Social distancing, isolation, and other stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the mental health of many individuals and their families. In fact, many Canadians are self-reporting that their mental health is worse than before the pandemic.1 Fortunately, with vaccines being distributed, Canadians can begin to see the light at the end of tunnel and feel more hopeful.
For now, one way to beat the COVID-19 blues is by staying active and spending time together. Family time can provide your kids with social support, emotional ties and can even help them cope with stress better.2
Here are five ways families can prioritize health and wellness together:
Creating a healthy recipe together can be tons of fun for the entire family! As a result of COVID-19, there are a variety of virtual cooking classes and workshops being offered online. There are even some kid-friendly ones, where kids can roll up their sleeves and help their parents cook like The Kid’s Table or Kids Cook Real Food. Kids can learn valuable kitchen skills – soon you’ll have a little chef on your hands!
Another option is to sign up for subscription meal boxes. These boxes deliver fresh ingredients right to your doorstep with easy recipe instructions to follow. Curated by real chefs, these meal kits teach you cool new cooking techniques, with the benefit of a restaurant quality meal prepared by you!
Here are some subscription meal boxes to try:
If you have any family recipes, consider organizing a Facetime session with the grandparents. They can walk your family through cooking these cherished recipes. It’s the perfect way for kids to bond with their grandparents and learn more about your family history.
Inspire your kid’s creativity by signing up for virtual arts and crafts classes. Shop online or raid your local arts and crafts store to stock up on materials. You can engage in an organized class or simply give your kids the tools they need to explore their own creativity.
Another interactive activity to consider are subscription activity boxes for kids. These can keep your kids engaged for hours and teach them new skills and techniques that they’ll be excited to share! There are many types of boxes ranging from science, travel, exploration, art, and more. The subscription fee covers all the necessary tools to complete the activity. Here are a few to check out: KiwiCo, Little Passports, and Funvelope.
While a normal weekend may consist of taking your kids to aquariums, art galleries, museums, and science centers for fun and educational activities – the good news is this doesn’t have to stop because of COVID-19. Many of these organizations have transitioned to offering online programming. Check out local websites to see what kind of programs and interactive activities they’re offering to fill your children’s days with creativity and interesting facts.
Reading is an essential skill to cultivate with your kids; it can stimulate creativity and teach them communication skills. Storytime may already be a tradition in your household, but there are other ways you can encourage even more reading during the pandemic! Check out your local library’s website to see if they’re offering online programming, like virtual family book clubs or author readings.
While seeing the grandparents in person may be challenging during this time, there’s no reason why you can’t have grandparents read stories to your kids over Facetime. It’s a great way for your kids to spend time with their grandparents, who may also feel lonely and isolated during this time.
The pandemic has inspired more people to spend time in the great outdoors, especially after months of isolation and social distancing. Now is the time to get outside and go on family adventures.
Conservation areas are filled with lush, beautiful trails to explore while getting the wellness benefits of nature. Neighbourhood parks are another place where you can give your kids tons of greenspace to run around all day long to stay active. Try venturing off your normal path and exploring some of the other parks in your neighborhood – you may stumble upon some hidden gems.
Tis the season for winter activities, so check out local skating rinks, snowshoeing trails, or learn how to ski or snowboard. Make the most out of the chilly temperatures with winter fun for everyone.
Classic board game nights are making a comeback. To stay entertained during isolation, battle it out family-style with your favourite games. Whether it’s Monopoly, Clue, or new additions to the collection, these can make a night in a lot of fun. Family members of any age will enjoy game night.
Digital games are also increasing in popularity, apps like Houseparty and Jackbox may be great options especially if your kids are older. You can simply download these games and use them whenever you’d like. The best part is you can even play these games with family and friends that live in different household since they’re online.
Prioritizing health and wellness as a family is important, especially now when circumstances are causing people to feel lonely, depressed, and anxious. Another way to prioritize health and wellness is to put your mind at ease. One way to have peace of mind is by investing in a life insurance plan, ensuring that even during times of uncertainty the people closest to you are financially protected.