According to the United States Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling households has doubled in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in time spent at home and in an isolated environment has affected the mental health of many. According to a recent survey completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of U.S. adults reported a decrease in their mental wellness due to the pandemic.
Promoting mental health and practicing self-care is essential during this unprecedented time. Whether you’re new to homeschooling or have been homeschooling for years, you’re likely foreign to the practice of being home-bound for all activities, from virtual happy hour at work to family zoom calls.
4 Tips for Promoting Mental Health:
#1 Take Mental Health Breaks
Build breaks into your lessons for both you and your children! Taking a 5 minute break to practice deep breathing or guided imagery can boost your focus and decrease stress. This also teaches children the importance and impact of practicing self-care, and might encourage them to continue this practice long after their homeschooling years.
#2 Get Fresh Air
Fresh air is rejuvenating! If you’re feeling exhausted or in a muck, go outside for a few minutes. Taking a few minutes throughout the day to step outside and enjoy the fresh air can help boost your mood and energy levels.
#3 Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
Exercise is affordable and accessible medicine for the soul. Research supports the use of exercise as a tool for reducing anxiety and depression. It’s important to teach children that exercise can be fun and enjoyable! Spend time each day doing some form of exercise that you enjoy. You don’t need a gym membership or machines to get an effective workout. Put on a Zumba video from YouTube and dance it out with your kids. Your body is your machine, so use it!
#4 Fuel Your Body with Purpose
Your body is your tool for living, so fuel it properly! Consuming food that makes you feel good throughout the day promotes mental health and success. Fueling with a purpose, means eating foods that better you. What would happen if the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz fueled himself with something other than oil? Well, the yellow brick road would likely get cut short. It’s healthy to indulge in your favorite treats, as long as there is a balance. Our bodies need to be fueled properly in order to work properly for us. In addition, eating healthy boosts self-confidence and promotes cognitive function!