Give a High Five For Your Health

high-fiveHow would you evaluate your family’s health from the previous year? Is there anything you think you did really well? Can you think of something you could have done better?

A new year is a good time to think about your own health and make your new year’s health resolution! Below are some suggestions for good health habits that you can incorporate in 5 minutes or less to improve your family’s health routine for this new year. I hope you can give yourselves a high-five for your health achievement at the end of the year!

1. Spend time with the family.

We all have busy lives. Especially if you have a small child, managing all the household tasks and work can be very challenging. Older children may have more activities scheduled, which can take more time away from family time.

Spending some time with the family is very important for everyone’s mental and social emotional skills. You can talk about the day, talk about issues, and just spend good, quality time with each other. It doesn’t have to be a great amount of time, if you feel you just don’t have it at the moment. But even eating together for 5 minutes at the breakfast table can make a big difference.

Also, if you have a newborn and an older child (especially she is younger than 5), spending 5 minutes alone with the older child can make a big difference in offsetting the lack of attention that older siblings often feel they are receiving with a new baby in house.

2. Get some exercise.

Unless you are already an active person, exercising can be a big commitment. You can start by taking just 5 minutes doing some exercise, and do it with your child! It can be something fun and playful, like playing tag, tossing around balls, etc.

3. De-stress.

Life can be very hectic and stressful for both children and adults. Taking 5 minutes to relax can be extremely helpful to de-stress and build better emotional management skills and resiliency for children.  You can start by taking a quick 5 minute “relax time” and practicing some deep breathing with your child. You can give each other a little massage or foot rub, which helps build better bonding.  Playing some relaxing music and taking a “calm-down time” also helps foster calming behaviors for children who may be rather active and hard to settle down. When parents manage their stress well, children are more likely to successfully cope with difficulties and build a better sense of security. So, make sure to take care of yourself, which in turn enables you to take better care of your child and the whole family!

Bring your snacks to Tasty Tuesdays at Boston Children’s Museum and share your new year’s resolutions!

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