Ways to Keep Active, Entertained, & Healthy During Self-Isolation
HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!
Sofia here! I have been bestowed the honour of writing a monthly blog for the studio; so on behalf of GDM, here goes…. (:
It is no secret that kids are typically very high-energy little monsters, and we know that this forced period of staying home may be leading to restless, stressed, attention-needing kiddos. So, we will be hosting a LIVE Class series streamed directly from our Facebook page into your home. Our hope is to check in with our wonderful GDM families while maintaining a fun and engaging connection with our students. A big part of why we so love what we do is that dance improves flexibility, coordination, balance, range of motion, stamina, muscle tone, strength and posture. As if that wasn’t enough, dancing keeps the mind sharp, improves reflexes, combats stress, and improves self-confidence.
We would love to see you come online to have a dance, and if you do, please send through some photos and/or videos of yourself getting down with us from home. We truly miss seeing all of our students and cannot wait until we can be back together and in the studio!
Meanwhile, here are some creative activities that you can also try out during this time:
- Happy House. Get crafty & spread some much-needed positivity: Create and decorate some signs of encouragement to stick to the front fence or any part of the house that faces out to the street.
- Making Up the Rules. Make your own special family board-game! Draw it out on card-stock, create some play-dough characters/game pieces, write a scared scroll of instructions… the possibilities are endless!
- Mission Yarn-possible. Make a yarn laser trap, or maze, and see who out of everyone can get through it without touching the yarn.
- Home Scavenger Hunts. “Find something taller than you, then shorter than you. Then find something red (and any other colour). Find something shaped like a rectangle, etc.” Can be used for any room or the entire house. Totally counts as learning time… give yourself a pat on the back (;
- Mystery Jar. Pick a piece of paper out of the jar do the activity; it can be anything from ‘do a puzzle’ to ‘get a sweet treat,’ or ‘do jumping jacks.’ Great way to get out of a funk or split up the moments.
- Kids Yoga. Search for a Kids Yoga class on youtube! There is heaps of great learning material on youtube and yoga is another phenomenal (and safe) way to activate the body, yet calm the mind. Physically, it enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Mentally, is improves concentration, creates a sense of calmness, and increases relaxation. A suggestion we could offer is this video/channel.
- Youtube Learning. With that said, there is so much great general learning material as well. Check out this video, for instance.
- Good Ol’ Fort.This is not only a chance for the little ones to get creative if you have time to join. It can be more fun than you remember to make a living room fortress. It may even end up fully equipped with lights and cushion furniture. Joy. For Days.
MathGames. Math games sneakily teach little brains to strategise and identify numbers and their relationships better. Sudoku is an excellent one, even for us big kids! You can find sudoku apps on pretty much any device and alternatively, here are some printable sheets (though please keep paper usage in mind). Here are a whole lot online (;
- Curiosity Circle. You sit in a circle and go around saying something you are curious about. It gets you actively thinking and initiates fully engaged family conversation. You could do it every day or a few times a week at a certain time and begin keeping track of what you say. Maybe even implement the rule of having to research it and come back with a some-what answer for the following day’s circle. I actually use this as an initial engagement activity to begin my classes and close with a Gratitude Circle.
Bonus: Long Hugs. I was only going to write a list of 10 items, when this popped to my mind… Did you know that hugging is SO good for you that there is even such thing as Hug Therapy? Here is a fab article that outlines some of the benefits of hugs.
And LONG hugs, specifically 20-Second-Hugs are hugely recommended. (I, too, found it odd that a deodorant brand had this article, yet I read through it and found it most worthy of my time – as I hope you will.)
That should keep everyone busy at least for a little while, especially if you are mixing it up and tuning in to our LIVE Classes. Here are the YouTube links to the ones we have done so far…
We will be communicating all important information regarding our online classes via socials and email, so be sure to keep a look out for those messages.
I know you’ve probably heard this left and right, but it truly is so important that we all stay connected and support each other throughout this complicated time and we want you to know that the entire GDM team is fully committed to seeing GDM through to the other side of the COVID19 tunnel. As we make our way, we are happy to answer any questions or receive any feedback you may have for us, as it is a great time for us to make adjustments and improvements to our program for Term 2 or whenever it may be that we can get back in the studio together.
To finish up, I’d like to remind you of a few immunity boosting habits that big kids (us adults) and little kids alike should be prioritising. As a forewarning, I may be a bit extra when it comes to these bullets but they are underrated basics of self-care, people! (:
- First and foremost, GET ENOUGH SLEEP!! 7 HOURS MINIMUM. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Most of you are probably thinking… “I know, I know. Jeez Sofia! I already know this!” But chances are that most of you are also not getting at least 7 hours every night. When you don’t — be it due to a chronic sleep disorder (apnea, insomnia, or other), long work hours, raising young children, or habits like bingeing on Facebook or Netflix or Instagram (OR ALL) before bed — it takes a toll on your brain’s functional ability. According to Richard Shane, PhD, behavioural sleep specialist: “MRI imaging shows lack of sleep reduces blood flow to areas of the brain that control higher-level thought processes. It impairs your problem-solving abilities, slows your cognitive speed, and decreases constructive thinking skills and logical reasoning.” On top of that, getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night leads to a weakened immune system and puts you at further risk of getting sick… And these are all the mental and physical processes that we want to be boosting to power through the COVID19 crisis.
- Second, DRINK ENOUGH WATER! Although you may know this already, too, you are probably not getting enough water either. CSIRO dietitian Pennie Taylor suggests 35 millilitres of water per kg of bodyweight. That is a STARTING AMOUNT. We have to consider that we lose fluid through sweat — up to several litres per day, depending on our activity levels — as well as through cellular processes. If you are going to exercise it is recommended to drink an additional litre an hour before exercise and 500ml more within the first 30 minutes immediately following to rehydrate the muscles. Even mild dehydration can cause lethargy, headaches, dizziness, food/sugar cravings, lower immune support, and even cause irritability! So next time you or your child (or spouse) are grumpy, consider if you have been drinking enough water and you can blame it on me (;
- Third, STAY ACTIVE! The Mayo Clinic suggests getting “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.” That’s roughly 15-25 minutes of exercise per day, which is not very long to dedicate to yourself out of the active 16 hours of each day (assuming you’re allotting 8 for sleeping). Exercise makes your blood flow. More blood flow means your organs are getting more oxygen. More oxygen means better performance. Better performance means happier, healthier you! Apparently, exercise has a direct impact on your body’s production of feel-good hormones and can help you sleep better, both of which are good for your immune system. Wink, wink.
- Lastly, EAT LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES! Another given, I know; just a reminder. Go for foods rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly coloured fruits and veggies, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. The key for a good diet is balance! You need a little bit of healthy proteins (10%-35%), a little more of natural fats (20–35%), and most of quality carbohydrates (45-65% of daily caloric intake). If you newly have more time at home, take some of it to experiment with little changes that can improve your diet and health.
I hope that you have found this information helpful and motivating. I strongly believe this is an opportunity for each of us to grow and improve, and thus, an opportunity for us to grow and improve as a community. Previous to this blog, I had written a short reflection; I will leave you with it as food-for-thought:
“Once you let go of the need for control, you can release the stress that surrounds it. It’s imperative to be proactive. To choose to stay positive. To remember that we are essentially on for the ride, life, and that our circumstance is not our fault. It is, however, our responsibility how we respond to it… You can always choose to be kinder. Including to yourself. You can always find a way to help others, without hurting yourself and to help yourself, without hurting others.”
Until next time,
— Sofia Reinking