Family Wellness: Mental Health Practices You Can Do Together

Family Wellness: Mental Health Practices You Can Do Together
Nikki Hurst

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! 1 in 6 children under the age of 17 can experience symptoms of a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Mental Health Awareness Month has the goal of reducing stigma around mental health conditions, providing families with access to helpful services, and educating families on steps they can take to monitor and improve mental health for both parents and children. 

This month, we’ll be sharing information on how to look out for your child’s mental health, how to help your child work through big feelings and cope with difficult emotions, and how to navigate situations that can take a toll on your child’s mental health, such as bullying and social media.

To kick off Mental Health Month, here are some ideas for different activities and practices you can do together as a family!

Daily Affirmations

Saying daily positive affirmations has been shown to improve children’s self-confidence and self-esteem, foster a growth mindset, and even boost academic performance!

Start off by practicing short affirmations with your kids in the morning before they go to school. Stand with them in front of a mirror, and repeat a positive phrase three times. Here are some examples of kid-friendly affirmations:

  • I am brave
  • I can do anything I set my mind to
  • I am a great friend
  • I am creative
  • I am proud of who I am
  • I am grateful for everything in my life

Moxie can also practice daily affirmations with your kids! Just say, “Moxie, let’s do an affirmation!”

Mindfulness Exercises

Doing mindfulness exercises, such as guided meditations or breathing exercises, improves emotion regulation and helps kids to feel more calm when they are experiencing big emotions. 

Practice doing breathing exercises together as a family before a stressful event, when you notice someone is feeling overwhelmed, or to help calm down before bedtime. There are several kid friendly breathing exercises on youtube, which are helpful for children who are visual learners. You can also watch or listen to a guided meditation, or use an app such as Headspace for Kids. 

Moxie has several great mindfulness activities, such as Animal Breathing, Meditation Journeys, and a Body Scan.

Get Active

Getting outdoors in the sunshine or participating in a physical activity are great ways to boost your kids mood and increase positive endorphins! Schedule some time during the day as a screen-free time and focus on getting moving as a family.

Go on a nature walk, take a trip to the park, do a yoga video together in the grass, or put on your favorite music and have a dance party inside if the weather is gloomy! 

Moxie has several activities to help your kid get active, such as Dance Party and Wild Workout.

Family Bonding

Spending time together as a family doing fun and creative activities is a great way to improve everyone’s mental health. Designate one night a week as family night, get into your comfiest PJs, get out the cozy blankets, pillows, and lighting, and spend meaningful time together.

You can make a family night jar so that you never run out of fun ideas! Have each family member write down a few different activity ideas on pieces of paper and place them in the jar. Then take turns choosing an activity each week! Some ideas for activities include:

  • Board game night
  • Movie night
  • Coloring book night
  • Build your own pizza night
  • Karaoke night

Prioritize Self Care

Having good self-care habits is just as important for kids as it is for adults! Once a month or so, plan a family self-care day, and spend the afternoon doing your favorite self-care activities. Some ideas include:

  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Face masks
  • Cooking a healthy meal (or a sweet treat!)
  • Listening to calming music
  • Bubble baths
  • Stretching and yoga
  • Manicures and pedicures

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