WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
According to Action for Healthy Kids, “Self-Care is for everyone. Simply put, self-care is the practice of taking actions to improve health…both physically and emotionally. Kids and adults need time to refresh, recharge, and unwind from work, school, and current events. While it’s important to focus on self-care individually, it is also important to prioritize as a family to support healthy communication and a better understanding for how to support our loved ones” (2019)
It only takes a few modest steps and a brainstorm session to make self-care a priority at home.
Get creative and modify your activities over time. Be flexible and structure activities in a way that supports you and your family. Keep it simple and look for opportunities to laugh together!
ESSENTIAL SELF-CARE CHECKLIST
Create space for planning.
Set time aside on a weekend or after dinner to come together as a family and begin planning a self-care routine (brainstorm).
Set goals or clarify purpose.
Create a self-care plan attached to goals (e.g., decreasing screen time by an hour each week, or reducing stress associated with busy schedules).
Create 5 or 6 activities to include in your self-care plan that support the mind and body (see below for examples).
Caring for the body.
Ensure adequate exercise, proper hydration, good nutrition, and appropriate sleep, as these activities directly influence our social and emotional health.
Caring for the mind.
This may look different for everyone, so do what works for you (e.g., engage in meaningful connection, journal thoughts and feelings, practice deep breathing or yoga, limit screen time and social media, etc.)
Caring for the heart.
Sharing in the activities we love most is great for building and maintaining strong relationships as it creates space to learn from others while enjoying activities that bring us joy (e.g., get fresh air together by going on a walk, learn something new together by starting a book club, or play together using a board game or movie night, etc.).
Once you have a list of activities, work together to prioritize the ones that make the most sense for your current schedule, and determine a frequency (e.g., pick two days a week for a family walk after dinner, eat breakfast together on Sunday mornings, read together for 20 minutes every night, etc.).
Keep it where you can see it.
Post your family self-care plan in a place where you can see it often. This serves as a reminder of your commitment and helps you to keep it prioritized.
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