Health and Wellbeing

Kitch’n Dancing: The Ultimate Stress Relief For The Whole Family

For work-at-home mums, balancing professional responsibilities and family life can be a significant source of stress. One surprisingly effective way to provide stress relief is Kitch’n Dancing. “What’s Kitch’n Dancing?” I hear you ask. It’s simply dancing in the kitchen with your children! 🙂

Kitch’n Dancing not only strengthens family bonds but also offers significant benefits for stress relief for mums by positively impacting the vagus nerve, which is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Kitch’n Dancing can be one of a set of regular mindfulness exercises for work-at-home mums. Here’s how…


The Vagus Nerve: A Brief Overview

Let’s get a bit technical here for a minute…

The vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in the body, plays a critical role in regulating the parasympathetic nervous system. It extends from the brain, travelling down through the neck, upper body and abdomen. It influences various bodily functions, including heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate.

Activation of the vagus nerve promotes a state of calm and relaxation, counteracting the body’s stress responses.

Enhancing vagal tone, which refers to the activity of the vagus nerve, has been linked to improved emotional regulation, reduced anxiety, and overall well-being.

How Kitch’n Dancing Enhances Stress Relief


Kitch’n Dancing: How it came to be

Kitch’n Dancing came into inception during the Covid lockdown in 2020 when families were required to stay at home and spend a lot more time together than the family unit was accustomed to.

As a qualified professional psychotherapist, I saw the need to help alleviate the stress of families being in smaller spaces for longer periods of time when they were not used to such a restricted environment, thus Kitch’n dancing was born!

The kitchen is the heart of every home, and it makes a great setting for this activity for stress relief in the house.  You could say it is the perfect space in your home for creating a dedicated workspace for stress relief.


How Kitch’n Dancing Enhances Stress Relief

Dancing is a multifaceted activity that engages both the body and mind. For work-at-home mums, Kitch’n Dancing with your children can be an invaluable tool for managing stress and maintaining well-being.

Here’s how Kitch’n dancing can enhance vagal tone and relieve stress:

Physical Movement and Breath Regulation

Physical activities like Kitch’n Dancing increase heart rate variability (HRV) which measures the change in time between each heartbeat. Increased HRV is linked to better vagal tone and a greater resilience to stress, which is crucial for work-at-home mums balancing multiple roles.

Kitch’n Dancing involves rhythmic breathing, which is known to activate the vagus nerve. Coordinated movements with music promote deeper and more regular breathing, enhancing vagal activity and helping to counteract the physical tension from prolonged work periods.  Dancing mimics the actions of Flight/Fight which is important for stress relief.

Social Connection and Emotional Joy

Engaging in joyful activities with your children stimulates the release of oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Oxytocin promotes feelings of bonding and trust, essential for emotional well-being in a family setting.

The social interaction and eye contact that occur while dancing with your children further stimulate the vagus nerve.

Human connection and shared positive experiences are powerful tools for stress relief, helping work-at-home mums feel more connected and supported.

Mindfulness and Presence

Kitch’n Dancing requires focus on the present moment, aligning physical movement with music and rhythm. This mindfulness aspect reduces rumination and anxiety, promoting a state of relaxation.

This is particularly beneficial for work-at-home mums who often juggle multiple tasks and need moments of mindfulness to recharge.  Being fully present while dancing with your children fosters a mindful connection, reducing stress and enhancing the parent-child relationship which can answer one of the questions how to avoid mum guilt while working from home.


Practicing Stress Relief for mums on a budget

Are you and your family working with a tight household budget? The great news is, the only equipment you need is:

  1. A place to practice (your kitchen)
  2. A device to play music, (a phone or tablet)
  3. Some music (chose your favourite tunes!)

The cost of Kitch’n Dancing is minimal and so is a very budget minded form of stress relief for yourself and your children.


Practical Tips for Kitch’n Dancing

Here’s some of my favourite tips to help make the most of dancing in the kitchen as a stress-relief activity in your household:

Tip #1: Choose Uplifting Music

Select music that both you and your children enjoy. Upbeat and cheerful songs can elevate the mood and encourage energetic dancing.  Examples of music are:

  • One Way or Another (Blondie, 1Direction)
  • Shake it Off (Taylor Swift)
  • Nut Bush City Limits (Tina Turner)
  • Baby Shark (Pink Frog)
  • Hot Potato (The Wiggles)
  • Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (ABC Kids)

Tip #2: Create a Safe Space

Ensure the kitchen area is free from obstacles and safe for dancing. Clear some space so everyone can move freely.

Tip #3: Be Spontaneous

Allow the dancing sessions to be spontaneous and fun. Let go of perfection and enjoy the moment with your children.

Tip #4: Incorporate Playfulness

Introduce playful elements such as silly dance moves or a dance-off. This adds to the fun and keeps the activity light-hearted.

Tip #5: Create A Regular Routine

Consider making Kitch’n Dancing a regular part of your family routine. Consistency can reinforce the positive effects on stress relief and vagal tone.

Practical Tips for Kitch’n Dancing


In Summary – Stress Relief for Work-At-Home Mums

For work-at-home mums, Kitch’n Dancing with your children is more than just a fun activity; it’s a powerful way to enhance your well-being and reduce stress by stimulating the vagus nerve.

This simple practice fosters physical movement, social connection, and mindfulness, all of which contribute to improved vagal tone and overall emotional health.

By integrating Kitch’n Dancing into your family’s routine, you can create joyful memories, strengthen your bond with your children, and work towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance for work-at-home mum’s productivity.

So, gather your children together, head to the kitchen, play some tunes and dance your family’s way into health and wellbeing 🙂

Suzanne Butz

Suzanne (Suzy) Butz is a Holistic, Somatic and Family Psychotherapist, Counsellor and TRE™ Instructor residing in the Wollongong Area of NSW.  Suzanne is aware of how life can be, how things change and how life may sometimes leave us feeling hopeless and despondent or jaded and trapped, however this is not where we have to stay.  It is never too late to create the life you want and it’s never too early to learn the skills that facilitate a productive, energetic and joyous life. Using her own experiences Suzanne has created the From Surviving 2 Thriving Program through which she passionately shares information and techniques for those who want to transition from stress to bliss and onto living their best life.

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