Nowadays, it’s common to hear about the benefits of practicing self-care. It can improve physical and mental health, reduce stress levels, and promote relaxation. There are also endless types of self-care activities, so it’s easy to find something that appeals to you and fits your lifestyle.
But self-care isn’t just important for adults; it can also offer the same wellness benefits to kids. Children are more limited in the type of self-care they can engage in, especially the younger they are. But below, we look at four self-care activities you can easily do with toddlers that are fun and budget-friendly.
Meditation is proven to have a calming effect. Not only is it an easy (and free) activity that you can do anywhere, but it works for people of all ages, including toddlers. If your child is fussy, stressed, or simply needs to wind down, teach them simple breathing exercises to help them meditate.
Some benefits of meditation include:
- Improving sleep quality
- Increases self-awareness
- Reducing signs of anxiety
- Can offer a new perspective
- Decreases negative emotions
- Helps focus on the present
- Improves stress management skills
Meditation is also proven to help improve the symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including depression, asthma, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Start slowly when teaching your toddler the basics of meditation. It’s better to practice when they’re calm and attentive, so they know the skills in stressful moments when they can benefit from it. Healthline recommends having your child sit in a comfortable position and teaching them to connect with their body. For instance, encourage them to watch their stomach as they take deep breaths. Explain in age-appropriate words the benefits of meditation and ask your child how they feel to help them navigate their emotions.
Be realistic about meditating with a toddler. You can’t expect they’ll sit still for more than a few minutes. Practice makes perfect. The more you meditate with them, the more likely they’ll be to do it for longer and see positive effects.
Read our guide for more information on how to meditate with toddlers.
For many adults, doing a skincare routine is a simple way to de-stress in the evening. It’s soothing, calming, and feels good to do something for yourself. Likewise, doing a hair mask or eye patches is also an easy way to practice self-care a few times a week. Don’t hesitate to incorporate your toddler and make a bonding activity out of it.
Remember, your toddler won’t be able to use all the same products you do. The younger the child, the more sensitive their skin is. Be sure to use products that are child-friendly and preferable ones you’ve tried on your toddler before. You can also consider making a homemade face or hair mask with natural ingredients, which may be easier on your toddler’s sensitive skin.
Take A Walk
Self-care activities don’t always need to be low-key. Sometimes, moving your body can be exactly what you (and your toddler) need to feel better. Consider taking your little one out for a quick stroll around the block. It’s bound to make them feel better and tire them out before a nap or bedtime.
As per The Scientific World, some of the health benefits of walking for toddlers include:
- It’s relaxing
- Improves mood
- Stimulates imagination
- Promotes concentration
- Improves cognitive performance
Remember, your toddler may not be able to walk for very long or too far, especially without getting fussy. Consider bringing their stroller or a wagon if you want to go for a long stroll. Even just spending time outdoors (like in the backyard) without going too far can be a great self-care activity.
Do A Craft
Doing something creative is another great self-care activity. It has a variety of benefits for people of all ages, including the following:
- Improving mood
- Boosting self-esteem
- Stimulating imagination
- Improving cognitive function
- Promoting communication skills
It’s also an opportunity to bond with your child, so long as you’re doing something together.
You don’t need to do a complicated craft to harness the benefits of this self-care activity. It can be as simple as drawing in a coloring book. To make the creative project as stress-free as possible, choose an activity with little clean-up. Make sure it’s easy and age-appropriate for your child, so they won’t get frustrated during the process.
There are tons of self-care activities you can do with your toddler. You just need a bit of creativity and patience. Regardless of what you do, the most important thing is relaxing and having fun. If you achieve that, then you’re doing self-care right!
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Healthline, The Scientific World, Bright Water Group, Very Well Mind,