When it comes to health and wellbeing, your view needs to be long-term. It’s a matter of habit-setting rather than sudden bursts of inspiration or willpower.
Of course, as adults, we have all the freedom in the world to do what we want and often struggle to identify and establish healthy habits. Children, on the other hand, have their parents as guides.
Here’s a look at some of the best healthy habits you should get your kids started on young.
Meditation is absolutely one of the best practices you can take up for your mental wellbeing. It’s been shown time and again to help people deal with stress, to improve focus, to alleviate the symptoms of depression, and more.
When it comes to getting your kids into this essential habit, having them sit cross-legged on a Tibetan meditation pillow and hum for an hour isn’t likely to be a winning strategy.
The easier and more fun alternative is to get a CD of fantasy, guided meditation tracks and play it to your child before bed. Not only will this get them used to the mental processes of meditation, but it’ll also help to engage their sense of wonder, and send them off to sleep in a calm and relaxed state.
Daily Physical Activity
This shouldn’t be too difficult, as children naturally tend to be energetic and are often running from one place to another. Sometimes it’ll be a struggle just to keep them from needing any visits to the doctor (or maybe sports medicine physician if they’re the more athletic type).
Inevitably, however, there will be days when your kid just feels like sitting at home and watching TV or playing the latest video game, and these days can easily turn into weeks.
Physical activity is well known to be one of the absolute cornerstones of lifelong health, and especially considering the modern obesity epidemic; it’s more important than ever to make sure this habit sticks.
Instead of simply telling your child “alright, now go run around outside for 10 minutes”, reinforce the idea that physical activity is fun. Have them play active games with friends whenever possible and consider enrolling them in sports or martial arts groups they find interesting or exciting.
Daily Time Spent Outdoors
Fresh air and vitamin D from the sun are essential at all ages, but especially for a growing child. With the 21st Century being dominated by screens and digital environments, it’s crucially important that you get your child away from the tablet and TV and into the outdoors as often as possible.
Not only does regular time outdoors boost a child’s immune system, but it also forces their imagination to engage in ways that a computer never could. A stick becomes a sword, a bush becomes a home for gnomes and fairies, and the forest becomes a wonderland.
Adults are probably less well-rested today than ever before. Not only do we drink coffee all day, we often watch Netflix all night and struggle to sleep afterward.
Get your child used to a restful bedtime routine. No screens, no blue light, and a bedtime story or some relaxing music to help wind them down.