Self-care is one of those phrases that we hear so often, but is it really that important? The short answer: Yes! Self-care is incredibly important for so many reasons. It gives our brains a break and allows us to unwind, even if it is only for fifteen minutes. In today’s society we often push ourselves to the point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. We have such high expectations for ourselves that we often forget to take a moment and simply live. Engaging in self-care practices will help combat exhaustion and burn-out, and will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and renewed.
But what if you have children and finding time to engage in self-care is difficult? The answer is simpler than you might think: Get them to practice self-care, too! We often overlook children as needing to engage in self-care. However, the expectations that are placed upon children today can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful. Teaching children self-care practices at a young age will help them be more successful in time. They will learn their limits and, most importantly, learn how to take a moment out of their day to give their brain a break. Children deserve time to decompress and just have fun!
So, what self-care activities can you engage in with your child that both of you? There are so many fun, simple, and inexpensive activities to do! Below are a list of categories and activities that you can do with your child while also engaging in self-care!
- Getting Creative:
When thinking about self-care, sometimes we don’t think something as simple as getting creative can give our minds the necessary breaks that they need.
Self-care that involves getting creative can be:
- Writing short stories, and
Self-care can be as easy as coloring in a coloring book! Purchasing an adult coloring book for you and some regular coloring books for your children can be an easy way to give your mind a break! Activities like drawing, coloring, painting, and doing crafts are easy and mindless. You can have fun and have simple, no stress conversations with your child to bond with them. Writing short stories can also be a cathartic activity that you can do with your child. Writing about your days, or even writing about the days you wish you had can release some tension from that day in a healthy manner.
Getting creative is one of the best and most fun ways to engage in self-care. When you’re getting creative you often don’t even know you’re doing self-care. And who knows! You may discover that you have a little artist or writer!
- Getting Active:
Getting active is another great way to engage in self-care with your child, especially if you and your child are the type that need to move around! This is also a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to get yourselves active and to practice some self-care!
Some activity ideas include:
- Going to the park
- Going on a walk
- Going on a bike ride
- Going for a swim (if the weather allows)
- Playing basketball, soccer, baseball, or any other sport!
- Playing other games like tag or hide-and-go-seek
These activities are fun and not only get you and you child active, but they also allow the brain to get a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These are inexpensive ways to have fun while also leaving you feel refreshed. It is also scientifically proven that getting active releases some chemicals in our brains that make us feel happier and more energized. This is a great way to incorporate physical activity with self-care!
- Getting Silly:
Now a days, life is so serious! We often forget that laughing and having fun is one of the best ways to engage in self-care without feeling like you are! Some activity ideas for this include:
- Making up a game
- Play some board games
- Telling each other your best jokes
- Write and perform a play
These ideas are a great way to ensure that you are your child are having fun while also practicing self-care. Laughing also releases chemicals in our brains that make us even happier! Not to mention that being silly simply takes our minds off of some of our serious responsibilities.
Writing and performing a play is also similar to writing a short story in that it can be cathartic. If you are your child had a rough day, you can write and perform a play to turn that day into something completely different!
- Getting Your Mind Going:
Sometimes we need an escape from everyday life and so does your child. These activities engage the mind, but also give it a break from thinking about responsibilities or working. Some ideas to get your mind going include:
- Doing a puzzle
These activities allow us to sometimes escape our days in a healthy way. Sometimes after a hard day there is nothing better than reading a book and escaping your reality for a little while. Sometimes reading can even give us new ideas to solve a problem! Journaling will allow you and your child to reflect on your days. You may learn something new about yourselves! Or you may want to journal to keep a log of all of your accomplishments so on hard days, you can look at those entries and be reminded of your strengths.
These are great ways to learn something new about yourself and your child!
- Getting Relaxed:
Sometimes engaging in self-care is as simple as getting relaxed. This is an easy and fun way for you and your child to unwind and have a moment of mindlessness to give yourself a break.
Activities to get relaxed include:
- Doing some easy yoga moves
- Deep breathing exercises
- Mindfulness exercises
These activities are great ways for you to bond with your older child! There are really great resources online that can teach you and your child these techniques. They allow you to relax so you can reflect on your days without feeling too overwhelmed. Meditation allows you and your child to relieve stress, enhance focus, and foster self-esteem!
Here are some links to resources that may be helpful:
- Breathing Exercises: https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-relief-breathing-techniques#1
- Mindfulness exercises: https://positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-for-children-kids-activities/
- Meditation: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/mindfulness-for-children
These are just some simple, fun, and inexpensive ideas to help you and your child engage in self-care! Establishing these self-care activities and incorporating them into your daily routine will help you and your child feel more relaxed and refreshed. Instilling these behaviors in your child now, will make it more likely that he or she will continue these practices into adulthood. Many of us struggle with self-care as adults because were not taught to do so as children. Teaching your children these techniques will give them the skills they need to be happier, less stressed adults. Not only this, but these self-care activities will help you bond with your child and will help ensure your collective growth in self-love and self-esteem.