Friday, January 13, 2017

The Best Way to Reduce Fighting & Anxiety

If your home is anything like mine, the onset of winter weather means an uptick in sibling fighting. (Or maybe that's unbearable summer heat for you, so just reverse it!) Everyone is crammed in together, things are icy and miserable outside, and there are no hours jumping on the trampoline, biking around the neighborhood, going for hikes in the woods, or playing on the swings. Tons of pent-up energy + stress of school days = take it out on your siblings!! This has especially been an issue for Juliet, who is very much like me in terms of needing a physical release in order to deal with emotional stress.

Over the last month, the girls have been running on the treadmill. It's been good for Abigail, but it has been GREAT for Juliet, who is my most energetic fireball of a child (before we started this, she was running 200 laps around the living room/library every night, which led to even more craziness--those laps were her idea, not mine!). She has been so, so, so much calmer, more patient with her younger siblings, and a thousand times happier and able to handle stress. It's awesome.

Here's what I did:

1) Offered the choice of either listening to an mp3 player (the girls received these ones for Christmas) or watching something on Youtube/Netflix. Juliet LOVES watching Studio C.

2) Set the treadmill at 4.5 for the first few runs--after that the girls adjusted their pace upward as they got more comfortable. I asked them to go at least a mile 3x/week; Juliet usually does 2-2.5 and that's her sweet spot for feeling more calm and happy post-run. Abigail is still happy to just do a mile. :-)

3) Make sure they've got good shoes for running in order to avoid injury. We really like these (killer deal too!!!)

Happy running! We've got a family marathon relay that we're looking forward to in April--I'll keep you posted!

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