The Value of Self-Care
One of my favorite topics to teach students is self-care. Self-care is one of those "buzz" words that gets used often, but what exactly does it mean? Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook.
Practicing self-care during this challenging time is more important than ever. The good news is, self-care doesn't have to take much time, it can be a lot of fun, and it has many long term health benefits. Did you know that teaching your child self-care routines can actually lower the risk of developing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression? Self-care also helps your child improve their relationship with themselves and others. The earlier you can teach your child the value of self-care, the more they are likely to maintain those healthy habits into adulthood.
There are many domains of self-care. Here are four that are commonly discussed with children.
Physical self-care includes activities that take care of your physical self such as sleep, diet, and exercise.
Emotional self-care includes activities that help take care of our emotions. Teaching your child coping skills is a way to practice emotional self-care.
Social self-care includes activities that help improve relationships with others such as scheduling regular play dates with friends, making a card or sending an email to a loved one, or hosting a family game night.
Spiritual self-care includes activities that help nurture your spirit such as spending time in nature, attending religious services, volunteering for an important cause, or engaging in prayer or meditation.
Check out this video that you can use with your child to explain the concept of self-care.
Developing a self-care plan:
1) Following the video, help your child brainstorm activities in each of the four areas that they would like to include on their weekly self-care plan. Here is a list of 45 different self-care activities to help guide you. You can decide together which ones go in which category.
2) Using the attached chart, help your child write one example of self-care in each of the four areas that they would like to practice each day.
3)When your child has completed the daily self-care activity, have them color in the square.
4) Use the discussion questions to talk about their experience.
**This chart can also be used to create a family self-care plan. You would come up with activities that you could do as a family for each day of the week.
Did you find this activity to be helpful? If so, let me know in the comments!
Additional self-care tips for parents: Check out this article that includes 8 practice self-care tips to help improve your child's mental
Just remember...Parents need self-care too!
One way to help your child self-care is to model it yourself. But, how do you do that when you don't have time for self-care in this busy world that we live in. Check out this article from Go Zen to learn how!
Finally, self-care is the BEST gift that you can give to yourself and your child!
Take Care of Yourself,