Family Essentials®

Easy Mood Lifters for Families in a Summer Slump

July 15, 2016

Posted in: Summer

summer-mood-lifters

One family member’s mood can have the ability to throw or boost the dynamics of the entire family. Both parents and kids can have a hard time staying upbeat when life’s little bumps – from gloomy weather and terrible traffic to a stressful work deadline or seemingly endless pile of laundry – get you down. We all have days where it’s hard to roll out of bed, difficult to find the fun or challenging to keep up because we need a mood uplift. Here are a few things kids and parents can do together for a quick mood boost that gets everyone in the family feeling happier, healthier, calmer and joyful (bonus points if you combine two at a time):

Have a dance party! Everyone loves a good dance party and we’ve already shared some of our favorite tunes for having your own dance party with the kids. Get your body moving and teach the kids your best out-of-car dance moves by letting loose and dancing the blues away.

Find your zen. Yoga has been proven to help kids develop body awareness and manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement. Yoga can also help kids hone their focus and concentration, while boosting self-esteem and confidence by teaching children on an experiential level. This Parents.com article has more on the benefits of yoga for kids, which parents can use as well.

Jump on the bed. So many parents do not typically allow mattress jumping in the home, so surprise the kids by giving them a pass. Bed jumping is best done in between a sheet change so kids can bunch up the linens and pillows for extra padding. Next time you’re feeling down or the kids seem to be stuck in a rut, try getting everyone on the bed or couch and jump until your mood is lifted! This is also a good trick for tiring kids out right before bed time. Make sure your monkeys jump on the bed safely!

Laugh. Even if you’re not feeling particularly cheery, letting out a belly laugh can actually help to trigger a positive mood. Embrace your silly self to get creative and let out a laugh. Try a tickle party with the kids to get everyone giggling.

Pucker up. Just as stress reduces and hormones are calmed when a mother kisses her child’s boo-boo better, showing love to your baby or child by hugging, kissing or cuddling can help them feel secure and cared for, instantly boosting mood. Hugs and kisses all around!

Get ice cream. Research shows that eating ice cream really does make you happy, so take a trip to the store to pick out the cold stuff in your favorite flavors. Set up a sundae bar for instant interactive fun for kids to pick their own toppings. Dare them not to smile.

Run through the sprinkler. There’s something about running through a sprinkler set up in the yard that inspires a certain amount of nostalgia, and it typically inspires more fun and joy than anyone ever anticipates. There is something about being responsible for your own fun by running through the sprinkler that makes it an instant mood boost challenge on a hot day. Have you ever met someone who could resist running through? Not to mention, a recent report by the CDC found that physical activity may help improve academic performance, behavior, and achievement, including concentration and attentiveness in the classroom. Score.

Listen to Mozart. Classical music has been proven to give us a real boost. According to “The Mozart Effect,” listening to Mozart can increase creativity, concentration, and other cognitive functions. Jamming out to great tunes can stimulate the part of your brain that controls emotions and even creativity.

Daydream. For the most part, children are natural and happy daydreamers. The process plays an important role in their development at an early age. Did you know that letting the mind wander can promote creative thinking. Take a blanket outside to look at the shapes of clouds and give your brains room to wander. It might help you eventually solve or work through some of your most complex problems.