This week, E.R.E. celebrated “Every Kid Healthy Week” by focusing each day on a different aspect of health and wellness. Check our posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Our goal is to demonstrate that healthy living does not just involve being physically active or eating the right foods. Rather, health and wellness have many different dimensions, including emotional health, social health, mental health, and intellectual health. Students who choose to be mindful of every area of their health become more fulfilled and see success in their educational endeavors! We’re providing you with healthy habits to implement into your everyday routine to help your children live a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.
Make a Wellness Wheel
We suggest beginning your children’s healthy living journey by sitting down with them and making a Wellness Wheel. Creating a Wellness Wheel can allow your children to easily express the areas of their health in which they feel strongest and weakest. This will allow you to narrow down the areas to work on, while simultaneously allowing your children to feel seen, heard, and involved in the process of improving their health. Simply download and print this template from Kids Help Phone, and have your child use coloring tools to fill in each segment. Ask them to color in each segment relative to how strong they feel in that area of their health. For example, if your child feels that they are lacking in their social health, they may only fill the “Relationships” segment halfway. Once your child has finished the Wellness Wheel, you can use it to brainstorm your best course for tackling the health issues your children are facing.
Improving Physical Health
There are so many aspects to improving physical health that it can be intimidating. However, enhancing physical health does not have to mean strict dieting and a high-intensity workout routine. When we take a few minutes out of our daily lives to focus on our physical health, we can feel proud of our accomplishments, We will also begin to see improvement in our energy levels and productivity. Here are some ideas to help you and your children improve your physical health:
- Instead of driving or taking a bus, walk with your children to school, the store, the park, etc.
- Have your children join you in doing household chores that are more active such as sweeping, mopping, and gardening.
- Ensure your children have a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
- Be a good role model by taking care of your own physical health with exercise and a healthy diet.
We’re also huge advocates for using creative methods to make physical activity fun! Youtube is a perfect resource to find exciting kid-themed dance workout videos. Here are a few of our favorites: Dance for Kids, Despicable Me and Minion Dance Workout, and Trolls: Can’t Stop The Feeling. Additionally, it’s always a great idea to make your fun physical activity social. Invite your children’s friends and their parents over for outdoor games and activities. Play “Glow in the Dark Tag.” Have a tournament with relay races, barrel races, etc. Ride bikes, rollerskate, or hike with friends. Our healthy choices are often easily combined with social activity, which, in turn, also improves our social health!
Improving Emotional and Mental Health
Children are in the most formative stages of their lives. Thus, improving your children’s emotional and mental health is extremely important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.” If your children have mentioned feeling weak in their emotional and/or mental health, or if their Wellness Wheels indicated their interest in strengthing specific health areas, take time to address their concerns. While Educate. Radiate. Elevate. is a huge advocate for seeking professional help when a child expresses mental health concerns, we also want to give you a few ideas you can utilize at home:
- Purchase a journal or diary for your child. Writing one’s thoughts and feelings down can be therapeutic and allow one to reflect on the day and set goals for the future.
- Bonus Tip: Choose a journal that is created specifically for your children’s ages and maturity levels. For instance, children aged 4-7 would benefit from the My First Happy Me Journal, while Me and My Feelings Journal is more fitting for children aged 7-10.
- Take at least 30 minutes each day to be outside, ideally in nature, away from all electronic devices.
- Bonus Tip: Ask your children to meditate with you in nature for 5-10 minutes, focusing only on your breathing. Meditation allows for relaxation of the mind, which reduces stress and overwhelming thoughts.
- Have healthy family dinner together at least 3 times per week. Use that time to converse with your children about their mental and emotional health concerns. Regular family dinners will also improve your relationships with your children, enhancing their social health!
- Bonus Tip: One fun way to find out how they are feeling is to have everyone share their “rose” (something good that happened), their “thorn” (something they did not like), and their “bud” (something they are looking forward to in the near future).
Not only are emotional and mental health a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle, but they are also important aspects of your children’s lives to be consistently monitored. Read our blog Monitoring Students’ Mental Health for a more in-depth look at children’s mental health.
Improving Intellectual Health
As previously stated, your children are in extremely developmental years. Improving your child’s intellectual health will help them to feel more confident in school and with taking positive risks in their learning. Here are a few ideas to get you started with improving your children’s intellectual health at home:
- Set aside an hour right when your children get home from school to do their homework. Then, they can have an hour to watch TV or play outside or be with friends. Creating a sense of structure with studies will help create discipline and set them up for academic success.
- Always encourage your children to ask questions! Curiosity is one of the most important traits people must have. Intellectual vitality will serve them well throughout their life.
- Have a consistent bedtime for your children to help create a sleep pattern, ensuring they are getting adequate, high-quality sleep. This boosts their mood, cognitive function, and overall health.
- Bonus Tip: Keep the room cool. Sleeping at around 65°F is ideal to maintain healthy sleep throughout the night.
- Set up group study sessions with friends to exchange notes and ideas. Oftentimes peers can explain topics in ways that are easier to understand.
- Added Bonus: When your children study with their peers, they are improving their social health as well as their emotional health!
At Educate. Radiate. Elevate., we strive to improve children’s intellectual health through proven-effective teaching methods. Our methodology includes a focus on both hard and soft skills, culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning practices, and a personalized and holistic approach. We provide equitable access to tutoring for BIPOC students in grades K through 12. If you are from the Dallas, Houston, or Chicago area, and you are interested in improving your children’s intellectual health through E.R.E.’s tutoring, nominate them here. To become an education advocate, and make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable youth – donate here! Our donors make a huge difference in bettering the intellectual health of our students.
Bonus Tip: Use this as a guide to spend each day of your week focusing on improving a different aspect of your and your children’s health!