We teach our children and young ones everything; values, etiquettes, manners and good habits. But often, we forget one important aspect – selfcare and wellness. As a parent, you hold the power to influence your child in a positive manner and keeping well in this competitive environment is the essential! We at Spa Ayurda are making it a tad easier for you to introduce your child to take care of the most important person – themselves.
According to Ayurveda, taking care of yourself should begin at an early age. When your child eats healthy, gets the right amount of sleep, has proper hygiene and keeps a consistent schedule, he or she will be able to sustain the energy needed to perform and cope with the mental, physical and social challenges when they head back to school. Also – it’s a beautiful way for you to connect and spend some genuine quality time with your young one!
We have selected 3 morning and 3 evening Ayurvedic guidelines for achieving health and balance through diet and lifestyle, routines that will benefit the whole family (remembering your balance and wellbeing is just as important as your child’s). Over the next few weeks, start incorporating each of the routines one at a time, building up to working these 6 guidelines into your daily routine.
3 Morning Ayurvedic Routines
1. Teach them to remove the night’s accumulation of toxins by scraping their tongue with either a tongue scraper or front of a spoon (move from back of the tongue forward, gently, 3 to 5 times).
2. Give your child a glass of warm water to drink. It will hydrate their body and help eliminate waste, starting their day off with strength in the tissues and a calm mind.
3. Prepare a nutritious, cooked breakfast. Warm, cooked food is easier to digest which will supply the nutrients and energy your child needs throughout the day. Oatmeal or millet with a few drops of maple syrup, granola with warm milk, stewed seasonal fruit (cooked in a ¼ inch of water for 3 minutes sprinkled with cinnamon) are examples. Try our semolina porridge for a complete nutritious meal. Soak some almonds the previous night and have your child peel and eat them during their breakfast.
3 Evening Ayurvedic Routines
1. Self-massage is one of the best ways of showing self-love to your body. Teach your child to apply and massage their body every evening with organic sesame oil. Start with their toes moving upward in circular motions. They could do this before their shower in the evening and/or mornings.
Tip: Spend time on the feet, especially the bottoms; there are many nerve endings here and massaging the feet helps calm the entire nervous system.
If your child needs you to give the massage …
Begin by having him/her sit up, and work from the head down to the shoulders, back, chest, arms, underarms, hands and fingers. Again, give long, firm strokes on the long bones, moving away from the body, and circular ones on the joints.
Next you can have your child lie on their back (or stand) as you massage legs, feet and toes.
Finally have your child turn over (or around) and spend time on the soles of the feet, back and legs with the same long strokes. You can do the back again if your child likes it!
2. Off-screen Time – Turn off the digital world at least 45 minutes before going to bed; this means no laptops, mobiles or iPads. Encourage them to read a book (while they are still listening to you!!) This time is for their bodies to relax and get into a state of relaxation for sleep.
Tip: A warm glass of milk with cardamom and honey works wonders for a good night sleep!
3. Teach them to practice gratitude and the importance of breathing – Before bed, encourage them to take 15-20 deep breaths. This small exercise can have a profound effect on their health. Not only does this teach them the importance of breathing, it will also calm their minds and prepare them to sleep well.
Tip: A good exercise before going to bed is to practice gratitude; ask your child to name 3 things they are lucky to have in their lives – could be that teacher that helps them or a friend. This will help them naturally develop gratitude in the long run!
Establishing new routines can sometimes be hard. Give yourself permission to take the time to build a solid foundation for health, one (consistent) step at a time. There are times it won’t be easy, but don’t give up. Even one small change puts you and your child on the path to health. When things get hard – remember that teaching them these few habits will help them be happier, healthier individuals in the long run!
Fun balance exercises to do over the holidays
Try some simple stretches with very young children during massages (legs over the head, hand to foot). To support posture and balance, starting at the age of 3, children can practice poses such as the “tree” where you child stands on one leg, places the other foot on the knee of their standing leg with their arms above their head.
Keep it fun! Moving is an important pillar in your child’s development and with young children embracing smartphones and computers, it is especially important to encourage movement (and moving outdoors in all types of weather).
Join them! It’s not only good for you, but also makes it more exciting for the young ones.
Did we give you new ideas you’d like to try? Remember it’s best to start gently with individual steps that particularly interest you and that you can achieve one step at a time. At every step, watch for what is good for you and your child and what makes you feel good. Just like children, be curious and open to new things without forcing it or overexerting yourself. This is how you and your child will benefit most and achieve the wellbeing you all deserve.