In 2019, Arkansas lawmakers doubled the amount of recess time public schools are required to provide elementary school kids during the day. Teachers were thrilled. Educators, like parents, know that movement and play helps students stay more positive and focused when it's time to work.

The benefits of movement don’t end after fifth grade. Our health care experts all listed exercise among their top self-care tips. So, mamas, it’s time to get moving.

Why it’s wonderful self-care: McLeain shared the science behind that happy feeling you get post-workout. “Exercise increases oxygen to the brain, which in turn raises the levels of serotonin (the happy hormone), and lowers the stress hormone (cortisol).”

Workout Tips

Re-defining exercise — Depending on the age of your kids, you may have to get a little creative to get in the movement you need. Going to the gym is just one example. McLeain says virtually anything that gets the body moving counts. Riding bikes, running, doing push-ups, doing crunches, playing a sport or even consensual intimacy with your partner all made her list. If you have a really little one, a stroller walk may be the perfect solution.

Finding the time — Like all self-care, time seems to be the biggest barrier. Sparks recommends “taking advantage of your kids’ playtime by turning on a workout video and spending 20 minutes doing something to benefit you.” Depending on the age of your kids, your 20 minute slot may be before they wake up, right after school drop off, during nap time or post bedtime. Find your slot and put it in your planner at least three times a week!

Mom's Guide to Self-Care
Support Mental and Physical Health to Create Total Wellness

How to use our guide:  We collected tips and tricks for major subsections of self-care: mental health, movement, treats, sleep and mindfulness. Explore and be inspired by our guide to start or tweak your own self-care routine.

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