Activities for families

Some healthy ways to cope during the pandemic

Find healthy ways to cope with this pandemic without relying on substances like alcohol or drugs. Use your imagination and try something new, creative and fun.

By helping your family (and yourself) make positive, healthy choices when stressed, you are modeling important ways to be resilient and resourceful for your children.

You have the tools to keep you and your family healthy and safe from harm to get you all through any of this uncomfortable and anxious situation.

Here are some positive and healthy ways that you and your family members can be temporarily removed from any tense or stressful situation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic – remember to keep your distance from anyone outside your own family cluster.

Family Fun – There are several organizations supporting families with activities that are fun and help kids gain new skills. The Jays Care Foundation proposes 5 new challenges every week for your kids to keep them active and healthy. #unstoppable kids.

Chill – Try yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, mindfulness or any other form of relaxation that works for you. Don’t forget deep breathing and visualization. Encourage your kids to relax with you. Imagine yourself in your happy place.

Exercise – Establish a new exercise routine by joining an online exercise group, or take your exercise outside – take a daily walk together, jog or bike ride with your kids, keeping your family at safe distances from others.

Sleep – It may feel harder to get a good night’s sleep, but it’s important. Begin a new nighttime routine, turn off the screens an hour or two before going to bed, have an herbal tea, listen to some calming music.

Unplug – Some children are very sensitive to what they see and hear in the media and they may become overly worried, which may manifest itself in sleeplessness, unhealthy eating, and other uncharacteristic behaviours. Older children, such as adolescents and teens may turn to harmful substances in order to block-out what makes them uncomfortable. If you find that you or your family members demonstrate increased anxiety while engaging in media that constantly updates the pandemic, unplug.

Discover new recipes – Cooking with your kids is a great way for them to learn skills and for you to try that delicious new recipe you’ve never had the time for.

Get Creative – Expressing your thoughts and feelings through the arts can provide another outlet for your emotions: paint, draw, colour, do a family collage, create a virtual photo album of things you love. Sing a song, compose a tune, create or build a model of something. Explore digital technology tools that can help you realize your creative projects.

Self Care – Give yourself some TLC with an in-home spa. Take a bath with a copious amount of bubbles and put a sign on the door: “Out of Order for 20 minutes- ME time.”

Family games day – Dust off those old board games or play charades and get the family going in a little friendly competition. Read the rules together or make up your own.

Have a family dance party – Put on a variety of music- all family members get to choose something, and dance! Dance around the house – inside and out. Record your family dancing and send it to your family and friends. There’s lots of inspiration on social media. Put your earbuds in and dance in your backyard and express yourself.

Laugh – When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins and dopamine, nature’s feel-good chemicals. The result? We can better cope with stress, find hope, and see problems in new ways. 1  Watch a funny movie or TV series together. There are so many streaming services available to suit every age and every taste.

Virtual get-togethers – While you are self-isolating, be sure to keep in touch with family and friends virtually on a regular basis. There are a variety of social media apps and sites that allow you to maintain these important connections – chat, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries – and spend some quality time with multiple family members you can’t be close to. Facebook live, Apple FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google hangouts are free and available to all.

1. Laughter – The Surprising Secret to Surviving Tough Times, Tasha Eurich, Psychologist, 2014