Down time for a homeschooling mom is essential. One of the best ways to get downtime is to exercise.
Exercise gives us a chance to let our mind wander. Having time to move our body while we think is a great way to get through problems, or to come up with new ideas about how to approach a subject.
Exercise also gives our mind a chance to think about nothing.
But the biggest advantage to exercise for our psyche, is that it puts us into a “relaxed” or accepting state. When our bodies are tired from exercise, we dont’ have the energy to get upset about things or to stress. Exercising shows us what it feels like to be without worry, for just a little bit. That makes it easier to go back to later, when things get out of hand. We know, that we have an outlet.
If you’ve never exercized long enough to feel that acceptance, that “I’m so tired a truck could land on the ground in front of me and I’d just shrug my shoulders cuz I’m too tired to get worked up over something that isn’t that big of a deal,” I highly recommend it.
And don’t forget, exercise makes mom feel physical healthy, which is extremely important both as a role model for the kids, and because it puts mom in a good mood. Kids learn better when mom’s in a good mood.
Some good ways to exercise that don’t take a lot of gear or a gym membership (although, those are fine options too):
Walk/run: Run at intervals. Run just enough to get your heart rate up. Walking is fine, but if it doesn’t get your heartrate up enough to pant and say, “wow, that was a GREAT workout”, then you need to put a little run in there once in a while. (or skip, or shuffle or move your arms up and down as you walk.)
Yoga: Yoga can be gentle, and yoga can kick your butt. Videos are good for this. But don’t always do yoga with the kids around. Try to find some time to do yoga by yourself or with a class sometimes too. Unless your kids are old enough to enjoy the yoga right along with you without distracting you. When you have been doing yoga a while, you can do your own favorite asanas without a video. The sun salutation is a good one for a quickie workout.
Dance Dance Revolution: There are video games now that require a full body workout to play. DDR is my favorite. It’s hard to play with a toddler underfoot though.
Your favorite sport: Join a team sport and have fun and play. Sometimes, being with friends while working out is a huge mental release. (But sometimes it’s not. Depends on the friends.)
So get your move on! I promise you, homeschooling is much easier when mom exercises.