My Encouragement for the New Year: GET OUT!

My Encouragement for the New Year: “GET OUT!”

As in, get outside! And get your kids outside! Every day!

When stress mounts and tension rises, it’s tempting to want to hunker down and self soothe with things like television, food, video games, or Facebook escapism 😳 Believe me, I totally get it.

But here’s the thing, none of the above actually helps deal with stress or lift the tension. Instead, it just makes it worse.

But you know what does help with stress and tension? Fresh Air! Exercise! Playing!

Several years ago, I made it a practice to make sure my kids got outside every day for at least a little bit of exertion. If I’m honest, it was in response to a child we had who was labeled “ADHD.” I was convinced he just needed more exercise. 😜 I have since come to terms with the fact that ADHD is a real struggle for some kids and exercise, while vital, is not “the solution.”

However, I have seen time and again how getting outside and heading to a playground or taking a walk can be a turning point for my own mental health and that of my kids.

So this year… 2018… commit with me to GET OUT EVERY DAY! Take your kids on a walk, a hike in the woods, bike rides, collecting rocks to paint, doing yard work together, checking out all the playgrounds in your area. Maybe get an inexpensive camera and let them take pictures of things they see outside. Play the “what shape do you see in the clouds?” game. Keep the crusts they don’t eat and bring them to the park to feed birds. The possibilities are endless!

Will they still bicker? Yes. Will they complain about it? Yup. Might they fight over who gets which this or that [fill in the blank]? Of course! But that’s beside the point.

As foster parents, we are teaching kids a new culture, planting seeds of healthy emotional engagement and healthy living.

Model making “getting outside” a normal part of daily life. You never know… it just might stick with them for the rest of their lives! And I promise… it will be good for YOU too.

Happy New Year, Friends!!! Here’s to a healthy 2018! 🎉👏💪🙏🏻

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