11 Ridiculous Activities I Learned I Can Do While Breastfeeding

What have you learned to multitasking? Let me know on bettysbattleground.com

I don’t do straight up parenting posts too often, but hey, I am a mom, right? It’s not all gloom and doom and PTSD. Let’s talk straight up motherhood for once, and have some fun while at it, hmm? And what more encapsulates motherhood–at least this current phase of motherhood for me–than breastfeeding?

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15 Outdoor Activities To Promote Mental Healthiness In Kids + Parents

15 Outdoor Activities fir Mental Healthiness on bettysbattleground.com

I don’t know about where you live, but I feel like the Pacific Northwest had to be dragged kicking and screaming into nice weather this year. But it finally arrived! Spring showers are coming to a close and Summer is (just about) here. In the Great PNW, Spring and Summer are really something to be celebrated. We spend six months under a ceaseless skyscape of rainthick clouds, so when the flowers start to bloom…and then fruit…when the sun shines and the sky blushes blue, it’s time to go outside and soak it up.

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But even if you live somewhere that gets year round sunshine, Summer is a great time to bond with your kiddos. School’s out. Kids come home, and the great outdoors are calling. Of course, there is always the temptation of screens, and I’m not saying never use them. This blog wouldn’t exist without a screen! Screens have their uses, but too much time in front of one, and too little time moving around outdoors can actually increase anxiety and depression, even if staying in with a movie feels like the best antidote to social anxiety or some other type of episode.

Now, I’m not trying to suggest that mental illness can be cured through exercise and sunshine. I sure wish a good run in the sun could erase my PTSD; unfortunately mental illness involves neurological changes which take a lot of intentional work to manage, including physical, mental, and emotional.

That being said, studies confirm what I have personally experienced: even 10-15 minutes Kids need to play outdoors for good mental health-and so do parents! on bettysbattleground.comof exercise each day can help balance neurochemistry by promoting the production of endorphins and serotonin. Sunshine is also loaded with Vitamin D, and helps to reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  So, while your mental illness can’t be cured by a walk in the sun, that walk can, in fact, ameliorate some of your symptoms.

Joe from Nature Rated was kind enough to write a post for Betty’s Battleground about the benefits of exercise and outdoor play, along with an infographic detailing some outdoor activities to do with your kiddos. A couple of these activities require the privilege of a home with a backyard; something I, and many parents with mental illnesses don’t have; most of them, however, can be executed or adapted to fit anyone on even the tightest budgets. So I’m really excited to share this guest post with you, while I wrap up my daughter’s birthday celebrations and get back to “real life” (and blog posts written by moi). I hope you and your family enjoy these activities!

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Mindful Mothering: Six Simple Indoor Activities To Do With Your Kids When You’re Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

Six Indoor Activities That You Can Do With Your Kids When You're Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

When you live with PTSD, or any anxiety disorder, you know to be ready for an episode any day, any time. Symptoms can range from mild to severe; an episode could mean heightened awareness of other people’s micro-expressions, or it could mean a full-on, totally debilitating panic attack. Anxiety won’t wait. It doesn’t care where you are, who you’re with, or what you need to do. The other day, I watched a member of my peer support group gasp for air in front of everyone after sharing her experience of loneliness. She ultimately had to be wheeled to a medical floor until she was calm again. Anxiety allows its victim no dignity.

As a mother living with an anxiety disorder, I have an intimate knowledge of the disruption which anxiety can wreak upon daily living. But all of us mothers, hyperanxious or not, know that we don’t get ‘sick days.’ We can’t triage extended self care into our schedules, no matter how much we need it.

The abuse which caused my PTSD was prolonged and severe. The symptoms, therefore, likewise. I also live in the Pacific Northwest, where we receive abundant servings of yucky, rain drenched days. Between the weather and my moods, I spend a lot of time indoors with my kids. Don’t worry, they get lots of physical activity at daycare, and I do make a special effort to go out when the weather is nice. The truth is, however, that a lot of our time together is spent indoors, and that I spend a lot of it trying to covertly treat my anxiety. As a result, I have created an arsenal of simple, kid-friendly indoor activities that also provide secret opportunities for mindfulness and other forms of de-stressing.

If you’re a mama, papa, grandparent, or some other person who spends lots of time with young children, and you’re also prone to bouts of anxiety, give these six activities a try!

 

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