Self-care – the act of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health and protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.

Why self-care?

You matter, and you need to treat yourself like you matter. Making time to take care of yourself physically and mentally leads to better overall health, and it allows you to model healthy behaviors and coping skills for your children.

Self-care can come in many forms. It may be as simple as singing along to a favorite song as you drive home from work, or it may require you to take an hour to get some exercise before going home for the day. You get to decide what works for you. The key is making the time and taking the time. If you don’t care for yourself, who will?

Boundaries

Defining and communicating your boundaries helps yourself and others know what is expected.

Examples of physical boundaries are personal space or a closed door for privacy, and emotional boundaries relate to separating your own feelings from another person’s feelings. If you take responsibility for someone else’s feelings or sacrifice your own needs for another person, you may be allowing others to violate your emotional boundaries. It’s not selfish to put your own needs, feelings, and goals first.

Your child needs a strong parent to become a strong adult. It’s okay to say “no” to your child or to another person. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything. Delegate tasks to take pressure off yourself.

Examples for setting boundaries with kids:

Clearly communicate house rules to your kids and the consequences if those rules aren’t followed.

Provide predictable structure for meals, homework, bed time, and family and friend activities.

Special Needs Children

If your child has a mental health disorder or learning disability, it can be even more stressful on you and your family. Visit the Child Mind Institute to find guides on numerous topics: https://childmind.org/topics-a-z/guides/

20 Ways to Restore Calm

  • Take deep belly breaths

  • Call or meet a friend

  • Take a break from technology

  • Read a book

  • Take a walk

  • Take a bike ride

  • Try yoga

  • Sit in nature

  • Visit a garden and smell the flowers

  • Watch the clouds

  • Watch the stars

  • Visit a free museum or gallery

  • Doodle

  • Listen to music

  • Sing a song

  • Write a letter

  • Start a gratitude list

  • Read or watch something funny

  • Pet a furry animal

  • Take a bath