From studies to extracurricular activities, kids today face constant pressure to be the best and excel in every field.
The burden of expectations can have a devastating toll on young minds, and a support system is highly crucial in helping children through vulnerable phases. This help can be in the form of a friend, a doctor, a therapist, or even an article on the internet in some cases.
From children to senior citizens, mental health must be prioritized at every step. When it comes to children, the first level of support would be the parents or primary caregivers. However, not all parents can understand when their youngster is going through such a phase and even if they get a hint, very few tend to take it seriously.
Here are 5 ways to boost your child’s mental health:
- Regular Playtime
As a parent, you should motivate your child to spend some hours outdoors — be it indulging in their favourite sports or playing with friends. Playing is essential for regular doses of adrenaline and is a great way to get in some Vitamin D — a very important nutrient for growth in children. Exercising is truly one of the most important ways to boost your child’s mental as well as physical health.
Playtime doesn’t need to be limited to the outdoors; from fun puzzles to exciting board games, there are lots of activities to keep kids engaged and mentally stimulated. Outdoor and indoor activities play a vital role in boosting energy levels and lowering stress levels. Also, the more kids play, the better they sleep — what better reward for a parent after a long day?
You can also enroll your child in fitness and sports classes from a young age to give them an early head start in developing a healthier, fitter lifestyle. upUgo is one such platform that offers digital fitness classes to kids & teens across the world.
- A Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
We all know that healthy food is essential for our body and physical health, but who knew about the impact of a good diet on our mental health as well? The nutrients we consume affect our overall growth, and incorporating the following foods in your child’s meals would greatly help them in achieving the right mental balance.
As children are usually junk food enthusiasts, ensuring their diet has the right proportion of nutrients can be a challenging task for most parents. To counter their dislike of certain fruits and veggies, work your way to a fun solution by whipping up some exciting snacks and smoothies.
- Fun Away From Home
Given the hectic lifestyle most urban Indian families live, it is always important to find some time out to unwind and relax away from home. For children, the monotony of daily life — attending school, coaching classes, completing assignments — can be a cause for concern when the pressure keeps piling on and affecting their mental well-being.
Be it a short weekend getaway or a long vacation overseas, spending time bonding with family and friends can bring your kids a sense of relief, refreshment and satisfaction. This will ensure that they not only look forward to exciting times visiting new places, but also get back to daily routines with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.
- A Positive Home Environment
There’s no place like home, and a child’s emotional well-being is determined by how safe, secure and loved they feel in their own living space with family. Parents need to ensure a lively, supportive and vibrant haven for their children. Showering them with love and appreciation can go a long way in bringing peace to a child’s mind.
Asking questions about their preferences, interests and emotions are great ways to make a child feel cherished and help them open up more to parents, ensuring communication and conversations flow smoothly in the house.
- Paw-sitive Vibes
Spending time in nature and with animals lowers stress hormones and releases oxytocin, which stimulates a feeling of calm and happiness. The purring sound of cats or a session of playtime with your dog can be a wonderful stress buster.
Adopting a pet into the family can be life-changing for your child in all the right ways, helping them learn compassion, love and care from a young age. It’s one of the best ways to teach them empathy and how to be kinder people.
Going for a walk in a garden or park nearby can have a similar effect on youngsters, ensuring that your child appreciates the beauty of nature and the role we play in the conservation of our planet and the other animals we share this home with.
Small changes to your lifestyle can help your child blossom into a strong, well-round and kind adult with their physical and emotional well-being in the right balance to lead a healthy, fulfilling life.