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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!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.