If you live in North America, you know how much we value work and how we live to work, feeling a sense of accomplishment for keeping busy lives. But regular downtime is essential for all of us – young and old alike – to thrive and lead healthy lives.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by schedules packed with work, family, studies, after-school sports, and lessons. If you maintain this kind of lifestyle for too long, the stress will catch up to you and too much stress can weaken the immune system, affecting your productivity at work and your energy levels at home. Children are no different. They need downtime too to unwind and recharge, when less is demanded of them. It’s good for the body and it’s good for the mind.
Downtime doesn’t require much effort. Even the most routine of tasks can offer some respite from the demands of your busy day.
Household chores don’t have to be a bore!
Turn chore time into togetherness time: Having your children help with folding laundry or preparing dinner opens up time to be together where you have each other’s attention without the distraction of the television or computer.
Necessary chores get done more quickly thanks to more helping hands, and children benefit from feeling useful for helping Mom and Dad. They also get to learn necessary life skills like household chores in a positive environment.
Your child’s schedule is often the busiest, so blocking time off is important to ensure they take a much-needed break from the relentless round of activities.
Make it a priority to schedule some downtime and include them in relaxing activities such as walking the dog, reading, listening to music, taking a nap, or taking a walk together in the park.
Discover the many ways that work for you and your children to relax and re-energize together. When they see you making downtime a priority, they will learn from your example that it matters.
For tip sheets and resources about parenting, contact your EFAP for more information from Family Support Services.