Scheduling Time to Un-Schedule

CyclersThe schedule for today:

  1. Wake up;
  2. Eat breakfast;
  3. Go to school;
  4. Come home;
  5. Have a snack;
  6. Do some homework;
  7. Go to a program;
  8. Have dinner out;
  9. Go to another program;
  10. Do chores;
  11. Do more homework;
  12. Have a bath;
  13. Go to bed.

The schedule for tomorrow:

  1. See above schedule.

Kids these days all seem to have schedules similar to the one above.  To go along with it are the demands of getting good grades, pressure from family and peers, and just growing up in general.  There are unwritten rules that kids need to learn and understand.  Adults are not the only ones with a lot going on these days.  In this time of over-scheduling, kids need to schedule in some un-scheduled time!

Here are some ways that kids can de-stress through the practice of un-scheduling:

Exercise: Run, walk, kick a ball, punch a punching bag. There are so many things that help kids release the built up frustrations.  Just 20 minutes can provide up to 12 hours of improved mood.  Getting active has so many benefits for calming a busy mind.

Write, Colour or Draw: Writing or drawing about what is bothering them is a great release and easy way to get rid of frustrations.  Getting it onto paper gets it out of the mind.

Listen to Music: Dance and jam out with the music playing.  There is just something calming about rocking out to your favourite tune.

Build or Create Something: The process of making something unique and new from scratch creates a great way to relax.  There is also something that can be used when it is done too.

263485_10150701105325253_1631203_nSocialize and Laugh: Spending time with friends and family who give a sense of belonging, purpose and fun may provide all the stress relief needed.  Not to mention a good chuckle relieves the built up tension.

Eat Well and Get a Good Night Sleep: Healthy eating and good sleep patterns are fundamental of living a well balanced life in a positive way.  Things just seem that much better with a healthy body.

Go Outside: The outdoors has a great calming effect.  Get back to nature, see the sun, explore a park, play in the leaves or snow… Just get up and go.  (October 29, is “Take Me Outside Day“)

The most important thing is to make a schedule change by finding something that kids enjoy and to just go and do it!


We want to hear about what you do to help kids de-stress through un-scheduling.  Share your stories on the YMCA Facebook page or on Twitter.