Spring break – Don’t let it break you!
By Eileen Davidson and Kelly English
Keep it fun and relaxing
Parents with arthritis can sometimes feel overwhelmed when spring break rolls around. But this time of year doesn’t have to leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. In fact, spring break is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your children. Here are some inexpensive, arthritis-friendly tips for mothers and fathers of children of all ages.
- If the weather is poor, daily swimming can ease your joints and entertain your children.
- Visiting various parks around the lower mainland is a great way to get in some daily physical activity. Do a simple treasure hunt using pictures or words about nature.
- Reach out to other parents to set up play dates and give yourself some much-needed rest.
- Spring break is also a great time to teach young children about cooking and housekeeping. After all, they will soon become our best helpers. Check out Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Lifestyle Management Guide for some ideas about how to make daily tasks easier. Maybe your child could help you organize a cupboard or drawer to make things easier for you.
- Challenge children of all ages to help you walk 10 blocks each day. They can always run back and forth to you and double their distance.
- Make and play with playdough. This will give your hands some excellent range of motion exercise.
- Do a dance routine! Easy or hard, it will help you get your steps in for the day. Inside or outside, this activity can be a real hit with all ages.
- If your body needs a rest and your feet are sore, why not have a spa day? Put on a funny movie, soak your feet in a nice aromatherapy bath and rub your feet and legs with cream. Slip on some fuzzy socks and cozy up on the couch with a warm blanket. Ahhhh.
Remember, research reveals that people with all forms of arthritis benefit from exercise and self care. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and can also alleviate depression.
So this spring break, make self-care and getting active a priority. You and your children are worth it!