tag.
Ensure everyone is taking care of their chompers
Oral health can be a challenge at any age, but for youngsters it can be especially unwieldy. If your kiddos are reluctant to brush, floss and rinse properly, look for ways to make it fun. Toothbrushing songs and fun products can turn a chore into an entertaining event! And of course, it’s vital to set a great example for your kids.
If you tend to be the weak link on oral health care in the family, look for ways to make it more enjoyable for yourself, too. Find a mouthwash and toothpaste you like, and if something about your mouth bothers you, address it. Look into whitening procedures if you have stains, or if your teeth are out of alignment, explore newer treatment options. You’re no longer limited to traditional braces, thanks to convenient and affordable in-home therapies. Check out reviews to find the right option for you. Having a smile you feel good about can make a big difference in your self-confidence!
Model healthy food choices for your kids
As you say goodbye to winter and look forward to summer, start thinking ahead to adjustments you can make on the nutrition side of things for your family as well. The warm months provide plenty of opportunities to try new foods that come into season and modeling good habits for your kids can play a significant role when it comes to eating just as it does with activity.
When you are a single parent, it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet in the midst of trying to keep up with everything else. Many families will tend to go for quick, unhealthy choices when things get hectic, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate nutritious choices that don’t have to take a big effort. When you as a parent focus on quality nutrition, your kids will pick up on those habits as well.
Boost kid cooperation for meals by getting them involved
Veg Kitchen shares that putting together meals with do-it-yourself components can be fabulous for kids, as something like a fajita or baked potato bar loaded with healthy choices can be quite appealing for kids. Give kids healthy choices so they have some control over their food and get them involved in the shopping, planning, and preparation of your family’s meals to amp up their cooperation as well.
Trying to keep up with everything can be quite challenging for single parents, and sometimes, working on your physical and mental health can fall by the wayside. The summer season is the perfect time to take stock and build up good food choices and fun outdoor activities so that both you and your children can feel better both physically and mentally. Get creative about both your meals and your exercise and remember that your kids are watching and will follow your lead.
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.
Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.