New Year, New You for homeschool parents is a lot different than the New Year, New You posts aimed at everyone else all over the Internet every January 1. Most of these “helpful” posts link to some program that will cost you precious time and money to improve your mental or physical health. For most homeschool parents time and money are often in short supply. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to improve your well being. All it takes are ingenuity and creativity, which are plentiful qualities for most homeschool parents!

Use the time that your kids are doing a class to do something for yourself.

When you are with your kids 24/7, finding time to do something for yourself is tricky. My son takes a Parkour class for PE every week. While he’s doing Parkour, I walk laps. I pay for his class, but walking for my own exercise while he is occupied is free. I invite the other parents to join me and often there is a group of three or more of us walking and talking, taking care of our physical and mental health. When I’m at my son’s running events, I walk up and down the stairs and in place while I watch the races. Everywhere you go, there is likely a place you can use for walking, running, or other physical activities.

Stacking necessary tasks with physical activities.

I do laundry every Thursday. When I sort and separate the laundry I do squats. When I put the laundry into the dryer I do more squats. When I brush my teeth I practice standing on each leg to improve my balance. When I heat something in the microwave, I do push ups against the counter. Any time that is spent waiting on something can be used for mini-movements. You can find many moments in your own schedule to improve your health and fitness without spending more money or time. It’s easy to fit in a full workout by stacking your activities throughout your day.

Be willing to look silly.

I have a little dog who doesn’t walk far or fast. He spends about 10-15 minutes each time that I take him out sniffing and ambling around our unfenced yard. While he is poking around I walk in place, do squats or lunges, and do leg lifts. I’m sure that I look ridiculous to my neighbors and folks who are driving by our house, but I don’t mind. I usually get 1,000 steps each time that I take the dog out. He goes out four times a day, so I easily get 4,000 steps just being outside with my dog. Getting that activity is way more important to me than looking cool.

Decide that your mental and physical health is as important as your children’s is.

In the middle of 2023 I got fed up with myself for not making time to do yoga as often as I wanted. I took a look at our schedule and decided to treat homeschooling as the actual job that it is. Many of my friends work out before they go to work and I now do yoga 3-5 days a week before “work” AKA when we start school. My family is now used to this change in our schedule. To make it easier to do, I lay out my yoga clothes and my “work” clothes each night before I go to bed. I have a subscription to Amazon Prime and have found many “free to me” yoga workouts. If yoga isn’t your thing, you can find something that is. If you don’t have Amazon, YouTube is a great resource for fitness classes, or you can check out exercise videos from the library.

Use the library.

Libraries these days offer more to their patrons than just books and videos. The libraries in my area offer various types of classes such as hiking, Zumba, yoga, meditation, art, maker’s classes (crochet, knitting, using the Cricut machine, 3-D printing, and such), cooking, gardening, and more. I go to a yoga class and two art classes each month at the library. My mental health has improved immensely since I started going. The library has classes and activities for all ages, so everyone in the family can do something at the same time in many instances.

The takeaway- you can improve your mental and physical health and build better habits without taking a hit in the wallet, just by being creative with your time and using the resources already available in your area. What better way to do New Year New You for homeschool parents in 2024?