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With parenting comes planning. There’s before-school care and aftercare. There are sports leagues and carpools. There's homework, and there are way too many hormones. It’s overwhelming. That’s why parenting guides are such big business—it’s one of those things you just don’t want to get wrong.
Now, though, all around the world, still-working parents suddenly find themselves shut away with their school-age kids, and neither side has any sort of manual or idea of how to make it work, other than just making it work.
In that sort of moment, how can you even think about prioritizing wellness?
The key for Christy Diaz, a Mindbody Workplace Safety & Security Specialist, is capitalizing on "the time my son is occupied with an activity that he can do all by himself.” She and her son are following a schedule, but not too closely. “When the sun peeks out here in California this week, we take a break and go outside for walks, play ball, and exercise.”
In need of some activities to do while you and your kids are homebound? Here are some ways we’re keeping the kiddos (and ourselves) happy during quarantine:
According to Alesha Lynch, a Mindbody Solutions Engineer and now WFH mom, setting a Mon-Fri schedule is very important:
"I have three little ones, and juggling homeschooling and work is very challenging, but if your kids know that there is a consistent schedule that they will be held to, it will help ease their little minds as well. Knowing what to expect each day, in these unexpected times, will help your little ones adjust.”
Just as we all are trying to find our own WFH routines, our kiddos need them as well. Whether it’s ringing a bell in between subjects, making sure they eat at the same time each day, or even designating a specific window of TV-time, we could all benefit from a little structure right now.
If you’re struggling with the whole homeschool part, check out Youth Remote Learning, an online platform that connects K-12 students to free, fun, and engaging courses in a variety of subjects taught by volunteer professors, teachers, and specialists. You can filter by grade level, topic, or time (to fit right into your schedule!), and take classes on anything from Spanish 101 to Storytelling with your Smartphone Camera.
Just as yoga can benefit our minds and bodies during this stressful time, it can benefit our children's as well. You may be taking advantage of virtual classes for yourself, but did you know that plenty of studios offer virtual kids yoga classes as well? Not only will this be a fun and healthy activity for your child, but it will help support small businesses as well! Here are some of our faves:
Shorty Yoga is a kids’ yoga studio in Beverly Hills that offers *tons* of classes designed specifically for your little ones. Browse their schedule to find classes for different age groups from pre-crawlers to tweens!
If you want to check out what the East Coast has to offer, Karma Kids Yoga in New York has tons of classes to choose from! From Baby Yoga to 7-10-year-old classes (and even Pajama Yoga), Karma offers classes for all age groups. Plus, they have a Family Yoga class you can all do together! Talk about keeping the family peace.
How about one specifically for tweens? We all know they love to act like adults. Be The Love Yoga in Boston offers a Virtual Tween Yoga class that “helps preteens navigate the journey from childhood to teenager by teaching the tools they need to improve concentration, reduce stress, and navigate the social emotional experience of becoming an independent young adult.”
If you notice your children are feeling particularly anxious right now, Free Spirit Yoga in Long Beach offers a yoga class for 4 to 8-year-olds that focuses on developing confidence, concentration, and reducing stress. In this 45-minute class, they’ll learn yoga poses and breathing techniques to build strength and promote calmness.
If you’re looking for one class for all your kids to join, Namaste Fitness in Chula Vista is offering their all-ages kids' class virtually as well! In this 30-40-minute class, students will practice deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and various poses in a fun, mindful, and imaginative manner.
And if your kid isn’t exactly running around yet... Blooma Yoga in Minneapolis has an awesome Prenatal Yoga class!
In a time when we’re forced to stay distant from others, it’s important to find other ways to get connected, not just for yourself, but for your little ones as well:
"I let my 5-year-old record live videos of herself reading bedtime stories to her friends. This helps her feel connected with her classmates.”
- Alesha Lynch
In addition to keeping her daughter connected with her friends, Lynch makes sure to keep her family close as well: "We try to take a family walk once a day, getting fresh air is super important while still practicing social distancing.”
Bridget Finegan, a Senior Technical Account Manager at Mindbody, says that in addition to being a homeschool teacher for her children now, she is also a “Zoom game night host for (her) cousins and friends." This presents a unique opportunity for her family to bond not only with one another, but with friends and extended family as well.
Another fun way to stay connected with your family is to treat your spouse and kids as coworkers, says Baron Wills, Solutions Engineer at Mindbody Australia:
“Being here with my children keeps me positive, and controlling whatever I can keeps the stresses low."
Try setting up their desks next to your own, allowing them to feel like you’re all part of the same team.
Sometimes, the same way too much of anything can get to be too much (except yellow Starburst—you can fight me on that, but know I haven’t cut my nails in a few weeks now), there comes a point when what you really need is to maintain familial distancing on top of social.
Acknowledging and respecting that emotion isn’t just OK—it lets you find healthy avenues to alleviate some of it.
Kim Haile’s ideal “me-time” is silent time—at least while it lasts.
“I usually lock myself in the closet or bathroom,” says Haile, a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Mindbody:
“I sit in silence, snack (not in the bathroom), or paint my toenails. Most of the time, my five-year-old finds me, and the ‘me’ time is over.”
If you’re like Haile, and you just can’t seem to get that “me-time” to last, try a more scheduled approach. Alesha Lynch appreciates “me-time” with other moms, to vent and share tips for working from home with kids: “My mom friends and I have been hosting a zoom meeting as "Moms night in." We come with our coffee and have social time to vent. We have also stayed social by hosting a Netflix viewing party and sharing recipes as well."
Whatever it may be, always be sure you’re making time for yourself, and know that you are not alone. This parenting business is tricky, but we’re all just taking it one day at a time.
Want to try a fitness class for yourself? Check out all our new virtual classes on Mindbody!
Tipping. While it can be a taboo topic that no one really wants to talk about publicly, the fact is, it’s a very important one that shouldn’t (and can’t) be avoided. This is all too true, especially now, when it comes to beauty services. Even before, “all of this” happened, there appeared to be some ambiguity about exactly how much to tip, when, what’s a respectable amount, and why. Now that we’ve tried our best at #homebeauty, it’s time to head back to the salons, spas, and other boutique beauty businesses (if you haven’t already). We’re here to guide you through gratuity in the new normal and why tipping a little extra to show your stylists and service providers you care during this tough time is the right thing to do.
To make sure we get you all the right answers, we asked around about it (so you don’t have to). Turns out, our Instagram followers had a lot to say about how to tip your stylists and show them some extra love right now.
Here’s what you think:
79% of you said you’ve been tipping more for beauty services recently. We’re all so grateful for our stylists—with split ends, grown-out roots, out-of-control brows, and terrible home-cut bangs to prove it. And now that many of us can return to our salons and spas, we’re appreciating the ones who help us feel beautiful even more right now.
We got a range of responses to this question. Some said they tip 5% more than they previously did, and many said 25%-35% total! Not only are these stylists actual artists, but they’re providing services we just can’t do ourselves. On top of that, many had to close their doors for several months, many were displaced as their salons shut down for good, and all of them are trying their best to get back to a sense of normalcy and do what they do best—help us look and feel beautiful. So, take this as a guide. Tip what you can but remember how much these wonderful people do for us.
When it comes to trying new services, 69% of you gave it a big fat NO, while 31% remain intrigued. It makes sense that many would stick to their go-tos right now, as salons are just starting to reopen in some areas or may not be open yet at all.
Depending on where you live and your overall health, you might be sticking with the bare minimum for now. But if your city has put in place safe reopening guidelines and measures, and you feel ready to head back out there, you can do so safely at a Mindbody salon. And you may be interested in trying out some new services right now as a way to show your local salons some extra support. If that’s you, browse beauty on the Mindbody app—and filter your categories to find out what’s out there.
Another way you can support your stylists right now? Shopping. It’s the safest way to show them some love without actually going in for a treatment. Many salons offer pre-payment on the Mindbody app and curbside pickup or a plethora of shipping methods, so you can keep contact to a minimum as much as possible. Plus, they have some pretty great stuff. If you need to invest in a good shampoo—especially because you haven’t gotten your hair done in months—so why not buy it from your stylist? According to our poll, it’s a pretty even split. 55% of you haven’t bought any products yet, while the other 45% have been shopping away. If you’re part of that 55, consider checking out your salon’s product offerings (you might see something you like).
Finally, we asked you all open-endedly how else you’re supporting your stylists right now. We got a lot of great answers. There was a lot of overlap, but we thought you might like to see some of the ones that stood out. So, if we didn’t cover it all so far, we’re about to—because you all are awesome and you did it for us. Here are some of the great ideas you had:
• “Paying in advance!”
• “Being more diligent about scheduling appointments versus letting my hair grow out”
• “Referring friends!”
• “Being flexible” (this is a good one—check out the 5 things your stylist wants you to know before you book)
• “Scheduling my next cut before I leave!”
• “Sharing their photos on Instagram and telling friends!”
So, if you’re a stylist reading this, thank you. We all want to continue showing you support during this time and beyond. And if you’re a regular person like me who really needs her highlights done, just schedule the damn appointment already (if you feel comfortable) or buy some purple shampoo from your favorite salon.