Self Care

Many people hear the term "self-care" and think it is a synonym with pampering yourself. While self-care can include pampering yourself, it’s so much bigger. “Self-care is essential to our survival,” said Jessica Michaelson, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and certified coach for adults and couples who want to find more joy and meaning in their busy lives.

She defined self-care as: “the practice of taking care of one’s own physical and emotional needs, with the goals of remaining healthy and resilient.”

Even though you might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with practicing self-care, you can learn. Below, Michaelson suggested three valuable strategies for prioritizing self-care in your life.

Rethink self-care.

The first step to prioritizing self-care is to revise your views on it—to realize how powerful and vital it is. Taking care of ourselves is a “basic human need, it’s not weakness,” Michaelson said. It’s also not selfish. To the contrary, self-care makes us more available and open to others, she said.

Learn to pay attention to your needs.

This is a skill you can sharpen. Because, again, many of us weren’t taught to identify, acknowledge and respect our needs. Rather, unfortunately, we’re often taught to dismiss or judge them.

Take small action.

Michaelson noted that self-care is taking small actions that serve our well-being.

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"Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what's left of you."
–Katie Reed

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School-Wide Self-Care Activity Ideas


Parent Connection

Self-Care for Kids: 8 Practical Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health on a Daily Basis

In the midst of hectic schedules, remembering to take care of our emotional well-being sometimes falls to the bottom of our priority list. This is especially true for children, who aren’t yet aware of how important their mental health is. Since the concept of self-care is still too complicated for most children to understand, it’s important for parents and other adult caregivers to figure out ways to seamlessly incorporate it into their week. There are a variety of activities that you and your child can do that provide significant mind and body benefits without feeling like an intense, therapeutic routine.

1. Create a Winning Family Routine
Children crave structure and a successful family routine contributes to the well being of the entire household.

2. Focus on Sleep
Sleep is one of the most crucial ingredients for learning, performance and mental health and good sleep starts with a consistent and early bedtime.

3. Get Healthy Together
Kids have to eat everyday, so what easier way to integrate good self-care into their day than by serving them healthy foods. What kids eat has a profound impact on their mood, attention and brain development.

4. When in Doubt, Write it Out.
Journaling is an excellent practice to introduce to your child around the age of 6-7, as it provides a private space in which they can write out their thoughts and work through them.

5. Express Yourself (Creatively)
Make time for art, music, and dance.

6. Play to Promote Mental Health
Ample time for “play” is one of the most important ingredients in healthy child (and adult) development. Play provides opportunities to think creatively, engage with others, and regulate impulses.

7. Foster Social Skills
Just like adults, young people need to feel a sense of belonging in order to thrive. Some children may fill their cup by having a few close friends, whereas others will feel most alive when engaging regularly in larger group activities.

8. Collaborate on Screen Time
We often hear the adage to limit children’s time on screens, whether TV or computer. Current research shows that it’s a bit more nuanced, that it’s more about “monitoring” the impact, as all children are different and engage with devices in different ways.

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Additional Resources:
Teach Your Kids the Value of Self-Care by Creating Healthy Habits
50 Self-Care Activities You Can Do with Kids

Coming Attractions:

Next month's theme is: Friendship

Newsletter will be published on April 15th

Special Edition of the SEL Newsletter: Making Crunch Time Less Crunchy

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